Accordionist/singer Raul "El Ruco" Martinez was one of the early conjunto recording artists, making records for the Falcon and Ideal labels in the late 1940s and 1950s, often as part of Dueto Alegre, with bajo sexto player and vocalist Juan Gonzalez. Martinez, a nephew of the more renowned conjunto accordionist Narciso Martinez, was taught how to play by his father, Santos Martinez, around the age of five. He met Gonzalez in Harlingen, TX in 1947, and the pair formed Dueto Alegre. The partnership broke up in 1954, with Gonzalez going on to play with other groups, as well as recording with Flaco Jimenez and other acts. Martinez made some solo records in the 1950s and 1960s. He died in 1978.
by Richie Unterberger