Remembering Rogelio Botello Rios: YouTube videos from the archive


With last week’s passing of Rogelio Botello Rios, I thought I’d make a post recommending some of my favorite Rios videos on YouTube.

A few years ago, KGBT — the location from which Rios recorded — made a post on Facebook showing they had a bunch of video masters of his long-running, Sunday morning series.

In 2014, they finally did something about it and started uploading segments of them on YouTube for a channel they dubbed Aqui Rogelio Archive. Since it comes directly from the master video source, as opposed to fan recordings from a VCR, the quality is great. Something fun to watch, or even just throw on in the background while doing other stuff on Sunday. Something recommended to check out, along with three videos.

>> IDEAL Records, Discos Falcón and Sunday morning television What is Sunday Morning Television? This is an excerpt from “Accordion Dreams” talking about the local regional music record scene and Sunday Morning Television, i.e. “Fanfarria Falcón,” “The Domingo Peña Show,” “Aqui Rogelio,” and “The Johnny Canales Show.” Sunday Morning Television was a Valley tradition for decades and was one of the best platforms to go to, for when a local band wanted to get exposure. “Aqui Rogelio” was one of the most popular of them all, since unlike some of the other shows, continued and consistently focused on South Texas conjunto and music.

>> Los Gatos — “Corazon herido” y “Ojos verdes” On this episode, from May 1999, Kenji y Los Gatos de Japón, a conjunto from Japan, make an appearance at the KGBT studios in Harlingen. Check out the late Kenji Katsube with the Hohner Esteban “Steve” Jordan Rockordeon, and the interview he does with Rios. Also check out the cameo from David Champion, formerly of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, and someone who wrote some linear notes for several Arhoolie Records releases.

>> Los Fantasmas Del Valle — “La Chicharronera Polka” Los Fantasmas del Valle have been an institution here since the late 1960s. They’ve played traditional, true Valley conjunto music from the beginning and to this day in 2017. Bands like this are the ones that benefited from appearing on “Aqui Rogelio,” and here, they appear to talk about Narciso Martinez, the legendary conjunto pioneer, and to play one of the polkas he is often credited with.

>> Estudiantina de Edcouch-Elsa High School — “Las mañanitas”, “Despierta” y “Amor de madre” This is a great video that showcases the Estudiantina from Edcouch-Elsa High School, led by the late, great conjunto maestro Benny Layton. I love the interview they do with Layton on here, and it features a rare real and live recording of a group at KGBT studios, since a lot of the performances on this show were lip-synced for filming purposes. Also, it’s a special Mother’s Day segment and with that right around the corner, it’s the perfect video to watch this week.