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Conjunto legend dies

December
18
1984

On this day in 1984, conjunto accordion legend Santiago Jimenez Sr. died in San Antonio. Jimenez was born in the Alamo City in 1913 and took up the accordion at age eight. His first record, "Dices Pescao"/"Dispensa el Arrempujon" (1936), was a success, and he became known for his inventive use of tololoche, a Tejano contrabass that became prevalent in the conjunto music of the 1940s. His polkas "La Piedrera" and "Viva Seguin" (recorded in 1942) became well-known regional hits. Jimenez was known for his use of the two-row button accordion even after new developments were made in accordion technology. In the late 1960s he moved to Dallas and worked as a school janitor, but he moved back to San Antonio in 1977 and started playing music again. His sons Flaco and Santiago Jimenez Jr. also became well-known conjunto musicians in their own right.

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