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Home Music Tejano / RegMex Transitions: AC Cruz, 'Memo' Enriquez, Sandy Valadez
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Colorful and sometimes controversial radio personality AC Cruz from the Rio Grande Valley, suffered a stroke July 14 and is recovering in a Houston hospital. UPDATED below.

Former Texas Latino and Oscar G.  bass player Manuel "Memo" Enriquez passed away Sunday from a stroke. He was 51. Details below.

Sandy Valadez, mother of singer Rebecca Valadez, also suffered a recent stroke and is

also recovering at a San Antonio hospital. Sandy Valadez has been a familiar figure at various music industry events. She is always friendly, energetic and active in various music projects, most recently, the pre-production of the indie film "Los Tres Perez," with producer/graphic artist Jorge Flores and directed by radio consultant Danny Garcia.
Additional details on all these to follow shortly.

Meantime, more on AC and obit details for Enriquez:

AC Cruz is the type of personality industry folks call “colorful.” He has been called daring and controversial, abrasive, unforgettable and usually foul-mouthed. But that was AC's immutable style. His no-holds barred, anything goes strategy in attracting radio audiences won him fans and station owners - and some detractors.

Through his multi-decade career he’s worked at some of the influential Tex-Mex stations in Central and South Texas (longevity was never AC's strong suit) and many a DJ or PD has quite a few stories and anecdotes about AC.

Now comes the news that AC suffered a stroke July 14 and is recovering and undergoing therapy at a Houston hospital.

From his sister Abby Chavarria:

“Thank you for praying my brother AC. AC suffered a stroke on July 14th. He is in a Houston hospital and doing better gracias a Dios. He has several months of rehab in front of him. I ask those of you who know him to pray for him that he will be strong for the difficult journey ahead of ...him and that he be healed. For those who have visited him, from our entire family muchisimas gracias. Thank you all!”

And from a few industry leaders:

"News to me- I known AC since he was 10, coming from a radio family heredo el talento y conocimiento de la musica. He helped la onda tejana tremendously supporting upcoming bands . I wish him a fast recovery"
Roberto Pulido

“Know as ‘AC mother#**ng Cruz’ for a lot of us, he has been a pioneer in radio, proving more than once his ability to put a radio station on the map. AC programmed radio by gut feeling, when ‘research’ showed different, taking risk because he knew a hit when he had one on his hands. With this he helped many bands launch their careers. We hope for a fast recovery and to see him back in radio.”  (Check www.myspace.com/acmfcruz )
Norma Duran, Publicist www.normaduran.com

"On Behalf all us at ATMinHD, Freddie Records Radio, We are saddened to hear whats happened to our dear friend and radio colleague AC Cruz. We send all our hopes and prayers. Born and raised native of the R.V.G (Edinburg,Tx.) I grew up and went to work in the fields in the mornings listening KKPS 99.5 McAllen AC was the one everybody laughed with on way to their jobs. He made us feel good going to work. He also put together some of the greatest concerts. He is the one who inspired me to be a radio personalty. Thank you."
Chuko, C.E.O ATMinHD.NET  

"I have heard about it. I consider him a friend. He is a pioneer in this industry, as a disc jockey and program director. I wish a quick recovery"
Bobby Pulido

"AC was my pd at KLHB Club 98.3 in Corpus Christi for a few years. I enjoyed working with him and absorbing the knowledge and love for radio that he shared with us. What i enjoyed most other than working with him was his many behind the scenes stories of almost every tejano band/artists that exists.  He's a colorful character with a big heart. I was saddend to learn about his health crisis and i wish my friend a speedy recovery."
Delma Garza, radio personality

"I was fortunate enough to work under AC. He is very well respected in the music industry and has a passion for the business. The man knows radio and all of radio knows AC Cruz! I was shocked to hear of his illness and wish him a speedy recovery."
Dan Pena, KSAB Program Director

“AC Cruz is an awesome radio personality who has remarkable vision and Tejano music intuition. He was the program -director at the Rio Grande Valley's K-Pasa Tejano station back in the mid 90's. He was the PD who signed on to become our first affiliate for the nationally syndicated radio show Tejano Gold. AC and his family are in our prayers...our faith in God will help them during this hour of need.”
Rudy Trevino, Executive producer Tejano Gold Countdown

"A.C is a man that all ways had a door open for you and a cigar in the other hand he is a great man. Get well a.c "
Julian Johnson, Pres. Ro Records Reel track studio

"AC, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.... Praying for a speedy recovery, amigo! God bless you!"

“Being a Tejano Music Promoter with EMI Latin and Catalina Records also Independent I often traveled to the Valley pushing new artists along with their music, and A.C. Cruz always made time to take a listen to new material. He definitely loves his Tejano music like he loves his ice cold beer. I wish him a speedy recovery.“
Robert Rivas, independent promoter

"Get well soon A.C. from the Que Pasa Clicka Morning Show Dad. Sustame one time dad!"
Rock n Roll James, Que Pasa, McAllen

"We @ Serrata Music are in prayer for AC Cruz and ask that all music entities join us as we ask the Lord for a miracle healing...
God Bless All." Rene Serrata (979)323-0747 www.reneserrata.com

"I was very saddened to hear about our good friend and pioneer in radio, AC Cruz, last night as I spoke to Ramiro Burr. My prayers are with AC and his family. Pray to St. Andrew Avellino - Patron for Stroke Victims. St. Andrew we ask your intercession upon AC Cruz, please pray that he heals quickly...his movements, speech and that the doctors give him the best medical care he can receive. Diosito te bendiga, AC!! Con mucho cariño y respeto."
Linda Escobar, Recording Artist of Q-Vo Records

"Hey Ramiro how are you? AC Cruz is a close and dear friend of mine and I have always known him to be a fighter!!!!! I truly have faith that AC will be just fine and back to his old prankster self send him my best for a speeeeeeeedy recovery!!"
Rick Sanchez

7/27 4:40 p.m. Update from Abby Chavarrilla:

"Renowned Tejano DJ AC Cruz suffered a stroke 13 days ago while visiting friends in Houston, TX.  AC is recovering at Memorial Hermann in Houston and remains in stable condition.  AC is showing signs of improvement daily.  He suffered a hypertensive episode that has left him with impaired speech and weakness to his right side.   His return to full functionallity will take awhile, but our family is hopeful that his recovery will be a speedy one.  We ask that his friends and fans to continue to pray for his recovery.  
"AC's career has spanned several years and cities. He started in Houston with his father Abel Chavarrilla, and has worked in the Rio Grande Valley for HBC/Univison and in Corpus Christi.  AC enjoyed the destinction of being named Broadcaster of the Year by the National Association of Broadcasters.  Like so many in this country, the current economic climate has impacted AC by way of a layoff from a Corpus Christi station a couple of years ago, and he was recently working as a club manager and private DJ for private parties and functions. 
"Ironically AC is almost following the same path, medicallly speaking, that Emilio Navaira has.  He is at the same hospital renowned for their neuroscience expertiese, and is expected to do rehab at the same facility.  After witnessing Emilio's recent triumphant return to the stage at the 30th Tejano Music Awards, we can only hope for an equally triumphant return to the airwaves for AC Cruz.  Thank you to all who continue to pray for him and our family."

Obit details from Legacy.com for Enriquez:

Manuel "Memo" G. Enriquez went to be with our Lord on July 25, 2010 at the age of 51. Survived by his fiancé Olivia Huerta; children Carlitos, Damien and Maxine; sister and brothers, Apolonio, Filomena and Ruben Enriquez; niece Elizabeth C. Mendez and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation will begin 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at Trevino Funeral Home, 226 Cupples Rd. A rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, July 29, 2010 at the funeral home. A procession will depart the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. for a 10:00 a.m. mass at St. Leo's Catholic Church. Interment to follow in San Fernando No.2 Cemetery.

Joey Sanchez, who has been playing drums for Texas Latino when not playing in his group Pochimex, said Enriquez was an affable type:

“He was always smiling, in a playful mood,” Sanchez said.

What made Enriquez unique?

“Memo, his unique playing style came from his rock influences. He was in la onda, but his inspiration came from from American hard rock, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest," Sanchez said. "I got to know him the last four months I have been playing with Texas Latino. The last gig we played together was in Giddings. He was talking about life, how he was coming full circle. You do not think about it at the time, but maybe el precentia (foreshadowed).”

Enriquez began his career with Celsius, later joined Oscar G y Grupo Sol and later formed Texas Latino during Tejano's massive renaissance in the mid'90s with Rick Acosta, JB Benavides, Cande Tovar, Luis Ortiz and a few others. Texas Latino broke up about 10 years ago but four months ago reloaded for another run.

Enriquez suffered a stroke Friday morning (7/23) and underwent surgery on Saturday.

Producer/keyboardist Severo Contreras said he was close to Enriquez.

"He also left behind his fiance Olivia and three litte boys," he said. "Memo was really enjoying playing in the band the second time around. He was talking about about how good it was and how good it felt for him to be back on stage."

Contreras said he expects Oscar G, Rick Acosta, X-Man Trejo and Los Desperadoz to attend the rosary tomorrow and maybe even break out in an acoustic song or two as a tribute.

According to Sanchez, Enriquez was also a songwriter, writing the hit "Quiereme" for Oscar G. and later "En Tus Brazos" for Texas Latino.

Check back. More details and comments coming.
If you have a memory or story on these folks you’d like to share email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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