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"You can't be crying every day. You've got to have a little laugh once in a while. That's what I've done all my life."
[image5, align=left, size=medium] After mastering the squeezebox, he joined Los Gavilanes de Mario Sanz in the '60s recording with legendary label Falcon Records as well as McAllen's' Discos Del Valle. Heavily influenced by Tony De La Rosa and Valerio Longoria, Gonzalez finally went solo in the late '70s and early '80s.
[image3, align=left, size=medium] With song titles like "Heche A Mi Suegra Al Rio" ("I Threw My Mother in law in the River"), "El Ticketito" ("The Speeding Ticket"), "Que Me Entierren En El Wal Mart" ("I Hope They Bury Me Omega Seamaster 300 Wrist Shot
"These days, Gonzalez is retired and still living with his wife Rosa in McAllen. He still plays the occasional pachanga, quinceaera, wedding or cumpleaos (birthday).
"To me, it's OK. I don't mind. Usually most of the songs that he writes are about my mother, but my mom died when I was very young, so it doesn't hurt me and it doesn't her," Rosa said. "I like the funny stories in his songs."
"My mom would always tell me that when we got money, my sister and brother always wanted to buy candy. But I always wanted to save my money and put it in the jukebox."
"This is me when I was 15 or 16 years old," said Gonzalez as he gently motioned to the image.
As a young man, music was always Gonzalez's main interest, and the accordion became his first love after his mother gave him one as a gift.
He continued recording numerous albums in the '90s, some catering to the Valley's Winter Texans with English language Omega Watch Original
The 5 foot tall accordionist sings about the things nobody else does speeding tickets, mother in laws, lowriders, being a short Mexican man and his wife of 49 years.
[image4, align=left, size=medium] "I started with funny songs because of my size," Gonzalez said. "I make fun of myself. I was short, and my hair started falling out, but that's life."
Conjunto cult hero Wally Gonzalez heckles way into history books
friendly digs he makes about the people in his life are his biggest appeal.
[image1, align=left, size=medium] Gonzalez is an accordionist with a sense of humor not often found in conjunto or tejano music. The genre, which usually takes itself quite seriously, lamenting about heartbreak or tragedy, doesn't normally provoke laughter. But Gonzalez believes it shouldn't always be gloom and doom all the time.
at Wal Mart") and "Las Mujeres y Las Novelas," ("Women and Soap Operas"), Gonzalez sings about anything and everything.
songs like "Never Ending Love" and Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee." But he never strayed from the hilarious tunes he was known for.
He adopted the nickname "The Short Legged Texan," a twist on the classic country song "The Long Tall Texan." But he's also known as "El Taco Kid," "El Low Rider," "Mr. Cuchi Cuchi" and "El Kojak Del Valle," all characters Omega Speedmaster Automatic 3510.50 he's invented in his music.
What does his wife think about being the subject of his songs?
The 70 year old has been a bilingual conjunto artist for more than half a century. But even as a septuagenarian, he still has the humor and vitality of a young comedian.
Dozens of picture frames blanketed the walls of Wally Gonzalez's home on 25th Street in West McAllen. Smiling faces of his children, all now adults, and photographs of his wife Rosa served as the main dcor in their tiny living room. But one photograph of a petite man in a tailored suit carrying a giant accordion stood out among the rest.
My music has to do with reality," Gonzalez said. "I put a smile on most people. My songs are like therapy; I make them laugh and it makes me happy to see somebody smile."
He became a conjunto favorite, touring the country and playing to migrant workers in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida. Texas Monthly took note of his small town fame in South Texas and featured him in the magazine's December 1983 issue, calling him "the unsung hero of migrant workers in the Valley."
His humor and unique lyrics have made this crooner a different kind of conjunto hero one who connects with audiences by focusing on how funny life can be.
Gonzalez's honesty, light heartedness and the Omega Seamaster Professional Leather Strap
"You can only do so much in life and that's it. I think I've done my share," Gonzalez says about his music. "I'm happy and I love music. I love what I do."
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