A recent visitor to “Larry’s Country Diner was Bobby Marquez, an award-winning Texas-born singer-songwriter with a magnetic smile and a heartfelt, honky-tonk style.

Earlier this year Marquez accepted the Country Music Association of Texas Award for Americana Song of the Year for his single, “Speak Love,” in Lubbock, Texas, where he was honored alongside Johnny Rodriguez, who received the Top of Texas Award, Tanya Tucker, named 2021’s Living Legend and actor/singer Dennis Quaid, who took home the Songwriter of the Year award.

“It doesn’t get any better than a huge pat on the back like this from your home state,” Marquez said. “My music is a taste of Texas. On every song you’ll hear hints of the Honky Tonk, Western Swing and Tejano I was raised on, right along with a heavy dose of character and hospitality that is born out my Texas pride.”

Marquez wrote “Speak Love” with award-winning songwriter Karen Staley.

“The message had been heavy on my heart for some time, ‘you can’t take back ugly words,” Marquez said. “We wrote the song the night before I recorded my album, so we decided to keep it simple, just the guitar and fiddle with some heartfelt words that came out of our strong Faith, hoping to spread some kindness.”

The performer’s songwriting has been recorded by everyone from Alan Jackson and Ty Herndon to George Strait, Johnny Rodriguez and Rhonda Vincent. Bobby has shared the stage with Ray Price, Mel Tillis, Johnny Rodriguez, Martina McBride, David Ball, Janie Fricke, Johnny Lee and Lonestar among many others.

His own self-titled, debut album, “Bobby Marquez,” released in 2009 was not only chosen as the album of the year in European “Country Music People” magazine, it was also a top-seller across the United Kingdom.  The album produced the Top10 Texas Chart and Music Row Chart hit, She’s Not From Texas.” 

Marquez’s highly-acclaimed album, The Cowboy Way, was released in 2018. One of the tracks co-written by Marquez called “For Awhile,” a heartfelt duet with the Queen of Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent, was up for a Grammy nomination. 

“To get this recognition from music industry professionals is more than I could have ever asked for in this lifetime,” Marquez said of the first-round nomination. “I am nominated alongside Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Chris Stapleton and Midland. Those are some big names. And I am so thankful to Rhonda Vincent for her friendship and an amazing vocal performance.”

Although the song was not awarded the coveted Grammy, it was named Duet of The Year by the CMA of Texas. 

Additionally, he received the Academy of Western Artists Pure Country Male Vocalist award and the CMA of Texas Cowboy/Western Artist award.  Both honors celebrate his self-penned tribute song, The Cowboy Way, which celebrates the lessons of standing by your beliefs and keeping your word. 

Last year his radio single, “An Empty Glass,” was nominated for an International European Award at the first annual Red Carpet Awards in Holland where it was under consideration for Traditional Country Song of the Year.

An outstanding baseball player, Marquez grew up in Freer, Texas, in a family that loved Country artists like Faron Young and the Texas Troubadour, Ernest Tubb. His cousin discarding a Martin guitar launched Marquez into performing at age 13.

“Give it to me,” Marquez told his cousin. “I’ll learn to play it.”

Marquez said that he started with three chords, first playing and singing privately. It wasn’t long before he began performing for family events. By age 21 he was opening for acts like Neal McCoy, Clay Walker and John Michael Montgomery.

He met his wife, radio host Jennifer Herron-Marquez, a Texas Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, Emmy-nominated television personality and an awarded entertainment publicist, when his records first began to be played on Texas radio. The pair moved to Nashville more than 20 years ago. Marquez is also the host and founder of the annual St. Jude Children’s Hospital benefit called Country With Heart for which his wife is a publicist. 

Marquez has scheduled live performances throughout 2021. For more information, fans can follow Bobby at www.bobbymarquez.com or www.facebook.com/bobbymarquezmusic.

By Claudia Johnson