JIMENEZ, SANTIAGO, SR.
JIMÉNEZ, SANTIAGO, SR. (1913–1984). Santiago Jiménez, Sr., conjunto accordionist and songwriter, was born on April 25, 1913, in San Antonio. His father, Patricio Jiménez, was an accordionist and dance musician from Eagle Pass, Texas, and he encouraged his son to pursue his musical interests. By age eight Santiago had begun to play the accordion, and by the time he was twenty, he was playing music on live KEDA radio. In 1936 Jiménez released his first record, "Dices Pescao"/"Dispensa el Arrempujon," on Decca. The record was successful, and Jiménez became known for his inventive use of the tololoche, a Tejano contrabass that became prevalent in the conjunto music of the 1940s. Jiménez later recorded for Imperial, Globe, and Mexican Victor. His polkas "La Piedrera" and "Viva Seguin" (recorded in 1942) became well-known regional hits.
He was known for his use of the two-row button accordion even after new developments were made in accordion technology. His continued use of this increasingly old-fashioned instrument contributed to the traditionalist sound of his music in his later years. In the late 1960s Jiménez moved to Dallas and worked as a school janitor. He was one of the featured musicians in director Les Blank’s Chulas Fronteras (1976), a documentary film about Texas-Mexican conjunto and its role in the social and cultural life of Mexican-American families. Jiménez moved back to San Antonio in 1977 and started playing music again. He made some recordings with his son, Flaco, including Santiago Jimenez con Flaco Jimenez y Juan Viesca in 1980 for Arhoolie Records.
Listen to this artist
Jiménez died on December 18, 1984, in San Antonio. He was survived by his wife, Virginia, and six sons and two daughters. His sons Flaco and Santiago Jiménez, Jr., carried on the tradition of his conjunto music. Santiago Jiménez, Sr., was inducted into the Tejano Music Awards Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2003. See also TEXAS-MEXICAN CONJUNTO.
Manuel Peña, The Texas-Mexican Conjunto: History of a Working-Class Music (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985). San Antonio Express–News, December 19, 1984. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Jill S. Seeber, "Jimenez, Santiago, Sr.," accessed May 27, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fji03.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on October 25, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles