The Tejano community is mourning the loss of Juanita “Janie” Esparza, the owner of the iconic Janie’s Record Shop in San Antonio after the 94-year-old passed away on Wednesday (Sept. 1).
Her family shared the news via a social media post, “It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of our mother Juanita “JANIE” Esparza. Momma passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her children, the outpouring of love and messages truly show how many lives our mother touched. Her love of life and music will live on.”
For 36 years Janie’s Record Shop on the northwest side of San Antonio on Bandera Road has been a cozy store filled with unique and hard-to-find LPs, 45s, cassettes, and CDs of all genres. She has not only helped countless customers in search of a treasured song or an album but has served as a trusted, well-known resource in the Tejano and Conjunto music communities.
Janie is considered a pioneer in Tejano music and has been inducted in many halls of fame including including the 2003 National Hispanic Hall of Fame, 2011 Tejano Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012 Narciso Martinez Conjunto Hall of Fame, and 2015 South Texas Association Conjunto Hall of Fame.
Many Tejano and Conjunto stars took to social media to honor Janie Esparza after news of her passing.
Tejano Hall of Famer Shelly Lares said: “I want to send my love and condolences to Janies family. Janie of Janies record shop will always be such a BIG PART of Tejano Music history. She was not only a beautiful soul she knew almost every single song and artist! Thank you Janie for the wonderful memories, love and support. May you rejoice in peace.”
Tejano icon Gary Hobbs said: “Rest In Peace Janie Esparza from Janie’s Record Shop in San Antonio, Texas. A very humble person. I don’t think she ever realized how important she was to our industry. Thank you Janie for everything you did for our industry. Our condolences to her family and relatives. God grant the family peace and comfort.”
Coujnunto legend Linda Escobar said: “I loved Ms. Janie SO much!!!!! So did everyone whoever knew her! Therefore, she is going to be deeply missed by SO many! Janie Esparza was an ICON!!!! I will always recall her beautiful smile!!!There was not a music question that she couldn’t answer. She knew all the history! I do know that our Father God welcomed her into His kingdom with open arms! She is now conversing with all the music legends jn Heaven! Janie, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!! Que descanse en Paz una GRAN Señora!!! My deepest heartfelt condolences to all her precious family.”
Tejano legend Ruben Ramos said: “We send our sincere condolences to the family of Janie Esparza in the loss of such a beautiful soul. Thank you Ms Janie for your many years of dedicated support to the Tejano industry, because of your support many of us Artist were able to connect with our fans. May you rest in Eternal Peace.”
Up until a few months ago, Janie would offer a personal, friendly customer service experience at Janie’s Record Shop, often with a few words of wisdom. She could no longer maintain her vigourours full-time work schedule due to her declining health. Her memory will always fill every inch of the store.
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