CORPUS CHRISTI — Selena was just 13, but Johnny Canales saw something special the first time she performed on his show.
She had a spark, he said.
“In Spanish there’s a saying that if you are a talented singer or performer, you have an angel, that your singing is like an act from God,” Canales said. “She had an angel.”
For those missed seeing a young Selena sing, they can watch it now on two new DVDs.
The live performances from “The Johnny Canales Show,” showcase the Tejano music star from 13 to 23, with her last concert filmed four months before she was shot and killed in Corpus Christi on March 31, 1995.
Capitol/EMI Records released the first DVD, “Selena: Performances,” in November. It’s available at Walmart stores nationwide. On Tuesday the record company will release the second disc in the series, “Selena: Performances Live.”
For years Canales knew he had something special in his boxes of old videotapes. He wanted others to see Selena in her prime, too, he said. Canales met with Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, and they picked 18 of their favorite songs.
“This is Selena’s history in music,” Canales said. “Now her fans can have these songs forever.”
For those who might have missed the young singer perform at 13 with Los Dinos, it’s there. So is her performance of her smash hit, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” when Selena wore her handmade dress in front of an audience of nearly 3,000.
And there’s one of Canale’s favorites, Selena’s performance of “¿Que Creías?,” when she came over and grabbed his tie, singing directly to him.
“We used to kid a lot on stage,” Canales said. “You get a chance to see that before and after these songs.”
Quintanilla said the DVDs allow fans to step back in time.
“We wanted her fans to be able to relive the experience,” Quintanilla said. “There’s a lot of people who never got to see those original shows.”
The archival footage has been upgraded to surround sound, giving new life to songs like “Amor Prohibido,” “Como La Flor,” “¿Que Creías?” “No Me Queda Mas” and more.
It makes Selena’s hits seem as relevant as ever, Quintanilla said.
“The Johnny Canales Show” debuted in 1983 and ran through the late 1990s, showcasing bands from Mexico and the United States.
For Selena’s final performance on the show, hundreds lined up outside what is now known as Selena Auditorium for a chance to watch.
“I asked her on that last concert, ‘You’ve won so many awards and you still come back to us,'” Canales said. “She looked at me and said, ‘I’ll always remember you,'” he said.
“That will always be in my heart.”
Quintanilla hopes the DVD will bring his daughter to life once again for her legion of fans and hopefully make some new ones along the way.
“There was a lot of love in putting this together,” he said.
Canales said he is grateful to have been there for the performances.
“I’m so glad that in my life I got to be a part of her life,” Canales said.