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Clayton T. Shorkey

Juan Colorado
Orquesta leader Juan Colorado. Lalo Campos Collection, Texas Music Museum.

GARCIA, JUAN MARIO [JUAN COLORADO] (1923–1957). Juan Colorado, orquesta leader, was born Juan Mario Garcia on September 14, 1923, in San Diego, Texas. He was the son of Gonzalo Elizondo Garcia and Maria Saenz Garcia. His red hair and freckled face earned him the nickname Juan Colorado which he used professionally the rest of his life. He played football and performed in the band at San Diego High School from which he graduated in 1943. He organized his first band while in high school. He married Eloisa Moreno in 1944; they had two children. Juan Colorado joined the Balde González orquesta in the early 1950s. He later started his own orquesta which became extremely popular. He played the piano and various wind instruments, but his favorite was the tenor saxophone. He was an active composer with such major perennial successes as "Todo o Nada" and "Diganle" to his credit. Recordings of his orquesta include the 1955 track of “Corazon del Pueblo” for Ideal Records. He died in Jim Wells County on February 9, 1957, just as his orquesta appeared to be headed to the top of the Tejano field. He was survived by his wife Eloisa and a daughter and son. Juan Colorado was inducted into the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame as a performer in 1986. In 2005 he was inducted into the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame.


Texas Talent Musicians Association, “Tejano Music Awards” (www.tejanomusicawards.com/fame.html), accessed June 30, 2008. Governor’s Texas Music Pioneers (http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/music/tour/pioneers.htm), accessed June 30, 2008.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Clayton T. Shorkey, "GARCIA, JUAN MARIO [JUAN COLORADO]," accessed March 28, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgaal.

Uploaded on June 30, 2014. Modified on October 18, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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