||Nineteen-year-old Rena Dearman
answered an ad Abraham put in the Brazosport Facts for a lead guitarist and
a keyboardist. Her boyfriend (later husband) Rodney Pyeatt played
guitar; she played keyboards. Dearman says she was impressed the first
time she heard Selena sing.
"I didn't expect to hear what I heard," she says. "Of course, her
intonation was going to be higher. But it's what she did with the notes.
This girl had some vibrato on her. She could make it work. Her release from
the notes, it wasn't like your everyday little girl singing. She sounded
more like a young woman."
Abraham pushed the band hard to improve, Dearman says. Every day they
weren't playing at the restaurant, they were in the garage practicing. The
repertoire was mostly Top 40 hits sung in English and the occasional pop
oldie with Spanish lyrics that Abraham had translated. Then he started
writing his own songs in Spanish for the band.
Dearman came to feel like a member of the family, and she looked up to
Abraham. He had a temper, but he was fair.
"I respected what he was trying to accomplish. When he would be the way
he is, I didn't take it the wrong way. He was taking care of business. The
man had a goal. He knew what he was doing. And he was a good daddy. He loved
Abraham Quintanilla Jr., Rena Dearman,
Selena, Rodney Pyeatt, Suzette and A.B.
Rena Dearman - 1997