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Jesus Perales

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PERALES
Jesus "Chucho" Perales, a pioneering rock 'n' roll and conjunto musician, died at home Sunday, 6-8-14, morning. He was 78. He was born 12-25-35 in San Antonio,TX. He is preceded in death by his parents, Enrique and Maria de Jesus Perales, sons Jesse Jr. and Michael Perales and brother Henry Perales. He is survived by his wife Raquel Guerra Perales, sons Armando (Dorothy) Salas, Jerry (Debbie) Perales, James (Sue) Fairley, John (Mimi) Fairley, Ernest and Vincent Perales, daughters Jeanette (Michael) Buecher and Lori Guevara, sisters and brothers Cruz (William) Chebahtah, Maria "Janie" (Robert G.) Rodriguez, Lile Alaniz, Joe (Ruth) Perales, Robert (Cynthia), and-in-laws Ernesto (Mary) Guerra, Jr., Ray (Lupe) Gonzales, Ruby (Floyd) Contreras, Rosie (Ronnie) Veselka and Dahlia (Luis) Fernandez, 13 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
Chucho was a master of the guitar and bajo sexto and was a founding member of one of the earliest Chicano rock 'n' roll bands, Mando & the Chili Peppers. He shared stages with Ritchie Valens, the Champs, Johnny Otis and Duane Eddy.
Mando & the Chili Peppers mixed elements of rock 'n' roll, conjunto, polkas and swamp pop. In the late 1950s, the Chili Peppers became the first Chicano band to play "American Bandstand." The young band toured the U.S. and played on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Chili Peppers' 1958 vinyl album "On the Road with Rock 'N Roll" is a collector's item. It produced a Billboard hit, "South of the Border."
Known for his humor and wit, the down-to-earth musician never forgot his humble roots or his first guitar, a Gene Autry model given to him when he was 8 by Alamo Music founder Alfred Flores Sr. At age 10, he was singing on the radio accompanying himself on his prized Regal 12-string guitar. Two years later he was playing bajo sexto with conjunto legend Valerio Longoria.
Perales was the only teenage rock 'n' roller with a Gibson Les Paul Jr. electric guitar and a double-neck bajo sexto.
In later years, Perales returned to conjunto music and taught bajo sexto for decades at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Conjunto Heritage Taller and Palo Alto College.
Visitation will be from 1-9 pm with a prayer service at 7 pm on Thursday, June 12, 2014, at Ortiz Mortuary. The church service will be at 9:30 am on Friday, June 13, 2014 at the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints where we will follow to the burial site at San Jose Burial Park.
The family would like to thank Belinda and Cindy with Amedisys Hospice Service.
Published in Express-News on June 11, 2014
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