San Antonio, South Texas Tejano music fans mourn loss of TV host Johnny Canales

Canales’ death was announced Thursday morning

SAN ANTONIO – During the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, music fans across the country tuned in weekly for the greatest showcase of Tejano music anywhere. Johnny Canales, host of the “The Johnny Canales Show,” was the heartbeat of that pioneering showcase.

Fans across San Antonio and South Texas are remembering him for his contributions to Tejano music.

“There were so many groups that he would to invite (to “The Johnny Canales Show”),” Irma Gutierrez, who helps operate Del Bravo Record Shop on the West Side, told KSAT photojournalist Adam B. Higgins. “He wanted them to be exposed.”

Canales was born in Mexico and raised in Robstown. When he returned to the Coastal Bend after serving in the Army, he earned a job as a disc jockey at a Spanish-language station.

Canales’ connection with music fans in South Texas never faded. KRIS, a Corpus Christi television station, was the first station to air Canales’ show for a TV audience. Before Univision began syndicating the show internationally in 1988, Canales taped the show at Brownsville television station KVEO, a 1988 Texas Monthly profile noted.

Canales’ wit was another trademark. He also appeared in several advertisements for Bert Ogden car dealerships located across the Rio Grande Valley.

Canales’ death was announced Thursday morning. He was 77.

Johnny Bert Janet in 1980- 1991. Dale Gas dear friend❤️🇺🇸🌟

Posted by Janet Vackar on Thursday, June 13, 2024

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About the Authors

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.

Myra Arthur is passionate about San Antonio and sharing its stories. She graduated high school in the Alamo City and always wanted to anchor and report in her hometown. Myra anchors KSAT News at 6:00 p.m. and hosts and reports for the streaming show, KSAT Explains. She joined KSAT in 2012 after anchoring and reporting in Waco and Corpus Christi.

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