What's the name of the lead singer of The Mavericks? I'd like to know a little bit about him. How did the group start singing together?
—Elizabeth P., Nebraska
Raul Malo, the lead singer and songwriter for The Mavericks, was born in Miami, Fla., of Cuban descent. Miami isn't a hotbed of country music, but Malo's parents had records by Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Roy Orbison. The music appealed to Malo, who found a fellow rockabilly fan in Robert Reynolds, whose best friend was Paul Deakin. The three of them formed a band and soon began writing their own songs, which held the influence of those older artists without copying them outright. They added a guitarist, called themselves the Mavericks, and eventually made their way to Nashville, Tenn. They won CMA Awards in 1995 and 1996 and released their last album, Trampoline, in 1998. The band is not working together right now, and Malo went on to explore other musical genres. Last year, he appeared on Los Super Seven's album, Canto. Malo has released his own solo album, Today, which covers all types of music, while maintaining a definite Latin tone. Malo and his wife, Betty, live in Nashville with their children.