Manuel "Cowboy" Donley is the Grandfather of true Texas Tejano! Manuel Donley led a big band Latin orchestra in the 1950s and picked up his nickname by stepping out from behind the podium and carrying his guitar to the front of the stage like the cowboys.
Adios Chiquita is his first album on CD and the only in print recording from his long career.
Donley's career put him of the cover of a lot of magazines this year. For pure Texas Tejano fans, Adios Chiquita is a must have. His early 60s hit, "Flor Del Rio" was so popular that many parents named their daughters Flor. He returned to recording after a 20 year absence with his core band, Las Estrellas, still with him. According to Joe Nick Patoski, writing in the Texas Monthly, "The delay was worth it, since Donley serves up a spicy, thoroughly danceable combo platter of rancheras, waltzes, boleros, and ballads."
Reviewer David Lynch commented that, "Adios Chiquita showcases the dying art of complex and melodic horn harmonies that define Tejano music, a genre developed and perfected by the Tejano Triumvirate of Ruben Ramos, Little Joe, and Cowboy Donley."
In the 50s and 60s, Donley played on 6th Street, along with other musicians producing what he called, " songs, beautiful songs, and good, heavy, original sounds." Now he is greeted there as "Maestro" by those who remember when 6th Street was Mexican. Donley formed Los Heartbreakers, the first Mexican-American band to play rock & roll and rhythm & blues in Austin. In 1955 he formed his own orchestra, Las Estrellas, to play the orchestra music of the 1940s that he loved
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