17 May 1929, Bishop, Texas, USA, d. 16 August 2004, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA. Born into a Mexican-American family (López was half-Mescalera Apache, which led to his nickname, El Indio), he took up the alto saxophone and in his teens and early twenties played in a number of bands in the south-western states, appearing on many recordings by various artists. His professional career was successful, if hidden in the studios, but it was at one such studio session in the early 50s that he stepped in to the breach when the designated singer failed to appear. His singing was of a very high standard and thereafter he sang frequently, making records with Juan Colorado, Conjunto Ideal and others.
The combination of Lópezs liquid saxophone and intensely romantic singing proved to be very popular and in 1956 he formed his own band. Concentrating on authentic Mexican music, López developed a following and as his popularity grew...