The son of a violinist, Manuel Donley struggled in school, dropped out when he was 13 and then washed dishes at El Toro restaurant, saving some of his earnings to pay for a beat-up guitar. He taught himself to play and started performing for tips as soon as he knew two chords. ‘The guitar, that was my passion,’ he says. He was honored as a Mexican American Trailblazer by the Austin History Center this year
Read the rest of the article (which also includes a video) via At 83, Tejano music pioneer still playing.