2017-04-05 / News

Saul Cantu - a Willacy County Institution

by Tom Cantu

SAUL CANTU SAUL CANTU Saul Cantu is not new to the world of music. In fact, all of his life, he has been around and involved in the glorious art of sound, rhythm, melody, and harmony. Cantu credits both his father, Raul Cantu and his older brother Juan for his early start in this amazing profession. The retired Raymondville High School teacher is not retired from music at all. What’s more, he is now fully and completely devoted to his long life passion.

“I love all kinds of music,” he says. “I like to focus on the many details of the never ending world of music. You think you know it all then someone shows you something new.” Saul adds, “I grew up in a musical world, and I was the only one who made it a career.” Cantu admits, “Music is exciting for me.”

Saul laughs when he converses about all of his experiences with music. He has had the opportunity to play at many events because of his musical talents. Saul has witnessed many funny things that have happened during some of his musical venues. He mentioned that, “One night, we were well into the dance. I mean we were raising the roof, when all of the sudden, the drummer was no longer playing with us. We all turned back at once to see what had happened. To our amazement, the stage caved in and the drummer, who I will not name, fell through, drums and all. Cymbals and all kinds of drum parts were flying in the air. The crowd went crazy.”

Saul enjoys many other things in life; however, music is and will always be number one. This talented man enjoys fishing, working with leather, motorcycle riding, going to church, and shopping with his wife, when his health permits. Saul adds, “When I need to relax or rest my mind, I go to one of my many instruments. I start playing, and all my worries and troubles seem to dissipate.”

Up in Austin, they have a long-ponytailed country music freak named Willy. He is known as The Institution. Willy is a pot smoking tax evader. Not our Saul Cantu. He is The South Texas Institution. I refer to him as the Willacy Co. Institution. Saul has paid all of his taxes and only drinks occasionally.

Saul can play almost any instrument you put in front of him. He is musically inclined, and he loves all music making instruments. If someone takes Saul a story, some dates, and a name of a person, this man can almost instantly compose a corrido (ballad). He can sing it Ranchera, Tejano, or whatever the person prefers. He is very good at it, I must add.

Cantu taught music and computers at RHS. He is also the current PA announcer at RHS home football games. He does it with so much humor that many other nearby schools have tried to lure him away.

This amazing man is the leader of his country music band, The River Bandits. Among many other talents, Cantu has very cleverly set up a small recording studio behind his home. Computers and instruments are his bread and butter.

Saul is married to the lovely Elvia. They have a son named Cody, who also plays the drums.

Saul has and will touch many people through his natural talents. Bonnie Brown encouraged Saul to compose a song about our much loved city of Raymondville. It is a very catchy and informative song of this city. Cantu has also written corridos of the Raymondville and Lyford High School football teams. These compositions are played on radio stations during the football seasons of both Willacy Co. teams. People in both communities really enjoy them.

Saul would like to credit his dear friends Frank and Ventura Nieto for giving him a start to his brilliant dream of music. Cantu was a part of the Lone Star Band headed by these two men.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2017-04-05 digital edition