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Eloy Perez Family Papers

Identifier:  MSS 0191

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of postcards, photographs, programs, and newspaper clippings of Eloy Perez and his band playing at various events. These materials were originally housed within a photo album but removed for preservation. Additionally, there are Xerox copies of school records belonging to Sofia and Maggie Salcido, respectively, from the Perez school dating from 1929 to 1933. An interesting find in this collection is a copy of an official Army memorandum granting PFC Felipe Perez permission to mail home one Japanese Hari-Kari knife and one piece of Blitz Cloth as captured material trophies dated 1944. There is also a Primos Syndicated Productions Incorporated (PSPI) program announcing La Junta Grande concert in 1975 which included the following bands and artists: Luis Ramirez and the Latin Express, Tony Tops with Chicano Country, Jimmy Edwards and the Latin Breed, and La Familia. Lastly, there is a family history of the Perez family written by Alice P. Moreno in 1981 accompanied by a City of Houston Resolution mandating the Houston Metropolitan Research Center preserve the history of Sixto Perez and family.

View digitized collection on the Houston Public Library Digital Archive


  • 1921 - 1981

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Eloy Perez Family Papers must be obtained from the Houston History Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Eloy Nuñez Pérez was a Mexican American musician whose bands were at the forefront of the Mexican American orchestra/big band scene in Houston during the 1950s and 1960s. The band Eloy Pérez and the Latinaires was established in 1949 and later renamed Eloy Pérez y Sus Latinos in the 1960s. His groups performed extensively at quinceañeras, weddings, important holiday and social events, and community benefits. The youngest of four brothers in the original orchestra developed after the war, Eloy Perez toured across Texas and the Southwest.

Pérez was born December 2, 1923, in Bastrop, Texas, to Tranquilino Pérez and Caroline Nuñez. His grandfather founded a school for Mexican Americans in Bastrop County. As a teenager Pérez played banjo, guitar, trombone, and saxophone and joined one of his brothers in a band. The family moved to Rosenberg, Texas, in 1937 and then in 1944 to Houston, where Eloy joined a country western band.

His older brothers—Felipe, Sixto, and Locaido—were mainstays in the band and his groups created over 100 studio recordings. In 1955 they recorded the hit “El Cha Cha Cha de Eloy,” which helped solidify the band’s popularity. He is credited with composing more than 200 songs, including the 1960s “Cuidadito Cuidadito,” which was later covered by Little Joe y La Familia.

Pérez’s primary instrument was the saxophone. One Houston article referred to him as the “Glenn Miller of Latin American hepsters.” Eloy’s recordings were used in the renowned band program of that era at Jeff Davis High School (now called Northside High School). Pérez died in Houston on March 19, 1996. He was inducted into the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame (Alice, Texas) in 2007.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection has been arranged into 8 folders. Materials originally housed within a photo album were removed by a previous archivist for preservation purposes.

Related Materials

Interviews with the Perez family are available on the Houston Public Library Digital Archive. See OH 0330, OH 0344, OH 0300.

Processing Information

Processed by Mikaela Selley.

Eloy Perez Family Papers
Mikaela Selley
June 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houston History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002