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Ricky Smith, the ‘King of Tejano Guitar’, passes away at 64

The Tejano ROOTS Hall of Famer passed away on September 3 at age of 64.

Photo: Facebook / Ricky Smith La Movida

Sad news as we learn of the passing of another Tejano music legend in 2020. Ricky Smith, known as the “King of Tejano Guitar,” passed away on Sept. 3. He was 64.


Details of the Tejano ROOTS Hall of Famer’s passing were not immediately known.

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1955, Smith formed his first band, Ricky and The Dreamers, while in the seventh grade. He was a part of few Tejano bands during the 1970s, including one of the hottest bands in the Tejano music scene, El Grupo Mayo, recording five albums.

Ricky Smith eventually formed La Movida in 1979, recording 13 albums, establishing himself as one of the greatest guitarists and performers in one of the most popular bands in Tejano music.

He later formed his owned record label, Valencia Records, while living in Detroit, Michigan, producing many projects. Smith also worked as a radio station program director at WNZA and music journalist for publications in the Midwest and Texas.

From 2007 to 2009, Smith completed the albums Rey de la Guitarra Tejano and God Me Guitar del Corazon.

Tejano Nation remembers Ricky Smith, the “King of Tejano Guitar.”

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5 comments on “Ricky Smith, the ‘King of Tejano Guitar’, passes away at 64

  1. verozava80

    My heartfelt condolences to Ricky Smith family and close friends and group La Movida on this sudden loss .my husband is and will always be a fan of his music he has been listening to Ricky Smith’s and La movida for such a long time that when I got married to him he was always listening to his music that I grew into listening as well may he rest in paradise with all the great tejano legends from Veronica Zavala 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🕯🕯


  2. R.I.P! La Movida rocked! Still listen to your music!


  3. veronica10459

    Our Angel got his wings now he will fly high and rock 🎸 . You will be missed but never forgotten you are in our 💕. Love you Tio Ricky , Thank you for given us wonderful memories .



    From ’81 to ’84, I was in Texas Southern University Law School in Houston Texas. This music got me through. To this day I do not forget…the spirit and soul of Chicano music. May he rest in peace.


  5. Met Ricky in Dallas at Chicano Productions Studio in late 1985. He was looking for a Bass player to join the band to go on tour with him. I said yes and had the honor for 2 years of playing with La Movida until late 1988 in Detroit. I came back to La ONDA Tejano scene because of him and his original style of music. It also got me inducted into the Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame with him and drummer Joe Ortiz. It was one of the most remembered 2 years of my 7 tours I did in my music adventure life. My deepest condolences to his family. I’m sad to hear he passed on, and will never forget our good times on the road. R.I.P. ~ Ricky….. your music will live on my web site ~ Paul(gizzmow)Martinez


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