The Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame Museum was established by Tejano R.O.O.T.S., Incorporated, a nonprofit organization chartered in Alice, Texas, on June 9, 1999. The acronym R.O.O.T.S. means “Remembering Our Own Tejano Stars.” The mission of the Hall of Fame Museum is to pay tribute to Tejano music, a musical tradition that draws on Mexican music, as well the musical heritage of African-Americans, Anglos, Cubans, Czechs, Germans, and Italians. Alice, Texas, was selected for the Hall of Fame Museum because one of the leading Tejano recording companies, Ideal Records, was established there in the 1940s. Many luminaries of the Tejano recording industry, including Sunny Ozuna, Laura Canales, and Narciso Martínez, recorded for Ideal Records. On May 3, 2001, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 1019, which designated the city of Alice as the “official birthplace” of the Tejano musical tradition and the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame Museum as the official state site for Tejano music. A board of directors and an advisory board oversee its operations.
The Hall of Fame Museum exhibits artifacts, musical instruments, photographs, stage costumes, and other materials on Tejano music. Through its website the museum provides historical resources about notable Tejano musicians and news about current performers and events. A gallery of photographs of well-known Tejano music pioneers and current performers can also be found on the website.
Every year since 2000 the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame Museum has inducted a new class of individuals and groups whose contributions to Tejano music are considered ground breaking. Through 2009 approximately 157 individuals or groups had been inducted into the Hall of Fame Museum. Among the honorees are solo musicians, conjunto groups, orquestas Tejanas, Tejano country performers, composers, media representatives, music promoters, and broadcasters. The Hall of Fame Museum has also awarded the Armando Marroquín Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the cofounder of Ideal Records.
Every year since its creation the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame Museum has sponsored the Noche De Fiesta Tejana weekend in Alice, bringing famous Tejano musicians to the event to perform at the Friday night kick-off dance. During the fiesta weekend another class of inductees is presented, and a free outdoor concert is offered. In 2007 the fiesta weekend was held from November 16 to 18. The Hall of Fame Museum has also brought attention to Tejano music through a major statewide venue, the State Fair of Texas. In 2006, for instance, the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame Museum was showcased at the fair as part of the Mundo Latino Expo. Hall of Fame inductees also performed as part of the showcase.
With the death of Tejano R.O.O.T.S. founder and former president Javier Villanueva on June 10, 2011, the organization and Tejano music lost one of its most devoted advocates. Due to changing musical tastes and a lack of funding, the museum and organization faced challenges to remain active. In September 2011 Ruben Lopez became president of Tejano R.O.O.T.S. The hall of fame significantly increased its number of inductees through 2013. Seventy-seven inductees were named to the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame for 2013 in a ceremony that took place in Alice on January 4, 2014.