Almost 40 years after he first arrived in Nashville, Johnny Rodriguez is right back where he started coming full circle back to making the kind of honest country music that he and his fans always enjoyed.
Born December 10, 1951, Johnny Rodriguez was the second youngest of 10children living in a four room house in Sabinal, Texas, a small town about 90 miles from the Mexico Border.
Growing up in Sabinal, Johnny was an A/B student, captain of his Junior High School Football team, a high school letterman and an altar boy at church. But it wasn’t all innocent. In 1969, caught with friends stealing and barbecuing a goat, Rodriguez took the rap. It was this jail visit that gave Johnny his first break.
His jail house singing enthralled Texas Ranger, Joaquin Jackson, who told a promoter about Rodriguez. The promoter, Happy Shahan, hired Johnny to perform at the Alamo Village, a popular south Texas tourist attraction and location of many well know movie sets. It was here that Johnny was heard by Nashville artists Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bare who both encouraged Johnny to fly to Nashville in 1971. 20-year old Rodriguez found himself stepping off the plane with nothing more than his guitar in hand and $14 in his pocket. Soon he was fronting Tom T. Hall’s Band and writing songs.
Less than year later, Hall took Johnny over to the office of Roy Dea and Jerry Kennedy, then record producers of Mercury’s Nashville operation, for an in person audition. Dea offered a contract on the spot after hearing “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “If I’d Left It Up To You”.
Fifteen of his singles rose to top ten, six of which were #1 hits. The first of the singles to reach number one was You Always come Back to Hurting Me”. The song raced through the country charts and put Johnny in the fast lane of the country music world. “You Always Come Back To Hurting Me” didn’t stop until it hit the top the first of 11 consecutive #1 records, some of which he wrote or co-wrote.