During the 1980s, Texas-based music journalist Ramón Hernández had a unique perspective when Selena Quintanilla came onto the Tejano scene as a teenager. He was her publicist from 1984-1989. The position included the responsibility of taking all her official photos.
“No one knew what a headshot was back then,” Hernández, 80 years old, told Remezcla. “I would ask, ‘Do you have your headshots?’ and musicians would be like, ‘What’s that?’”
Not only was Hernández Selena’s publicist, but he also worked as a freelance writer and photographer for newspapers around Texas. On November 8, 1985, Hernández wrote an article about Selena for the San Antonio Express-News. It was the first news article written on Selena for a major publication. Hernández admits he didn’t tell the newspaper he was Selena’s publicist.
“Me and [Selena’s father] Abraham kept tabs on all the coverage of Selena,” Hernández said. “There was nobody writing about Tejanos at the time, even in Texas. They would only cover Mexican artists who came through town like Vincente Fernández.”
The title of Hernández article was “Los Dinos’ 2nd Generation.” He wrote about Selena and Los Dinos making a stop at a local park in San Antonio for a concert and reminded people that before Selena was born, the band was a top vocal group in Texas in the late 1950s and through the 1960s. Selena’s father was a member of the band during that time.
“Now, offspring of Los Dinos members have taken their parents’ group name for themselves and they’re better than ever,” Hernández wrote.
In the article, he described a 14-year-old Selena as a “5-foot-4-inch powerhouse of energy who is developing a loyal following throughout the state.”
Hernández asked Selena how she feels when a concert she is going to perform doesn’t have a good turnout. “I view it as an opportunity to reach out, prove ourselves and give them a good time,” Selena says. “I guess we’re really addicted to the public because when you get more than five persons together–you’re creating something.”
Spending time with the Quintanilla family is a part of Hernández’s career that he will never forget. “Selena was just a little girl at the time,” he said. “She had no fame. My thing has always been about introducing new people to the public, so that’s what I did.”