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Johnny Rodriguez Returns To The Llano Opry
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 • Posted October 1, 2008

The Llano Country Opry will be staged on Saturday, October 4, at the Lantex Theater in downtown Llano. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 per person and are available at the Llano Chamber of Commerce, Llano National Bank, Lively Computers in Kingsland or KNEL radio in Brady.

Country Music Superstar Johnny Rodriguez will headline the Llano Country Opry. Rodriguez makes a return appearance after selling out the show in 2007.

Juan Raul Davis Rodriguez was born December 10, 1851, in Sabinal, Texas. Rodriguez grew up with a large family living in a shanty town 90 miles from the Mexican border. He was given a guitar when he was seven and, as a teenager, he sang with a beat group. His troubles with the law included goat rustling (he barbecued the goats).

A Texas ranger, who heard him singing in his cell, found him a job at the Alamo village and he drove stagecoaches, rode horses and entertained tourists. Tom T. Hall recognized his talent and employed him as lead guitarist with his road band, the Storytellers.

Rodriguez was signed to Mercury Records, who particularly liked the way he could switch from English to Spanish. Rodriguez went to number 9 in the US country chart with his first release, “Pass Me By”, in 1972 and he then had three consecutive number 1 records, “You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me)”, “Riding My Thumb To Mexico” and “That’s The Way Love Goes”. He wrote many of his songs and occasionally wrote with Hall.

In 1975, Rodriguez had more number 1 country records with “I Just Can’t Get Her Out Of My Mind”, “Just Get Up And Close The Door” and “Love Put A Song In My Heart”. In 1977, he had a Top 10 country hit with a revival of the Eagles’ “Desperado”. He moved to Epic Records in 1979 and found success with “I Hate The Way I Love It”, with newcomer Charly McClain. Rodriguez moved to Capitol Records in 1988 and had a country hit with a classy ballad, “I Didn’t (Every Chance I Had)”. He then had a further four minor hits with Capitol over a two-year period; “I Wanta Make Up With You”, “You Might Want To Use Me Again”, “No Chance To Dance” and “Back To Stay”.

Rodriguez’s 1994 album, “Run For The Border”, was filled with songs of desperation - a few new and some re workings of his former big hits. He was involved in a fatal shooting in August 1998, when Israel Borrego was shot by Rodriguez in South Texas. The shooting was declared as “self defense” and Rodriguez was acquitted.

Rodriguez is working on another comeback. He is working on a new album that will be produced by Merle Haggard and is starting to tour throughout the country.

“I am looking forward to coming back to Llano,” Rodriguez said. “This is actually my third appearance working for the Llano Country Opry. We always enjoy the great folks there-and the great bar b que!”

Other entertainers on the show will include Rance Norton, Kimberley Murray, Jimmy Depoy, Leslee Boehm, Landon Dodd, Ben Watson, Sammy Geistweidt, Shane Lively, Don Ricketson and Bucille Snotgrass. Tracy Pitcox will MC the shows.

“We are excited about Johnny’s show returning to the Llano Country Opry,” MC Tracy Pitcox said. “He is a great talent and always does a great job for us.”

For more information about the Llano or Mason Country Opry shows, log on to www.heartoftexascountry.com.

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