Johnny Rodriguez was born in Sabinal, Texas, the second youngest in a family of ten children living in a four-room house in this small town situated 90 miles from Mexico.
After signing with Mercury, Rodriguez was soon on the way to becoming famous. His first single to be released for Mercury was 1972s "Pass Me By." This recording was a big success, going to No. 9 on the Hot Country Songs list that year, and making him a country star overnight. Rodriguez officially became the first Latin American country singer.
In 1972 Rodriguez was voted the Most Promising Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music. The next year, he achieved his first No. 1 hit song, "You Always Come Back to Hurting Me." Another song that year, "Ridin' My Thumb to Mexico," was also a No. 1 hit. Both his No. 1 hits charted on the Pop charts, but only moderately. Rodriguez wrote some of his own material such as the song "Ridin' My Thumb to Mexico." In 1973, his debut album was released, which rose to No. 1 on the "Top Country Albums" chart. He was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year by the CMA Awards.
The year 1975 was probably his biggest year, in terms of chart success. That year all three singles he released soared to No. 1 on the country charts. These songs were, "I Just Can't Get Her Out of My Mind" "Just Get Up and Close the Door," and "Love Put a Song in My Heart."
Success on the country charts continued throughout much of the '70s. He recorded songs not only written by himself around this time, but also covers of others' songs such as Linda Hargrove's "Just Get Up and Close the Door," Mickey Newbury's "Poison Red Berries," and Billy Joe Shaver's "Texas Up Here Tennessee." These songwriters were also country music singers themselves. By 1975, Rodriguez was considered an "outlaw," representing the Outlaw Country market in country music, like fellow musicians, Bobby Bare and Tom T. Hall.
- Disc Features:
- 20 Tracks
- Gusto TeeVee
- TV7 0764-2
- Compact Disc