This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll go on the air with a pioneer in Spanish-language radio.
On March 17, 1966, KEDA-AM began broadcasting in San Antonio. The station was the brainchild of Manuel Gonzales Davila, Sr. Since the 1920s, Davila had been buying air time on San Antonio’s English-language stations in order to offer limited programming in Spanish. The 1966 launch of KEDA gave him the chance to provide a full-time Spanish-language format. Soon he was managing a group of popular Spanish-language stations that came to be known as the “Jalapeño Network.” Through his radio stations, Davila helped promote several generations of Texas-Mexican artists, from Narciso Martínez and Santiago Jiménez, Sr., to Selena and Emilio.
Manuel Davila died in 1997, but his family continued operating KEDA until Claro Communications purchased it in 2011. Davila’s son Ricky, “The Wolfman Jack of San Antonio,” signed off for the last time on July 29, 2011.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet the crown prince of Dallas fiddlers.