Little Joe Y La Familia
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Little Joe Y La Familia

Band Latin World


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The best kept secret in music


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Little Joe & La Familia has been one of the most popular Tex-Mex bands in the music industry. Little Joe has been entertaining more than 40 years and has been described as the "KING OF THE BROWN SOUND". He has also helped pioneer "Tejano" music, a mix of traditional "norteno" music and country, blues, and rock styles.

Jose Maria DeLeon Hernandez "Little Joe" was born to Salvador "La Cotorra" Hernandez and Amelia DeLeon Hernandez in a three wall dirt floor car garage in Temple, Texas on a cold stormy night on October 17, 1940. He was the 7th child of 13. In 1953, Joe's cousin, David Coronado, who fronted the band "David Coronado & The Latinaires" recruited Joe for guitar, Cino Moreno on drums, and Tony Matamoros on saxophone to join his band.

In 1955, Joe would play his first musical performance in Cameron, Texas for $5.00 at a high school Sock Hop. He was so excited, he realized that picking guitars beat cotton picking and he could actually get paid for it. In 1958, Joe would make his recording debut as a guitarist for Terro Records in Corpus Christi, Texas, an instrumental single "Safari part 1 and 2"which was composed by all members of the Latinaires. David Coronado was leaving. Joe took over the band renaming it "Little Joe & The Latinaires".

In 1964, Jesse was killed in an automobile accident. Joe then made a vow at Jesse's gravesite to carry his music to the top, not realizing how high his music would take him, how it would open many doors for other artists or how he would set many trends.

In the 60's, Joe would sign with the Texas based independent record companies, starting with his 1st record deal, Corona Records in San Antonio, next Valmon records in Austin, and later Zarape Records in Dallas. Joe ventured into his own independent label "Buena Suerte Records" for Spanish recordings and "Good luck Records" for his English records. Also to follow would be Leona Records, a label also owned by Joe and a distribution deal with Freddy Records in Corpus Christi, Texas which would keep Joe independent through the 70's and 80's.

In 1970, after playing and spending much time in San Francisco and the bay area, Joe discovered "Latinismo," a strong Latin musical world which was not found in Texas at that time. It had profound change in his music and his cultural values which prompted him to change the name of his band from The Latinaires to "La Familia." Joe wanted more knowledge on his heritage and his roots.

While with Sony Discos, he would be a 2 time Grammy nominee, and in 1992 would receive the GRAMMY AWARD for "Dies y Seis De Septiembre" for the BEST MEXICAN-AMERICAN PERFORMANCE CATEGORY in 1991. Part of his vow to Jesse would be fulfilled.

In 1983, Joe signed his first major record deal with WEA International. After leaving WEA, Joe would once again go independent and form "Redneck Records" where he recorded the live Double Album"25 Silver Anniversary" in 1985. This album was placed with CBS which later became Sony Discos International. After leaving Sony the following year, going independent again, Joe would receive his 3rd Grammy nomination for his 1st recording "Que Paso" under his record label, Tejano Discos International.

In 1996, Joe would appear on the 1997 Grammy nominated album, "Frank Yanovich and Friends, Songs of the Polka King, Vol. 1 in which he performed a duet with Frank Yanovich on the song "Just Because/Si Porque". Currently, Joe has signed a co-venture deal with his company, "DeLeon Publishing" and "Peer Music Limited Publishing" in an effort to bring a major publishing outlet for Texas songwriters, extending publishing work to 33 countries.

Recently, Joe signed with Capitol EMI. His 1st recording became a Grammy Nominated album entitled Little Joe 2000. Aside from his music career, Joe has worked in the film industry starring in two feature films, Proposition187, A deadly Law, and "Down for the Barrio." Forty Years......and over 50 albums later, Joe is touring the world, trailblazing, looking forward to new challenges, breaking down cultural and musical barriers and innovating his musical style. As always, Joe strives to bring many people together to make a more peaceful and harmonious world.