Victor Manuel Hernandez Rodriguez: “Never Fail”
(EDITOR: Infal Records turned out a huge catalog from the early 1960’s up well into the 1970’s. The label primarily served the Mexican market in the greater Denver area with it’s studio located in Commerce City – just north of the Denver city limits. Little is known about the small independent label. None of the releases credits a producer and an exact studio location is not given. At some point – after many releases reflecting “Commerce City” as the base – the label began to credit “Denver, Colorado” as it’s location which may not have indicated a physical move at that point. But then soon, the label address became “2217 Champa Street” which is in the heart of downtown Denver. A 7-digit phone number was soon added (prior to the requirement of dialing a 303 in Denver. A few known long plays are credited to the label as well.)
Infal Owner – Victor Manual Hernandez Rodriguez – August 8, 1927 – January 18, 2013
(Victor) “was born in Ameca, Jalisco, Mexico on August 8, 1927 to Maria A Rodriguez Villasenor and Alberto Linares.
In 1949, Victor moved from Mexico City to Denver to pursue new opportunities. It was in Denver that he met Maria Joy Santistevan at La Bonita Restaurant. After a short courtship and engagement they were married on March 4, 1951. In 1953, Victor was hired by the Gates Rubber Company. He had a very rewarding, 34 year career at Gates. His job title was Liner Rewind. He was proud of becoming a qualified fork lift operator, and hose finisher as well as a steward. Though Victor made a living and provided for his family as a Gates mechanic, he was always working to better himself. He acquired a Communications diploma from DeVRY Technical Institute. This helped launch his career in music recording and radio broadcasting.
“Victor’s real passion was music. Victor built his first recording studio in the garage at the Bellaire Street home that he called Hernandos Recordings. Soon after he renamed the business to Infal Records, for ‘Infallibles’ which means ‘will never fail…’. This name is one of many examples of Victor’s quick and creative mind. As part of promoting his business and connecting to the community, Victor organized and hosted regular dances at the Colorado Grange Hall and the GAO. These dances featured groups who had recorded with Victor. At the dances his daughters worked the coat room and did waitressing.
“As the business grew he expanded to a record shop and larger recording studio at 2144 Champa Street in downtown Denver. All of the family worked the record shop and have fond memories of talking to customers and enjoying the latest Spanish and Top 40 hits. He later purchased a larger building a block down at 2217 Champa Street and was able to have a music shop, recording studio and a home on the second floor. In 2006 he relocated to his home on Federal Street, again building his recording studio plus adding a DVD/video recording and duplication studio.
After Victor retired from Gates in 1987, he was really able to pursue his passion for music and focus on his Infal studio and on video-taping of weddings, quinceaneras, etc. As technology changed our world, Victor changed with the times moving from LP’s, 8-tracks, cassettes, video rentals and finally a videographer. In his spare time, between recording gigs, he kept up with the ever-changing technology.
“Victor had great pride and confidence in his businesses and loved to promote them. Uncle Jorge tells how he and Victor would go to the bars. Victor bought beer for the band members, made quick friends and convinced them that they had great talent and should make a recording to share with the rest of the world….. of course Victor conveniently knew of a very good recording studio where they could make this recording. Another time, while visiting Ruth and Bob in Houston, we went to Lakewood Church and met Joel Osteen. While shaking his hand, Victor presented Joel with his Infal business card and said, “If you ever need help recording, give me a call…..” We all laughed at his confidence and boldness. Victor worked hard to build his businesses, even until his last days.
“Victor was granted an FCC radio operators license and he used this to share the microphone with Andres Neidig on several Spanish-speaking radio stations in Denver and Brighton. Victor had the gift of gab and he was very good on the radio. His last gig was calling in regularly for a “Palabra del Dia” or ‘Word of the Day” segment. Victor developed many long term friends in the radio business.
Read Victor’s entire obituary at the Olinger web site
Click on the image below to visit an Infal Records photo stream on Flicker