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Grammy winner Flaco Jimenez's album placed in National Recording Registry

His work is the only recording by a Latino artist added to the registry this year.
Image: The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Special Merit Awards Ceremony
From left, honoree Flaco Jimenez and Christine Albert attend The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Special Merit Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, on Feb. 7, 2015.Frazer Harrison / WireImage file

SAN ANTONIO — The album “Partners” by six-time Grammy winner Flaco Jiménez has been added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. 

Jiménez, 82, whose real name is Leonardo, is best known nationally as a member of the Texas Tornados, who performed the song “Hey Baby, Que Pasó?”

Jimenez’s 1992 album is one of 25 new recordings added to the collection that preserves audio recordings based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance.

"People used to regard my music as cantina music, just no respect," he 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."

The album is a collaboration with other musicians, including Los Lobos and Linda Ronstadt and others.

Jiménez, who is Mexican American, mostly performs conjunto, a genre that relies heavily on the accordion and bajo sexto, which is in the guitar family.

Image: Flaco Jimenez
Accordionist and Conjunto and Tejano music legend Flaco Jimenez. The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner has played with the likes of B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and many others.Guillermina Zabala

But Jiménez has performed across many musical genres and with a variety of musicians, including Doug Sahm, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Dwight Yoakam, among 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.”

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, including Jiménez's.

The registry includes recordings by the artists 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.

In 2012, he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship.

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