They used to call him "El Si Señor" because he had a habit of shouting "Si señor!" between numbers by his spirited band of drums, accordion, bass, and the simultaneously chiming and thumping bajo sexto. His good looks and charming smile also won him the moniker of the Clark Gable of conjunto. And in general, this accordion player, whose fingers never seemed to stop moving when he was taking a solo, lived a charmed, if a bit too short, life. In a music that seems sustained by traditions being passed on from generation to generation within a family, it should be no surprise that the Naranjo name lives on in Texas music, or that at the age of 16, one Ruben Naranjo III was already gigging on accordion in the tradition of his legendary uncle. Sixteen? Small potatoes. The senior Ruben Naranjo himself began at 14, and in dancehalls, no less.
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