Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Ben Bitela:

An Inventory of His Papers, 1975-1984, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Bitela, Ben
Title: Ben Bitela Papers,
Dates: 1975-1984
Abstract: Materials in this collection illuminate the musical career of Ben Bitela.
Collection # AV 102
Quantity: 1 box (1 linear feet)
Language English.
Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Biographical Sketch

Ben Bitela was the bassist and manager for the Lubbock-based Nuestra Tequila band during the mid-1970s. The band frequently opened for Little Joe y La Familia. After Bitela had several members leave he created the Cruiser Band.

Cruisers personnel included Johnny Salazar on vocals and acoustic guitar, Ruben Vasquez on guitars, David Moreno and Frank Berlanga on percussion, Simon Vasquez on bass, Jacob Lucero and Ernest Perez on trumpets, amd Willie Leos on sax, with Pete Mojica as road manager. Bitela, who owns and operates an auto body shop in Lubbock, is still playing the occasional gig and jam session.

Scope and Content

This collection offers recordings from the personal collection of Ben Bitela. There are digital-only files, a 33-1/3 rpm LP, and a 45 rpm record, as well as posters from the bands. The collection is in good condition, except as noted, and is part of the Crossroads of Music archive.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research. Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by U.S. copyright law. Audio and visual recordings may need to be reformatted prior to use and require advance notice to the Reference Librarian.

Index Terms

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.
Subjects (People)
Bitela, Ben
Subjects (Organizations)
Don Caldwell Studios
Subjects (Places)
Lubbock (Tex.)--Music
Boleros (Music)
Hispanic American musicians
Tejano music
Tejano musicians

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Ben Bitela Papers, 1975-1984, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas


Accession number(s):

Gift, 2012

Processed by

Elissa Stroman and Jon Holmes

Collection Inventory


1 Nuestra Tequila band (blue on white offset, 17-1/2 x 22-3/4 inches), 1975?
2 Cruiser Band (4-color offset, 27 x 22 inches, torn), undated

Audio-Visual Materials

Digital-Only Files
1 Ben Bitela [and] the Cruiser Band: A: "Lucerito" (Carlos Cardenas-Jesse Salcedo) / B: "Crueles Sufrimientos" (D.A.R.) (Texas Stars TX-002, Austin, Texas), 1984
45-rpm record
1 Ben Bitela y Nuestra Tequila: A: "Lo Sento por Ti" (Bolero) (D.A.R.) / B: "Dile a tu Mario" (Ranchera) (D.A.R.) (Joey Records 208, San Antonio, Texas), 1977
33-1/3-rpm LP record
1 Ben Bitela and the Cruiser Band (self-published CB-1001-LP), 1983