(And the best die young: The short life and death of Selena Quintanilla-Perez – Copyright© 2009 – cyberaxis.wordpress.com)
March remains the cruelest of all months; and the 31st, the day time stood still in a space so surreal it deserves its own time-line.
Flashback reminiscent of November 22, 1963: It’s a little after 1.05pm and the news that would rock Corpus Christi and the world begins to fan out of Memorial Medical Center (now the corporately-branded Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi): Selena Quintanilla-Perez, the celebrated Queen of Tejano has just died after being shot by the former president of her fan club. Incongruity: Selena the most loving person in the world had just died following the most hate-filled encounter. The collective mind could not wrap itself around this. It still cannot.
And so it has been with this tragedy, that the majority of us have been condemned to start the story of Selena at the end of it with a casket, instead of the irrepressible little girl who would transfix the world with her song.
“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.” — Colleen McCullough (The Thorn Birds)
This is the paradox of Selena and Selenidad : a collective apprehension of what had been, through what had just been lost – a phenomenon Deborah Paredez describes as “the performance of memory.” Over two decade later, it shows no signs of abating. Perhaps there is a tale somewhere in here that still has to be told in a time and space bigger and a bit more removed from what has just unfolded. Perhaps we are just be too close to the rupture of Selena’s death to comprehend anything beyond what we tell little children.
We will try and keep things in perspective, cognizant of the time and place of her story’s unfolding; but even after factoring in the cult of personality and inevitable worship of celebrities, there is still something about Selena that transcends the American cultural froth: the sweet little girl who stumbled upon stardom on a fated lark and the multitudes who all of a sudden realized what they had – only to lose it in the very next moment. Against such charms there are no talismans, personal or otherwise, even amongst the most hard-bitten. The terminally jaded. Those in doubt should read the accounts of other musicians’ encounters with Selena to get a sense of what this is all about – what Selena was all about. This may, perhaps be the nub of the story: octave pyros and belters are born every minute, but melters are much harder to find.
To be clear, Selena was a star, long before mainstream America and the world, by extension, discovered her. By the time Selena’s cross-over opus, “Dreaming of You”, was released posthumously on 7/18/95, she already had about eight variably successful albums under her belt. However it was this posthumous album, a cross-over masterpiece, that show-cased the seminal brilliance and precocity of the fallen chanteuse. But as Newsweek’s Joshua Alston astutely points out, the “cross-over” characterization was a bit provincial and misleading because Selena had already crossed-over into Mexico with her Tejano Music – a spruced up version of Conjunto music.
Listening to the album “Dreaming of you” is absolutely heartbreaking. The lilting single “I Could Fall In Love” penned by Keith Thomas, belongs in the hall of fame of timeless pop classics. It’s beat, sinuous and insistent, beneath the airy vocal and layered instrumentation, propels the song like the muscles of a python. It works because Selena is really kicking it from the basement – vocally that is – and lending it heft “it ne’er would have had” had someone with more tenuous vocal chops sung it. Her contralto, thick, warm and bodacious as a barmaid in a biker bar, absolutely nails it to the floor. (Studio enhancements aside, compare it with Jeniffer Lopez’s otherwise decent rendition here to get a sense of just how much nuance and texture Selena gave this song.) Play it on a long Sunday drive and you will find it perfectly capable of imprinting itself on the mind like a subdurally engraved tattoo. The balladry is familiar, but the sultriness is all Selena’s. She ends up owning this song in the tradition of other greats who, through performance, end up “owning” songs written for them by others. I Could Fall In Love serenades heart-space in which a cautious girl becomes a woman and Selena’s incantation, calm and collected, makes it as verisimilitudinal a telling as anything you will ever hear in song.
(If the Selena video has been deleted or moved courtesy EMI, please Google around for the non-commercial version. I find it unspeakably annoying that Google is sticking all kinds of commercials in front of the “official” version of the “I could Fall in Love” video.)
Keith Thomas who gets a bit tongue-tied when talking about Selena, never forgot Selena or the days he and his crew spent at Bennet House making the record. And in the video clip below, Christopher Perez and A.B. Quintanilla talk about how Selena worked this song:
She works the same magic on David Byrne’s audacious groove, “God’s Child“. If there were any doubts about Selena’s cross-over chops, this should have settled it as the martial groove morphs into a tropical call-and-response sub-entitled “Baila Conmigo” . There is an amazing little story behind this song. As David Byrne told Selena biographer, Joe Nick Patoski, he sent Selena a 24 track version of the song and told her to do whatever she wanted with it, from over-dubbing her voice to create a duet, to removing Byrne’s voice altogether and replacing it with hers. Ever so accommodating, Selena worked her magic around Bryne’s plaintive vocal and returned the tape to him. The result is what you hear below …. stunning vocalese: Bryne’s plaintive call to Selena’s tropicales caliente response. The song. The words. The video. Eerily, eerily portentous stuff. It gives me chills everytime I play it, especially when I realize it was written and recorded while Selena was still alive and well.
The animated video was graciously provided by George (gporrazz) of Youtube who also does Sims-like animations under the “Sims 2 Selena” search term.
While playing it try and pick out Joseph Campbell-esque themes and memes throughout this like the journey, the child and destiny among others.
Selena’s cover of the old Mariachi torch song “Tu Solo Tu” on the Dreaming of You album completes the circuit that made her spark as an artist. If “Tu Solo Tu” represents the roots of Selena’s music, then “I could fall in love with you” represents the twigs and leaves that, through the person of Selena, came out of the incorporative-experimental aspect of Tejano Music; a genre that numbers her among its latter-day proponents. I cannot listen to “Tu Solo Tu“, which means “You Only You” without getting chills. It’s vibe is as ancient as the rivers that course ‘neath the Tex-Mex/Rio Grande landmass. And Selena’s voice absolutely electrifies this old joint. If I was a dowser, this is where my rod would go absolutely nuts because here, ‘neath this very spot are the nether wells that gave Selena’s sound its power and magic.
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters
Of Life’s longing for itself.”
(The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran)
Amazon reviewer, Rick Mitchell, says it best when it comes to Dreaming of You, the album: “The tragedy was that such a promising introduction also served as a sad farewell.”
The one genre I wish Selena could have tackled more by way of further tribute to the past would have been the sweet music of the trios as in “La Bella Epoca De Los Trios”. This is the old music in the tradition of Los Tres Reyes, Los Panchos, Trio Les Tres Ases and Trio Los Tres Diamantes. Her sultry voice in combination with low-fi acoustic instrumentation would have been amazing. This post-humous duet with Los Tres Reyes is perhaps the closest we will ever get to that dream. Whether Selena is warbling with the Mariachi Sol De Mexico in Don Juan De Marco or doing a sweet remake of Siempre Hace Frio, she never seems to hit a false note with these golden oldies. But I digress.
While “Dreaming of You” gave more than subtle hints of Selena’s musical precocity (when it came to her grasp of the Anglo-American pop genres) her discography proves how genuinely bilingual she was as an artist. The latter is no mean feat because not every artist pulls it off with such critical and commercial success. “I Could Fall In Love With You” is as authentic in its airy pop realm as any of her Mariachi torch songs in their traditional lairs. The power of Selena’s more traditional fare came from the old part of her soul. The newer stuff was the sonic equivalent of fusion cuisine. And it brimmed with everything she had learned as a kid from the cumbias to the rancheras (incorporating the waltz, the polkas and the boleros) to the pop, R n’ B and reggae of her youth. Her father says as a kid, Selena immersed herself in everything. (Hear her belting out “Feelings” as a 9 year old here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQM6aU6bXrI )
“Como La Flor” with its reggae inflected beat was just the tip of Caribbean influence. “Techno Cumbia” with its syncopatedly strutting groove shows that the soon-to-be-named reggaeton influence had entered Selena’s creative stream almost fully formed. This was about five years before the Latin flowering of the same influence that would spawn reggaeton; a commercially vibrant genre that would take the Latin music scene by storm in the Caribbean and Tex-Mex community at the turn of the century. Techno Cumbia shows that Selena had her fingers firmly on this genre long before the boys from the barrio started struttin’ around with their hands on their you-know-what.
The trick in music is in doing one or two
things well. Selena’s went far beyond that
through the agency of her voice, inner-ear,
and the way she inhabited her music.
Selena’s cameo in the Don Juan Demarco movie with Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando, gives more than subtle hint of what was in her future: the flowering of a multi-faceted entertainer. The cameo was only three seconds long – but for those who knew what they were looking at – what a glorious three seconds it was. Selena, in colorful regalia with her Mariachis in spiffy charros, belts out an extended note before being panned out of the picture, but the moment had already slipped into legend.
That same Youtube clip is candidly revealing of the Selena the world never knew: the quintessential American kid who transformed herself, and a marginal/regional music, genre into something the world would never forget – a feat which somewhat mirrors what Bob Marley and the Wailers did for reggae. In the clip Selena’s pronunciation of “Don Juan Demarco” is ethnically authentic but her accent is as American as apple-pie.
Not A Sparrow Falls To The Ground: Noone grieves alone when it comes to the untimely death of this young woman. This Princess. But what is it that makes the death of Selena so deep and so wrenching even for people who knew her only tangentially through her music? Hold that question, because the answer is as rooted in the person of Selena as the roots of that proverbial tree are rooted in the earth.
“You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”
(Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet)
Como La Flor: Selena was an undeniable beauty in a sub-culture equally beholden to beauty. But her beauty was not of the skin-deep, porcelain doll variety. Au contraire, it was firmly rooted in the earthy sensibility of the girl next door with the dazzling smile; the uber-curvaceous ingenue who no matter how bright her star shone, remained as approachable as the girl next door. Physically, Selena’s beauty had the hint of every-woman from the Spanish Mami to the Afro-Asiatic ingenue. Yes, even though Selena was of Aztec/Indian extraction, there was more than a hint of the Thai vixen in her sumptuous features; an exclamation point of bodacious form in a culture that once idolized waifish form. Through unapologetic self-presentation, Selena had claimed a venerable spot in the emerging pantheon of beauties as diverse as Aishwarya Rai, Angelina Jolie, Babygurl Aaliyah, Hawaiiana Tia Carrere and yes, Jeniffer Lopez. An “undifferentiated aesthetic continuum”? Absolutely, but not the one Northrop envisaged.
“They are the sons and daughters
Of Life’s longing for itself.”
(Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet)
“Talent, raw undeniable talent”
(Before the Music Dies)
Selena personified the talent celebrated in the the documentary “Talent, raw undeniable talent”. She was the real thing from day one. Says Latin music critic, Enrique Fernandez: “This was not some sexy babe groomed by a record company.” Fernandez was being interviewed by People Magazine’s Bill Hewitt for the article “Before Her Time,” – a title which spoke as much of her musical precocity as of her untimely passing. Bill Hewitt, says when Selena first sang at age six, her father immediately knew what he had; a voice that was endowed with perfect pitch and timing. Although perhaps lacking the upper octave range of say a Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, it had something their voices didn’t have; a malty texture with contralto stylings that have minted many a star. Norah Jones has it. And so did Aaliyah. Sarah Vaughn had it by the silly buckets. (Selena’s vocal range, is believed to have spanned “2 octaves, 3 notes and a semitone.” AaliyahDawnTeam) Listen to “Tu Solo Tu” for a good measure of this. Like Jones’ and Vaughn’s, Selena’s voice was infused with a thick acousticity that gave it an irresistible allure.
Then like others before her when she was at the top of her game, boom! It was all gone in an instant.
She was a flower. She was a song – the one who, through fame and fated circumstance, became the symbol of our joy and pain clarified and bottled like an essence; stunningly potent in its manifestation and guises. (Cyberaxis)
This Youtube clip marks the pinnacle of her career, performance and otherwise. Everything in this clip is popping, the bubblegum tune notwithstanding. The sights, the sounds and the energy of the entire band is unlike any Selena clip you will ever see on Youtube. Unbeknownst to the world, Selena had just reached the top of her mountain. “The promised land” was in plain sight. The coy little girl who had once warbled “Feelings” into an awkwardly cradled microphone, had arrived. And by golly what a joyous arrival it had been! The hordes she had invited to “Entre A Mi Mundo” had to yet populate the (sub-cultural) landscape she had illuminated, but the wall had clearly been breached. And hordes did indeed cross over into that space musically, culturally and linguistically.
Herein were the palpable seeds of the Selenidad Deborah Paredez would later write about.
Perhaps Dad New More Than He Realized: The choice of Tejano Music over American pop as the touchstone of Selena’s career was perhaps more prescient than Abraham Quintanilla realized because it really tapped into the soul of an entire people, the unborn, the living and the dearly departed. The evidence is all over this high quality clip of Selena at the Tejano Music Awards in Miami, May 1994. What makes this performance pop and sizzle beyond theatrics is the “soul quotient.” More on this later:
And Then Grief Most Unbearable
(The aftermath of Selena’s passing)
The Selena Quintanilla Perplex: There is a rip-tide of emotion surrounding the death of Selena that is quite quite stunning in its breadth and depth. Sixteen years after her passing, the grief keeps flowing as if from a bottomless well. The memorials and elegies keep trickling like rivulets that turn into mighty streams. The blogs and forum postings are everywhere and their postings have been very instructive.
Grief By Imprinting Across Generations: Some of the teens who grieve Selena’s death today were not even born when she was killed. The remainder were toddlers. Is it a case of celebrity worship in a culture defined by such? Perhaps – but I think it goes beyond that because Selena affected people who were not prone to celebrity worship by her simple charms. It is that common touch that makes the pain of her passing universal and heartfelt. Most people are not prepared to find out that this was a young girl they would have loved regardless of whether she could sing or not. This is where the story begins to cut. Stars are, to a considerable extent, defined by the distance they create between them and their fans. It’s part of the definition of what it means to be a star and most fans accept it as “the price of the ticket”. Selena knew no such distance or sense of remove – at least in her mind – and fans were often shocked by it. The new fans fare no better. When they stumble upon this side of Selena the charge is released “and then the passion flares again” (Dan Hill)
Given the person and persona of Selena, the phenomenon can only described in terms of what happens when a member of the family dies. Yes, Selena was family; family as much to her own flesh and blood as to the people who knew and loved her only through her music. For me personally, the Corpus Christi newscast and video of her funeral linked to this post is just too difficult to watch. So I skip it most of the time.
“Well, you never heal from it. It is a wound to the heart that will be there until the day you die. You learn to live with it. Anybody that’s lost a child, they know what I am talking about.” (Abraham Quintanilla, Hollywood’s Most Shocking Murders #6)
The reaction to this blog posting has been equally instructive. I will not go into the statistical details, suffice it to say that they have consistently trounced those of posts I thought would garner more interest by virtue of the their newsworthiness; their contemporaneity. (You can see evidence of the post’s ascendancy in the order of interest under “Top Posts” on the cyberaxis.wordpress.com home page here). While other posts experience periodic surges, the Selena post remains an evergreen and perennial favorite amongst people who visit Cyberaxis. With very minimal exceptions, it has the most page views overall. It remains on the top of the list during most weeks, with astronomic surges in March and April. What a turn for a post which came together off the cuff in a Starbucks coffee shop one lackadaisical Saturday afternoon on March 7, 2009.
Journey To Corpus – Like Journey To Addis: I am thinking of visiting Corpus Christi sometime in the future to vibe out the place Selena called home and the Days Inn at 901 N. Navigation Blvd (Room 158) where she took her last steps. (A Virtual Globetrotting App gives you a scalable bird’s eye-view image of the Days Inn here, replete with a legend that gives you an idea of relative distances.) I have been to Dealey Plaza folks and know what tragedies of this magnitude can do to the energy of a place.)
- A non-descript ad photo, now associated with an unspeakable tragedy. The Day’s Inn at 901 N. Navigation Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX. This rococo image now has something in common with the most haunting place in down-town Dallas. (See the semi-panoramic view of Dealey Plaza below)
- The most haunted place in all of Dallas: Dealey Plaza on a deceptively sunny day. Anyone who thinks that tragedy, historical or otherwise does not warp the energy of a place ought to visit Dealey Plaza or to talk to an empath.
The subject of Yolanda Saldivar will, in time, be dealt with not because of some prurient interest in tragedy or infamy. No, the subject of Saldivar will be dealt with because, as the makers of the movie Selena explained to her father Abraham Quintanilla, the story of Selena would never be complete without at least a cursory look at the woman who pulled the trigger at the Days Inn on Navigation Blvd. Yolanda Saldivar, at the very least, deserves the forensic treatment of a killer who was legally found guilty of murder.
Healing as an oblique, tangential process: The wound that Yolanda Saldivar inflicted on Abraham and Marcella Quintanilla cannot me measured or communicated. The wound she inflicted on the community is, among many, still as fresh as the day it was inflicted. Closure is a therapeutic fancy. The wound has not healed because the collective psyche does not know how to deal with it. There is a physical corollary to this in human physiology and it leads to all kinds of accommodations and pathologies (scarring and physio-postural compensation.)
In another sense the killing of Selena represented the looting of a community chest – the paradoxical birth of “La Leyenda” notwithstanding.
Saldivar’s apparent lack of remorse and smug sense remove has not helped matters. (For starters check out Yolanda’s answers and the expression on her face during this 1998 VH1 special interview.) The result in terms of the community’s reaction to Yolanda Saldivar? The formation of (psychic) scar tissue around the murder of Selena and name of Yolanda Saldivar. It manifests itself in different ways. For every one who has forgiven Yolanda, there are many who haven’t. Their angers still boils over at the slightest reminder. Selena’s family prefers not to speak of Yolanda’s name in any way that acknowledges what she was or appeared to be before March 31st. It’s an intricate feat but the family has had to find ways of pulling it off. Within the inner sanctum, the Quintanillas have had to create a newer sense of equilibrium and sanity; an accounting for what happened and how to deal with it. In that sanctum Saldivar has transmogrified into a spectral presence – a figure without a name.
Lysis: The task of examining Yolanda Saldivar is fraught with danger of being sucked into her warped reality. Scientists are subject to obsessions and exorcists can be tormented by the demons they seek to exorcise. And hovering above this enterprise is the real danger of glorifying that which deserves neither glorification nor renown. The zone of forensic treatment exists within that narrow compass. I feel up to the challenge of turning the spotlight on this part of the story and roasting it on the slow-burn. Refusing to write about Yolanda Saldivar would amount to affirmation by omission. But on the other hand giving her more attention than she deserves would play into the disease that led to Selena’s death, not to mention attenuating Saldivar’s 30 year sentence or the existence of a woman who no longer has a life beyond what she can suck through a long proboscis.
As strange synchronicity would have it, Yolanda Saldivar will be eligible for parole on April Fools Day in 2025 – a day after the date of the murder of Selena and and two days before her burial. (The chances of her getting out on first and second tries may be slim, unless she seriously changes her story with a collaborative history within the walls of Gatesville.) Fortunately by the time 2025 rolls along, the collective trauma and memory of Selena would have subsided somewhat – mulched over by the vicissitudes of time and circumstance. Be that as it may, there will be a momentary shudder in 2025 as the community relives the trauma of March 31st.
Yolanda will come up for parole on April Fool’s day and the press will be there to rehash the whole tragedy. The gawky public will eat it all up as it watches Yolanda Saldivar play her last hand – part “Silence of the Lambs” and part spectable of Simpson’s Bronco chase – the same that seared certain images into the collective mind. (This fact of life is as true of rubber-neckers on accident-prone freeways as the hyper-mediated spaces we live in.) Yolanda will add a few more minutes to her infamy and her ego, in some mangled way, will continue to be sustained the way a severed limb is sustained by residual shreds of skin.
Yolandar Saldivar, who is currently imprisoned in the Mountain View Unit at Gatesville, has filed several appeals against her conviction alleging errors in her trial process. Saldivar now represents herself in such legal proceedings. Until such a time as things change, Yolanda’s address will be:
Mountain View Unit
2305 Ransom Road
Gatesville, Texas 76528
Selena Four CD Box Set Announced For March 9, 2010: The Corpus Christi Caller Times reports that a four CD box set of Selena’s music will be released on March 9, just 22 days before the 15th anniversary of her death. The set entitled “Selena – La Leyenda” (Selena – The Legend) comprises 82 tracks on four CDs grouped into Cumbias y Pop (Disc 1), Tejano y Rancheras (Disc 2), English (Disc 3) and Live performances (Disc 4). Elvia Aguilar who wrote the story quotes Selena’s sister, Suzette as saying that will be one of EMI records largest release because it involves multi-format packages from different track combinations priced differently, to digital download options. There is no indication of unreleased music on this set. Along with the box set is a book with personal messages from Selena’s family, friends and family and some rare photos and art. The cost of the book is about $99.
Selena Quintanilla: Satire or Sartori, Legend or Saint?
The answer to either or both depends on who you talk to. For Texas Monthly the latter seems a moot point. It has been so since Joe Nick Patoski’s seminal article. And the corpus of hagiography, some of it with academic pretensions, seems to prove the point.
The iconic image which drives home the underlying point in satirical terms can be found in the April issue of Texas Monthly 2010 under the title “Dreaming of Her.”
Note: If Selena came back and happened upon this cover, she would be in stitches …. laughing so hard at the surreality of it all. Nothing underlies the dualistic nature of this vision of the fallen chanteuse more than this post-humous canonization. There, as fate or providence would have it; an entire psycho-social dissertation compressed into a graphic meme; a beatific image. Either way, artist Marc Burckhardt pulls off an amazing coup de arte.
While some of the accompanying vignettes feel a bit fluffed out, 0thers will make you choke up. (If they don’t affect you at all, please check your pulse.) Example – Vignette I: Selena’s older sister, Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga on Abraham Quintanilla:
One time Dad took us to a garage that belonged to my uncle Isaac. It was in a really bad part of town. There were a lot of street people walking around – and the place was filthy. The floor was covered in oil stains. Dad said, “Look, we can fix this up and we can live here.” Honestly, I couldn’t see a dog living there. We all started to cry, and then Dad started to cry. He had this expression on his face that was indescribable. You know the pride that a man takes in providing for his family? His pride was gone. He looked defeated. That’s when it hit home how bad things were. (Dreaming of Her, Texas Monthly, April 2010)
Vignette II: Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla on how he got back into music after leaving Dow Chemical in Lake Jackson and being rejected by employers for ostensibly being “overqualified” for petroleum related jobs:
I couldn’t get a job anywhere, so I told Marcella that I was going back into the music business. Music was the only thing I knew how to do. The band was the best thing we had going for us. We all agreed to try and make a go of it. (Dreaming of Her, Texas Monthly, April 2010)
Vignette III: Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga on Dad’s stagecraft:
Dad made stage lights out of empty peach cans. He hung the cans on a pole, put colored gels inside them, and rigged the whole thing up to a bunch of light switches. Mom would sit there and run the lights. (Dreaming of Her, Texas Monthly, April 2010)
Sub-textural moral of the story? Anyone who wants to judge Abraham Quintanilla should have the decency or the moral cajones to at least walk a mile in his shoes. He is who he is and given his life, his struggles and his achievements, he certainly deserves to walk his own back-roads (of the mind) without anyone deigning to shine a light onto his paths.
Please Note: This article is a work-in-progress. I have not added much to this site lately because the next stage of this endeavor has been very hard for reasons I will probably go into later. It’s almost as if there is a part of me that is avoiding all of this, yet I keep circling and coming back to this place; this space which is as much an ethereal garden as a patch of ground soaked with blood.
An Unsung Ode to Selena Quintanilla-Perez (1971 – 1995) , a poem I am endlessly working on, demonstrates that. In my humble opinion, it gets closer to who or what Selena was about more than any verbiage I can concoct. And like the seminal post that kicked off “And The Best Die Young …“, it started with a few words imbued with an undying refrain. “An Unsung Ode to Selena” unapologetically celebrates Selena from an alternate space; a cloistered garden where silences have talismanic powers to heal.
Copyright© 2009 – cyberaxis.wordpress.com
- “The Queen Is Dead” – a “verisimilitudinal” account by Joe Nick Patoski; a most appropos read, especially around anniversary time.
- “Selena – Como La Flor” by Joe Nick Patoski – to date the most comprehensive treatise on the life and death of Selena.
- Selena Official Website at Q-Productions (Allow about 7 minutes for the website to fully load, then feast on an orchestral mix of Amor Prohibido and Como La Flor. The violins and Spanish guitar stylings provide a vibrant new backdrop for Selena’s voice to shine again. )
- An electrifying acapella rendition of “Tu Solo Tu” by Michelle Rukny‘s, all done from her tiny kitchen table. (Unfortunately recording ends before actual end of song)
- Video: Biography of Selena and the Quintanillas – 45:20 Minutes (www.biography.com)
- A video primer on Tejano Music by Selena. THIS, is the Selena Corpus Christi and the rest of the world came to love.
- Key addresses in the Selena Quintanilla-Perez story
- Selena-Quintanilla.Com – Fansite Bio & Pics (Succinct, informative summary)
- Selena: A Life Remembered – Part I by William Sutherland (More in depth biographical article)
- Selena: A Life Remembered – Part II by William Sutherland
- My Story (A heartfelt story by a latter-day fan)
- Where Are They Now?
- What Is Tejano Music ? (WiseGeek Precis)
- Music of Mexico – Son, Ranchera, Mariachi (About.Com)
- Polka Roots of Accordion Playing in South Texas (Robert Boonzajer Flaes & Maaten Rens, 1986)
- Ten Things We Learned About Selena from Texas Monthly (Cindy Casares – GUANABEE)
- Yolanda Saldivar Trial, 1995 – Trial Focuses on Shooting Aftermath (law.jrank.org)