San Marcos, TX – As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University have acquired one of the largest known collections of Tejano Music materials and memorabilia in existence from renowned musicologist and collector Ramón Hernández.
“Hernández is universally respected in the Tejano music community,” said Wittliff Collections director Dr. David Coleman. “We are honored that he has chosen The Wittliff to care for his life’s work.”
“This is a dream come true,” Hernández said. “It’s been an honor and privilage to work with The Wittliff Collections. The icing on the cake came when Bill Wittliff and David Coleman offered me a home for my collection. Now I know that my materials are in the best of hands, and they will serve as valuable research material for generations. I’m elated and thankful for this blessing.”
Hernández has built his collection over 35 years while working as publicist, writer and photojournalist covering Tejano, orchestra, and conjunto music. Notable items include historic photographs, vintage concert posters, rare recordings, performance clothing, artifacts and instruments from true legends of the genre like Lydia Mendoza, Isidro López, “Little Joe” Hernández, Sunny Ozuna and Selena.
“Hernández is a legendary figure,” continued Coleman. “He has singlehandedly saved and preserved the legacy of so many iconic musicians. In the process, he has built one of the signature music collections in America.”
“This archive is vast,” said Texas music curator Hector Saldaña. “There are thousands of items dating back to the beginnings of the Tejano art form. Hernández was one of the first to see that Tejano music was not receiving broad historical recognition, and he decided to do something about it.”
Mr Hernández’s archive is a major addition to the newly-formed Texas Music Collection at The Wittliff, a collection that already boasts archives from Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Asleep at The Wheel.
“The Wittliff has always been about preserving the creative legacy of the Southwest,” said Coleman. “Tejano music is American music and is a large part of our region’s artistic legacy.”
Ramón and the archive were recently featured in an episode of Texas Country Reporter.