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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Delia Gonzales

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(27 pages)

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Recording artist Delia Gonzales was born and raised in Crystal City, Texas. She started as lead singer with her multicultural band, Culturas, in 1993 in San Antonio, along with African American male vocalist Dee Burleson. After Dee Burleson left the group in 1995, the band became Delia y Culturas and landed a recording contract with Capital EMI Records. In 1998, Delia y Culturas performed for President Clinton on his visit to San Antonio, Texas. By 2008, Delia had ceased performing with the band because of health problems and underwent a kidney transplant that same year at the age of 45. Already married to band member Carlos Silvas at the time of the interview, she most recently preferred to go by Delia Gonzales-Silvas, and since her surgery, she has chosen to study nursing and to raise funds for victims of kidney disease. The band was recognized by the Tejano Music Awards as "Most Promising Band of the Year" in 1993 and as "Show Band of the Year" in 1995.

Interview Summary:

Delia Gonzales begins with the departure of African American singer, Dee Burleson, from her band, Culturas, and discusses the band's contract responsibilities with Manny (R.) Guerra's company, Manny Music (later Amen, Inc.). She explains the group's new contract with Capital EMI records (EMI Records Ltd.) and describes her family's assistance in managing and marketing the group. She mentions the recognition the group received at the Tejano Music Awards and refers to an upcoming appearance for the Pura Vida awards. She recalls a conversation with Mexican American singer Selena, talks about female Tejano music vocalists Laura Canales and Elsa García, and comments on Hispanic American music artist Gloria Estefan. She addresses the hardship of touring with the group and shares her responses to questions from the audience. Her husband, Carlos Silvas, speaks briefly during the interview, however, he is misidentified in the transcript as "Mr. Gonzales."

Locations of residence or activity:

San Antonio

Interview Date: