Texas music legend Flaco Jiménez received his official spot in U.S. history as the U.S. Library of Congress is adding his album “Partners” to the National Recording Registry, a collection of audio treasures that will be preserved forever because of their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance to the nation’s recorded sound history.
The 1992 bilingual album is a collaboration with other musicians including Los Lobos, Linda Ronstadt, Dwight Yoakum, Ry Cooder, and others.
“’Partners’ is a good example of how he’s a crossover,” said Maria Peña, a Library of Congress Hispanic media spokeswoman. “What’s great about this album is it shows his collaborations —not to mention that he’s got a career that spanned seven decades. This is a huge acknowledgement of his work.”
The National Recording Registry calls the 82-year-old accordionist “a champion of traditional Conjunto music and Tex-Mex culture who also is known for innovation and collaboration with a variety of artists.”
“People used to regard my music as cantina music, just no respect,” Jiménez said in an interview with the Library of Congress. “The accordion was considered something like a party joke … I really give respect to everyone who helped me out on this record and I’m flattered by this recognition.”
Jiménez’s recording is the only one by a Latino artist to be included in the registry this year.
The collection, which spans 143 years of music and was launched in 2002, now has 21 albums or recordings with Latino artists. The registry includes recordings by Selena, Santana, Richie Valens, Tito Puente, Lydia Mendoza, Carmen Miranda, Fania All-Stars and others.
The recognition is one of many that Jiménez has earned, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award and a Tejano Music Award.
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The performances and awards occur at the Mission Event Center in Mission, Texas on Sunday, October 9.
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