Hank Ayala & The Matadors (2)
Manuel Pena, Hank Ayala and Eddie Ramirez
Hank Ayala & The Matadors (2) (Weslaco, Texas)
Hank Ayala (Lead / High Tenor)
Manuel Pena (High Tenor)
Eddie Ramirez (Second Tenor)
1960 - Betty Jo / Handsome (Backbeat 530)
Hank Ayala was born and raised in the coastal plain town of Weslaco Texas. Hank discovered in Junior High that he had definite musical ability and as was common in those days, formed a singing group. Originally, the group had seven members, but they whittled it down to three. While singing at a local hop, radio DJ Bobby Dixon approached them with the idea of singing locally with his connections.
The group eventually cut a record on the Houston based Backbeat label, and were fortunate to have Bobby Doyle and Kenny Rogers play on the session.They enjoyed it so much, they actually played several gigs with the Matadors in the surrounding area. Once the record was released, they actually played it over the intercom at the Matadors school - Weslaco High School.
Hank Ayala, Manuel Pena and Eddie Ramirez
The record did very well locally, but did not catch on nationally. They didn't really have an effective manager, and that was a stumbling block to their career. The group broke up as they finished high school. Eddie Ramirez Went into the air Force and Manuel Pena went off to college. Hank was left on his own, and did some solo work and assembled a group, but did not continue with it for long.
Betty Jo Handsome
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