Quintanilla discusses the new book, parenting and business, and responds to criticism he and his family have faced over the years.
Corpus Christi, Texas – Prior to 1995, unless you were involved in or a fan of Tejano music, few were familiar with the name Abraham Quintanilla.
It wasn’t until the tragic day, the 31st of March of that year, that Selena’s father was in the spotlight. From that day on, he became the target of every human emotion one could conjure.
He has been described as greedy, critical and accused of profiting from his daughter’s death, but he is also a great businessman and is widely credited with the success of his family. It’s all covered in a book recently released by Quintanilla: A Father’s Dream.
3News sat down with him for his first televised interview since the book was released.
“I’ve been wanting to write a book since my daughter was killed,” Quintanilla said.
As the years went by, Quintanilla decided to put pencil to paper and take his thoughts, ideas, and memories in order to take the next step.
“I didn’t want to do that at the time because I thought people, right away, would jump to the conclusion that I was just trying to make money from it. So, time passed and of course time waits for no one.”
Nancy de los Santos was a co-producer on the production of the 1997 film Selena, which Quintanilla hand-picked because of her writing and organizing skills.
“She would fly from L.A. and spend two or three days in my office with a mic,” Quintanilla said. “She started telling the story and she would record everything and then she would go home to L.A. and put it in there.”
The memoir begins with Quintanilla’s life when he was in his early twenties. Think of things most individuals who have followed Selena’s legacy may not be aware of.
“How I ended up in the army and while in the army stationed in Washington state I met my wife and we were married 58 years ago. So I talked about how each of my children was born, starting with AB which is the oldest and then Suzette and finally Selena,” Quintanilla said.
Quintanilla also shared something from his book that will likely come as a surprise to even Selena’s most loyal fans.
“If you read the book you will find that Selena was handed over by a doctor, a gynecologist who ran for President of the United States of America, Dr. Ron Paul,” Quintanilla said.
According to the book’s title, Quintanilla said it’s about family, going into detail about his wife and both children, but also about growing up in Corpus Christi.
“I was a teenager in the 1950s and Corpus Christi was a very segregated city,” Quintanilla said.
Quintanilla added that the segregation and racial tension of that time period made it difficult for him and the dinos of the 1950s.
“You know, we had a dream because we were singing in English,” Quintanilla said. “Ah, we rejected Mexicans at the time or Mexican Americans because we were rich in English and rejected the Anglos because we were Mexicans. It was a dream that we were good enough to go mainstream. It was a dream. That we could get into the main market in America, without understanding that At that very time in the 1950s that was impossible.”
Quintanilla left dinos and eventually gave up on his dream for a few years.
“This dream that eventually became my children’s dream,” Quintanilla said.
On Tuesday night, 3News anchor Rudi Trivino shares more of his exclusive interview with Mr. Quintanilla about the challenges he faces, the highs and lows, and announcing the ultimate breakthrough success that would lead to his family’s massive stardom, but along with that stardom as well as envy and allegations Greed.
The second part of this report will air on Tuesday, November 23 at 10 pm on KIII News.
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