Tejano music legends Sunny Ozuna, Isidro Lopez, Little Joe Hernandez with Tejano publicist, writer and photojournalist Ramón Hernández at the 1997 Pura Vida Music Awards. Photo by Martha Hernandez
Wittliff Collections acquires Ramón Hernández Tejano music collection
The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University has acquired one of the largest known collections of Tejano Music materials and memorabilia in existence from renowned musicologist and collector Ramón Hernández.
“Hernández is universally respected in the Tejano music community,” said Wittliff Collections Director David Coleman. “We are honored that he has chosen The Wittliff to care for his life’s work.”
"This is a dream come true," Hernández said. "It's been an honor and privilage to work with The Wittliff Collections. The icing on the cake came when Bill Wittliff and David Coleman offered me a home for my collection. Now I know that my materials are in the best of hands, and they will serve as valuable research material for generations. I'm elated and thankful for this blessing."
Hernández has built his collection over 35 years while working as publicist, writer and photojournalist covering Tejano, orchestra and conjunto music. Notable items include historic photographs, vintage concert posters, rare recordings, performance clothing, artifacts and instruments from true legends of the genre like Lydia Mendoza, Isidro López, “Little Joe” Hernández, Sunny Ozuna and Selena.
“Hernández is a legendary figure,” Coleman said. “He has singlehandedly saved and preserved the legacy of so many iconic musicians. In the process, he has built one of the signature music collections in America.”
“This archive is vast,” Texas Music Curator Hector Saldaña said. “There are thousands of items dating back to the beginnings of the Tejano art form. Hernández was one of the first to see that Tejano music was not receiving broad historical recognition, and he decided to do something about it.”
Hernández's archive is a major addition to the newly-formed Texas Music Collection at The Wittliff, a collection that already boasts archives from Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Asleep at the Wheel.
“The Wittliff has always been about preserving the creative legacy of the Southwest,” Coleman said. “Tejano music is American music and is a large part of our region’s artistic legacy.”
Hernández and his collection was recently profiled for an episode of Texas Country Reporter.
The Wittliff Collections is located on the seventh floor of Texas State’s Albert B. Alkek Library in San Marcos. Exhibition hours, directions, parking information are online. For questions, call 512-245.2313 (press 0).
About The Wittliff Collections
The Wittliff Collections is dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the cultural legacy of the Southwest’s literary, photographic and musical arts, and to fostering the region’s “Spirit of Place” in the wider world. The Wittliff hosts readings, artist talks, lectures and other events; presents major exhibitions year-round from its holdings; and makes its collections available to statewide, national and international researchers.