Voices of Houston: Memo’s Record Shop in East End celebrates Latin music for more than 50 years

HOUSTON – Guillermo ‘Memo’ Villarreal, 81, first opened up Memo’s Record Shop in 1968.

The East End record store sells different types of music and movies and serves as a musical museum of sorts with some of the world’s greatest Spanish superstars posing for pictures with Villarreal. The store is at 703 75th Street.

“Vicente Fernandez, Juan Gabriel, Antonio Aguilar, Rigo Tovar, Lucha Villa and Jose Jose,” said Villarreal.

Villareal has been in the record business for about 52 years and offers a vast selection of different types of music including Mariachi, Conjunto, Tejano and salsa.

“We started with the vinyl, then the 45′s, 8-tracks, 4-tracks, cassettes and now the CDs,” Villarreal said.

Before opening his record store, Villarreal was a successful music promoter, responsible for bringing stars like Vicente Fernandez to Houston for the very first time.

He has just about done it all, including going to the White House on four separate occasions.

The pandemic has taken a toll on business but Villarreal remains optimistic and plans on holding on to his life work and passion for as long as he can.

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Reporter, proud Houstonian, U of H alumni, and lover of all the hometown sport teams.