SAN ANTONIO RADIO HALL OF FAME
Ricky Davila started in radio as a teenager … and it was all for la familia. In 1959, Ricky’s father, the legendary Manuel Davila, Sr., put Ricky, his brother Manuel Jr. and Gilbert Villarreal, on the air at Spanish-language KUKA Radio. During their two-hour, after-school show, Teens Choice, the boys spoke English as they played Top 40 and local hits and took requests and dedications.
The teens became local celebrities and hosted “Teens Choice” concerts at the Municipal Auditorium, and MC-ed local high school sock hops and other events. Ricky recalls that they were the first to introduce Sunny Ozuna and the Sun-Glows and other local groups.
The show continued until the older boys graduated in 1962. After serving 4 years in the U.S. Navy, Ricky returned to radio in 1967, as a DJ on his father’s station, KEDA Jalapeño Radio. Echo-laced voiceovers and wild commercials were Ricky’s trademark and he became known as the Tejano Wolfman Jack.
On the air as Ricky “Güero Polkas” Davila, he always played a vibrant, maverick mix of rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues, and Conjunto music … with an emphasis on South Texas bands. He is considered one of the greatest living legends and symbols of Conjunto music in the country. His was the kind of talent that doesn't need a consultant to point out a hit - he knew through sheer gut feeling.
In remembering his long career in radio, Ricky says it was all about family. That’s why he stayed in radio so long. It was por la familia Davila and his father’s dream to have his own Mexican radio station. He figured he’d stick with it, as long as it was under the Davila rule. When KEDA sold in 2011, Ricky called it quits.
Ricky’s dad said, “Don’t forget … You got to serve the community. That’s what our license says. We’re not just in it for the money." Ricky believed that…and dedicated his entire radio career to serving the people of San Antonio. He says, “Who else anymore is going to have a plate sale to help bury somebody? That's how we helped.”