Selena y Los Dinos (English: Selena and the Guys) was the band in which Grammy-Award-winning Tejano music singer Selena performed, until her death on March 31, 1995. Selena fronted the band since 1980, started by her father Abraham Quintanilla, Jr.. When Selena was signed with EMI Latin, EMI president Jose Behar told Selena that the world wanted Selena, not Los Dinos. Selena then began releasing her studio albums under her own logo title Selena and not Selena y Los Dinos. Before Selena was signed with EMI, the band had sold more than 80,000 copies in the state of Texas alone, with the Tejano labels GP, Cara Records, Manny, and Freddie Records before 1989.

Band history

Beginnings (1957-1982):

From 1957 to 1971, Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla, Jr. had played with Los Dinos. Selena joined the family band in 1979, and they turned professional two years later. Selena not only sang in some concerts that her father arranged, but she also sang in school whenever she was asked. Selena's father discovered her amazing voice, and spread musical talents (which he pursued himself in his earlier days) among his two other children: Abraham III (A.B.), was put on the bass guitar, and Suzette, was put on drums. The family first showcased their band on street corners, at quinceañeras, and at other family gatherings until Selena's father opened up a much-needed Mexican restaurant in Lake Jackson, Texas called Papágayos (English: Parrots) in 1981. While her parents took care of the restaurant, Selena and her siblings entertained the diners. However, the restaurant began to lose its customers when the recession of 1982 hit south Texas and the restaurant was forced into foreclosure. Soon after the restaurant's closure, the family moved their musical aspirations to Corpus Christi, Texas. There, Selena began to gain popularity and respect as a child singer.

Within a year, the family's restaurant went bankrupt and the family was forced to move in with relatives, as Abraham had quit his job to manage the restaurant full-time. The band then performed wherever they could, including weddings, street corners, fairs, and Quinceañeras. At some places, the band began to gain a lot of appreciation, while at other performances, where Mexican-Americans were not accepted, it began to be booed. On one occasion while performing at a wedding, the band was booed and then food was thrown on stage.

Mainstream success (1982-1988):

In 1982, a small local record company, Freddie Records, began to impel Selena y Los Dinos for their first record. By 1983, promotional singles from their yet-to-be first album were being sold in local stores; record and single sales were not documented when this happened. Selena y Los Dinos began to perform in more local Texas clubs and fairs as their names began to spread around Texas. As a result, Freddie Records released the band's very first record entitled Selena y Los Dinos in 1984. When the album was completed, the president and owner of Freddie Records told Abraham that his band, Selena y Los Dinos, were not professionally ready to record and release a full length album. Undeterred, Abraham dropped the record deal with Freddie Records and walked out. While still under the record deal, Selena's father came upon another small local Texas record company called Cara Records. The rumored album The New Girl in Town was never sold in stores, but singles from Cara Records were sold separately and promotionally around the state of Texas. In 1986, GP Productions, which discovered Selena y Los Dinos performing, signed the group for a yearly record contract. Selena y Los Dinos were in the recording studio soon after the agreement. That same year, Selena y Los Dinos recorded their first full-length album Alpha (A in the Greek alphabet), which was the first album to be released without legal actions or threats.

In 1987, Munequito De Trapo (Rag Doll) was released and an increase in sales began to spread the news about the band, which was promoted and showcased in the Tejano Music Awards,. Selena won best "Female Vocalist of The Year", which she then won eight consecutive times. The band as well received and won awards separately. In 1987, Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., who was proud of the band's winnings and awards, released And The Winner Is... and made Selena sing more Tejano and Mexican songs which followed their roots in order to gain more recognition in the Tejano world. In 1988, Selena y Los Dinos released Preciosa (Precious), a nickname that was given to Selena as a child, which sold 20,000 units in Texas alone. No other record or single sales were ever documented outside the U.S. By 1988, Selena's albums began to sell 20,000 units apiece. Selena y Los Dinos' last independent studio album was released in 1988 under the title Dulce Amor (Sweet Love). The album helped Selena to be noticed during the 1989 Tejano Music Awards by Jose Behar, who had just opened the Latin division of EMI Records; EMI Latin. Jose Behar recalled seeing Selena perform and the whole place "blew up" from so much excitement and enthusiasm emanating from the charismatic Selena. Soon after her performance, Behar signed Selena as a solo artist. Selena began releasing her albums with her new logo titled after her name, while the band Los Dinos wase still beside Selena in concerts.

Chris Pérez (1988-1995):

Selena's brother A.B. met Chris Pérez in 1988 and they became fast friends. When one of the guitar players for the band would get married and leave, Abraham Quintanilla Jr. would let out an open call for anyone in the state of Texas who was willing to participate with them and tour along side with the band. Chris Pérez was interviewed and gave his all when he performed for one of the open calls at Abraham Quintanilla, Jr.'s house. A.B., who had told Chris to come over, was confronted by his father, Abraham, who did not like the energy and image of Chris Pérez, who at the time, had his own Rock band that played entirely in the English-language. But, A.B. told his father that Pérez would learn the music quickly, which convinced Mr. Quintanilla to hire Pérez as the band's new lead guitarist. Although Pérez accepted, his addition to the band proved to be much more than anticipated. Selena and Chris quickly fell in love, but Selena's father, who wanted to keep the band's image clean-cut, only found envy in Pérez. Selena's father confronted Pérez and Selena and told them that the relationship was over or the band would break up. Pérez then quit, while Selena was forced to stay. Their love for each other only grew while they were apart. Chris and Selena were secretly married and Selena conjoined Chris's last name onto hers on April 2, 1992, and tried to hide the marriage from Mr. Quintanilla and the rest of the family. However, word quickly spread to radio stations and newcasts. Mr. Quintanilla later accepted Pérez into the family and he then re-joined the band. Soon after Selena's tragic death, Chris Pérez formed a band called the Chris Pérez Band and he dedicated a song to Selena called "The Best I Can". After the band broke up in 2002, he formed another band with Selena's brother A.B. called Kumbia All Starz. A.B. is now remembering her by using her names in his songs.

The Reunion: Selena ¡Vive! (2005):

The surviving band members reunited for an historic massive tribute concert in honor of Selena on April 7, 2005. The concert, Selena ¡VIVE!, was held at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.The event not only sold out, but it became the highest-rated and most viewed Spanish-language TV special ever. In attendance were Gloria Estefan, Kumbia Kings, and an introduction by Jennifer Lopez, who portrayed Selena in the film made about her life. Suzette Quintanilla, the former drum player for Selena y Los Dinos, announced that the band Los Dinos were reuniting to record a new song for A.B. Quintanilla's group Kumbia All Starz with surprise guest recording artists on the album La Vida De Un Genio.

Band members

Selena (deceased) - lead singer,

Chris Pérez - lead & rhythm guitars (1989-1995),

Ricky Vela - keyboards,

Joe Ojeda - keyboards,

A.B. Quintanilla - bass, backing vocals,

Suzette Quintanilla - drums, percussion, backing vocals,

Jesse "O'Jay" Martinez- drums, percussion,

Arturo Meza - percussion, congas,

Pete Astudillo - backing vocals,

Don Shelton - backing vocals,

Freddy Correa - backing vocals