Ruben Ramos, Texmaniacs Win Big

Primetime Tejano TV Awards results

Ruben Ramos, Texmaniacs Win Big

The H&H Ballroom on Brandt Road off Slaughter Lane and IH-35 isn’t on the must-see list of club goers who traditionally head to Sixth Street. To Austin’s Latino and Hispanic community, however, it's like Stubb’s, the place for touring and hot-draw local acts.

I’m no old hand at hanging out at the H&H – my first time there was this summer for the Steve Jordan Tribute – but I really dug its low-tech feel. A nondescript white metal shed on the outside, the interior reflects the dancehall tradition across Texas much like the Broken Spoke, where customers are considered more important than fancy decorations and valet parking. The enormous venue is clearly designed for its patrons’ entertainment: large stage on one end of the rectangle, bar and snacks on the other. In the middle is a dancefloor with tables and chairs lining either side. Its spare design reminded me that this venue served one purpose: to accommodate people who want to hear music and dance.

Last Sunday, the H&H was the setting for the Primetime Tejano TV Awards presented by Prime Tejano TV, seen Saturday mornings on Channel 16. This ceremony isn’t like the endless categories of the Austin Music Awards, nor are they voted upon by the public, yet the impact is incalculable.

“The awards are based on what the artist did for that year,” explains Jerry Avila, awards organizer and producer of Primetime Tejano. “I look at accomplishments and contributions the artist made in Tejano music.”

Avila’s decision to present the awards in such a manner gives them a personal feel, and this year’s winners represented a broad range of local and regional talent. Eight award categories were presented along with two special presentations. San Antonio Chicano soul legend Sunny Ozuna received a proclamation from the City of Austin. Councilman Mike Martinez presented it to Ozuna in honor of his 50th anniversary in music. Ozuna and his bands the Sunglows and the Sunliners are best known for their slow dance hit “Talk to Me.”

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to bassist Speedy Villanueva for his years of performing. Villanueva is a veteran of conjunto and Tejano bands across Texas, mostly notably La Mafia. Today, he holds down the bottom line for Max Baca in Los TexManiacs, one of the best new breed of young Mexican bands. Baca and his band were also big winners as Showband of the Year; the other big winner was longtime Austin favorite Ruben Ramos who took home three awards including Entertainer of the Year.

2007-2008 Primetime Tejano TV Award Winners

Male Vocalist of the Year, Little Joe Hernandez
Female Vocalist of the Year, Elida Reyna
Album/CD of the Year, 35th Anniversary, Ruben Ramos
Conjunto CD of the Year, En Vivo, Michael Salgado
New Artist of the Year, Tex Mex Kadillaks
Showband of the Year, Los TexManiacs
Austin Artist of the Year, Ruben Ramos
Entertainer of the Year, Ruben Ramos

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