Johnny's love affair with music began in Sabinal, Texas where he was born December 10, 1951, the ninth of ten children in a boisterous Mexican-Irish household. "My parents favored Latin music; my older brothers preferred country; my friends were into rock and roll, I loved it all." At 16 Johnny formed his first band, 'The Spocks' "named after Mr. Spock on Star Trek" while still in high school. He arrived in Nashville in 1971 with $14.00 in his pocket. "I couldn't even afford a case for my guitar, so I carried it wrapped in a plastic bag." Two weeks later he was playing lead guitar in Tom T. Hall's band. After signing his first recording contract in 1972, he recorded 11 consecutive #1 singles, becoming a country music super star before his 22nd birthday. In 1979 he recorded for CBS Epic and spent approximately 125 days a year on the road with his band, The Hole In The Wall Gang, traveling to concerts throughout the country in his custom designed bus. His home was a 27 acre farm 12 miles from Nashville where he lived as a bachelor in a 100 year old log cabin surrounded by woods and wildlife. Johnny achieved a Black Belt in TAE KWON DO for health and escape.
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Native of Sabinal, TX., Rodriguez was approached 24 years ago by Ed Low, director of the Life Enrichment center, to host a fund-raising telethon. "The enrichment center was started by private citizens due to the unavailable government subsidy to benefit handicapped youth in the southwest Texas area," Low said. "We approached Johnny because we wanted someone who felt something for the citizens of the area, who would work his heart out for the charity. We knew Johnny to be such a person." Rodriguez, who has not forgotten his early background, said "I have been really fortunate in my life, and I just feel as though I have to give something back. Helping Mexican-American children and people who are less fortunate is my way of doing this." (The previous paragraph is a quote CASHBOX
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