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Quintanilla Jr - still busy in the music biz

Many music fans may know Abraham “Abe” Quintanilla II only as the father of Tejano singer Selena. But as he told our correspondent Ramon Hernandez in a recent interview,

he's been in the music biz for a long time.

Abraham “Abe” Quintanilla II is living proof age is just a number as he keeps on keeping on.

At one month shy of 70, his birthday is February 20th; Quintanilla shows no signs of slowing down. A close look at his features reveals nary a forehead wrinkle and only a couple of faint laugh lines.

The second of six siblings -- Gloria, Abraham, Eddie, Yolanda, Héctor and Isaac – Quintanilla, who is the only singer in the group, was initially influenced by trios such as Los Tres Caballeros.

However his musical roots date back to Nicolas Quintanilla, his grandfather Eulogio’s brother whose blood line produced members of Trio Los Duques and all of Los Agues. Eulogio’s son Abraham, Quintanilla’s father, also sang and all his brothers played guitar so it was no surprised when, in 1955, he and two other members of the Roy Miller High School Choir – with a piano and an upright bass – formed The Gumdrops, whose repertoire consisted of Four Aces and Four Coins covers.

That was the beginning of which is now the Quintanilla Family musical dynasty.

Today, he is probably the shrewdest music producer in the business in this market. As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree and his son, Abraham III a.k.a. A.B., who has already produced Thalia and many other international stars, is presently in Miami producing compact discs for Verónica Castro and her son Cristián.

Meanwhile, Quintanilla and his daughter Suzette, now the V.P. and his right arm, prefer to remain in Corpus Christi overseeing the Q Productions music empire. His staff includes long-time promotions director and PR man Joseph E. Valdez and A.B.’s eldest son, Svani. And it is obvious Quintanilla is very proud of his 18-year-old grandson, who is on hand to conduct the Selena Museum tours and run the museum’s gift shop. But little do the people in the guided tours realized that Svani is an accomplished drummer and also produces at his own home studio.

Inside the Q Productions compound, Quintanilla is kept busy listening to hundreds of demos he receives from bands hoping to be picked up by the label and be the recipients of Abe’s Midas Touch; and his latest discovery is Olinda, an attractive blonde, blue-eyed Chihuahua-native now living in Denver, Colorado.

In addition, he is now making his state-of-the-art stage/video complex available to bands who want to produce a broadcast quality DVDs. Quintanilla makes his top-notch video services alluring by using three to four high resolution cameras plus the option of a 250-person live-audience. However, the icing on the cake is that the audio is mixed in three formats, digital stereo, 5.1 surround and DTS surround sound. Some of their most recent releases are the “Flaco Jiménez Live” and “Campanas de América En Vivo” DVDs.

Of course everyone wants to know if there’re any more new Selena releases and the answer is yes. What Quintanilla did was to compile the best of many rare Selena interviews and performances on the Johnny Canales Show dating back to the late 1980s. Furthermore, the DVD is narrated by Canales. This for Selena fans is as good as seeing Elvis’ early performances on the Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen and Tommy Dorsey television shows.

The second Selena DVD in the works is a knock-out live performance at the Bayfront Coliseum



 

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