Carlos Santana's Dad Jose Dies Of Heart Failure

November 7, 1997 12:00 AM ET

The music world suffered a loss Saturday when Jose Santana, a well-known Bay Area violinist and father of legendary guitarist Carlos Santana, died at his home from heart failure.

Born in 1913 in Cuautala, Jalisco, Mexico, Jose learned to play violin at an early age. By the time he became a teenager, he began performing as part of a classical symphony orchestra and eventually became its leader. He married Josefina Barragan in 1940 and formed a touring mariachi band called Los Cardinales. Jose moved to San Francisco in 1961 where he played several gigs at local clubs and social events. He continued to play a weekly show at La Cantina in nearby Mill Valley, Calif., up until his death

Carlos Santana used these words to describe his father: "Jose Santana was a supreme communicator with his voice and violin. His graciousness, charm and charisma were a natural joy to witness."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

More Song Stories entries »