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An Inspiration of Joy and Latino Culture

Remembering Johnny Canales

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Johnny Canales, RIP. Original Photo by Roberto Hugo González. Corpus Christi Background Source; Terry Ross, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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By Roberto Hugo González

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – June 13, 2024 — The Latino music world mourns the loss of a true legend. Johnny Canales, the charismatic TV host, musician, and entertainer, passed away at the age of 77. His wife, Nora Canales, shared the heartbreaking news on the El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales Facebook page early this morning, expressing the deep sorrow felt by the family and the countless fans who admired him.

Johnny Canales was more than just a public figure; he was a beloved husband and father whose infectious charisma and dedication to promoting Latino music and culture left an indelible mark on the world. Nora’s heartfelt message reflected the immense love and admiration Johnny inspired in those who knew him personally and through his work.

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Johnny Canales in his spectacular tuxedo, looking ready for a wedding or quinceañera. This outfit was his personal trademark, connecting him with the audience of the Rio Grande Valley. I had the honor of directing Johnny for one day each month over a year. He always had a joke ready, making the experience fun and interesting. This photo, one of many I took, was used for newspaper ads to showcase merchandise. We had to manually cut the photo as Photoshop wasn’t available then. Original Photo by Roberto Hugo González.

“With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Johnny Canales. He was more than just a beloved husband, father, TV host, musician, and entertainer; he was a beacon of hope and joy for countless people. His infectious charisma and dedication to promoting Latino music and culture left a large mark on the world. Johnny’s spirit will continue to live on through the countless lives he touched and the legacy he built. We thank you all for your kind words, love, and support during this difficult time. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. Remember him not with sadness, but with the joy and passion he always brought into our lives,” Nora Canales shared in her emotional post.

A Legacy of Joy and Music

Johnny Canales’ influence in the Latino community spans over four decades, beginning with the debut of the Johnny Canales Show in 1983. The show, which later became El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales, was a cornerstone of Latino entertainment, showcasing a vibrant array of Tejano music and dance, and becoming a platform for many artists who would go on to achieve great fame.

Canales was known for his lively and engaging personality, which made his show a favorite among viewers. His catchphrase, “You got it, take it away,” became synonymous with his enthusiastic introductions of musical acts. The program not only entertained but also played a crucial role in the cultural promotion of Tejano and Latino music genres, helping to elevate the profiles of numerous artists.

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Celebrating a Life Well-Lived

While the loss of Johnny Canales is deeply felt, his legacy is celebrated with joy and gratitude. His dedication to spreading happiness through music and his efforts to uplift Latino culture remain enduring aspects of his life’s work. Johnny’s impact goes beyond entertainment; he was a cultural ambassador who brought people together through the universal language of music.

Fans and admirers are encouraged to remember Johnny not with sadness but with the same joy and passion he brought into every performance and appearance. His spirit lives on through the countless lives he touched, and his contributions to the music industry and Latino culture will continue to inspire future generations.

As the Canales family crosses this difficult time, they extend their gratitude for the outpouring of love and support. They ask for continued thoughts and prayers, and for Johnny to be remembered with the vibrancy and enthusiasm that defined his career.

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