Conjunto pioneer Henry Zimmerle passes away at 79

The Conjunto pioneer recorded 101 album in a career that spanned over 50 years.

Henry Zimmerle | Courtesy photo

Conjunto pioneer and music legend Henry Zimmerle passed away on Tuesday (Nov. 26) in San Antonio, Texas. He was 79.


The news of his passing was announced by Zimmerle’s son, Henry Zimmerle III, via social media, “It is in my deepest sadness to announce that my father, Henry Zimmerle, has gained his wings to be with our Lord.”

The Tejano Conjunto Hall of Famer was a singer, songwriter, bajo sexto player and a member of the famous Zimmerle family of musicians that included his father Henry, Sr, uncle Fred and cousin Nick Villareal. He recorded 101 albums in a career of over 50 years with legendary record labels such as Falcon, Tear Drop Records and Hacienda Records, just to name a few.

“His chart blowing songs he shared with all his fans, family and friends will always be remembered and heard,” his son added.

Legendary Conjunto singers and musicians took to social media to remember the music legend. Singer Linda Escobar wrote, “We lost another great among the greats. Thank you Don Henry for your beautiful music. We will never forget you. All my respect for you, Maestro!”

Legendary accordionist Flaco Jimenez said, “Another great pioneer of Conjunto and our long-time friend Henry Zimmerle has left us but our memories and his music will forever live.”

Zimmerle was born in San Antonio, Texas on June 17, 1940. He began playing music at the age of 8. Along with other great musicians of his era, he was instrumental in the evolution of Conjunto music. Using his knowledge of the bajo sexto and electric guitar, he could manipulate the electric guitar to sound like an electric bajo sexto creating a unique sound that would become his signature throughout his legendary career.

Funeral services for Zimmerle are scheduled for Dec. 8 – 9 in San Antonio, Texas. On Sunday, Dec. 8, there will be a visitation at Castillo Mission Funeral Home located at 520 North General McMullen from 4 to 9 p.m., with Rosary at 7 p.m. Then on Monday, Dec. 9, there will be a funeral Mass at 10 a.m at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, 1715 N. Zaramora Street, with burial to follow at San Fernando Cemetery II, 746 Castroville Road.

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