Jose Maria DeLeon Hernandez “Little Joe” was born to Salvador “La Cotorra” Hernandez and Amelia DeLeon Hernandez in a three wall dirt floor car garage in Temple, Texas on a cold stormy night on October 17, 1940. He was the 7th child of 13. In 1953, Joe’s cousin, David Coronado, who fronted the band “David Coronado & The Latinaires” recruited Joe for guitar, Cino Moreno on drums and Tony Matamoros on saxophone to join his 1970, after playing and spending much time in San Francisco and the bay area, Joe discovered “Latinismo”, a strong latin musical world which was not found in Texas at that time. It had profound change in his music and his cultural values which prompted him to change the name of his band from The Latinaires to “La Familia”. Joe wanted more knowledge on his heritage and his roots.
While with Sony Discos, he would be a 2 time Grammy nominee, and in 1992 would receive the GRAMMY AWARD for “Dies y Seis De Septiembre” for the BEST MEXICAN-AMERICAN PERFORMANCE CATEGORY in 1991.