Legendary Tejano music host Johnny Canales is reportedly ‘gravely sick’

‘The Johnny Canales Show’ helped spread Tejano music from coast-to-coast and beyond

Johnny Canales, host of "The Johnny Canales Show," is pictured during an episode of his show with Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla. ("El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales" on Facebook)

SAN ANTONIO – Johnny Canales, a titan of Tejano music, is reportedly battling health problems.

The report was shared on social media by several Facebook pages with large followings, including the Corpus Christi Crónica and KXTQ-FM, a popular Tejano music station in Lubbock.

Recommended Videos

Johnny Canales the former Tejano singer and host of "The Johnny Canales Show" that debuted in 1983 is gravely sick....

Posted by Corpus Christi Crónica on Friday, May 17, 2024

Magic 106.5 would like to ask you to join us in praying for Legendary TV host JOHNNY CANALES who is critical condition. ...

Posted by Magic 106.5 Lubbock on Saturday, May 18, 2024

In response to the report, friends and fans shared their well wishes and prayers for Canales on social media.

Hello everyone. Our Iconic Johnny Canales needs our prayers 🙏 Please keep him and his family in your thoughts at this time. Nora Canales

Posted by Cristina Salinas on Saturday, May 18, 2024

Johnny Canales the former Tejano singer and host of "The Johnny Canales Show" that debuted in 1983 is gravely sick....

Posted by Robert Reyna on Friday, May 17, 2024

Received sad & emotional news that my gd friend for years,Johnny Canales,is very ill.Prayers for his recovery.Lord...

Posted by Mercy Perez on Friday, May 17, 2024

Canales, 76, was born in Mexico before his family moved to Robstown, which is approximately 20 miles west of Corpus Christi. When he was old enough, Canales went to Germany to serve in the Army during the 1960s.

When Canales returned to the Coastal Bend, he earned a job as a disc jockey at a Spanish-language radio station while also starting his own band called “Johnny Canales y su Orchestra.”

Canales became the host of the eponymous “The Johnny Canales Show,” a half-hour Tejano music-centric television variety show that began airing on KRIS, a Corpus Christi TV station, in 1983. His friendly “You got it, take it away” morphed from a shorthand transition to an unforgettable catchphrase.

A combination of Canales’ personality, compelling Tejano artists and an appetite for live music on television sent the “The Johnny Canales Show” into the stratosphere.

Canales and the performers primarily spoke Spanish on the show, which broadened its appeal to music fans in more places. Half-hour episodes became hour-long episodes. The show soon became syndicated in more Texas markets like Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio before the show’s popularity stretched beyond Texas. Univision picked up “The Johnny Canales Show” in 1988, taking the show from its U.S. beginnings and making it international.

Tejano artists who graced the show’s stage include the Texas Tornados, Little Joe and La Mafia as well as a teenage Selena Quintanilla performing as Selena y Los Dinos in 1985.

The show continued airing on Univision before Canales decided to move the show to Telemundo in 1996. Its run on Telemundo stretched into the 21st century, but the network canceled the show in 2005.

Canales and his wife, Nora, launched another show called “El Nuevo Show de Johnny y Nora Canales” in 2010, according to a news release. Canales was later honored for his contributions to pop culture with a formal induction on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars in 2016.

On the “El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales” Facebook page, Johnny Canales has not appeared on the page since a March 24 Facebook Live with his wife.

Disfrutando un Dominguito alegre con ricos platillos en Palenque Grill!😋😋😋 tus amigos Johnny y Nora Canales

Posted by El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales on Sunday, March 24, 2024

While the extent of any new health problems was not made public, Canales’ wife said Canales had been dealing with complications connected to a stroke he suffered in 2008, the Corpus Christi Crónica said in its Facebook post.

About the Author

Nate Kotisso joined KSAT as a digital journalist in 2024. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter in the Rio Grande Valley for more than two years and spent nearly three years as a digital producer at the CBS station in Oklahoma City.

Recommended Videos