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Freddie Martinez, or simply Freddie, is one of the most influential men in Tejano music history. Since beginning his professional career in the 1950s, Martinez has seen both sides of the business. He built a record company from scratch in the 1970s, which became successful enough for him to retire from being a working musician. That company has managed to survive good times and bad, and has recorded many of the top artists in Conjunto and Tejano music, from Tony De La Rosa to Ramon Ayala to Siggno and Elida Reyna.
As a trumpet player and bandleader, Freddie was one of the most popular orquesta performers of the 1960s and 70s. His signature sound is characterized by a dominant trumpet along with Freddie’s unique vocal style. Among his catalog of hits is “Te Traigo Estas Flores,” “Botoncito De Cariño,” “Mi Arbol y Yo,” and many more.
We were fortunate to spend some quality time with the man himself at his record company headquarters in Corpus Christi. Surrounded by portraits of legendary artists on his label, Martinez talked about his early life and family, his life as a musician, and ultimately his life as a record company executive.
Most recently, Freddie joined “Los Leyendas,” a supergroup with longtime friends and orquesta legends Carlos Guzman, Sunny Ozuna, Joe Bravo, Augustin Ramirez and the late Carlos Miranda. The album from that project, The Dream Team, is available online and in record stores.
Saturday, July 6th, Freddie will be playing in Austin with Augustin Ramirez at the Texas Club Bar and Grill.