Also credited as: Pepe Maldonado (and his ensemble) Y Su Conjunto / Pepe was born to Santana and Nieves Maldonado in Rio Grande City. He was one of four brothers, and had seven sisters. By 1945, the hard-working migrant family had relocated to Edinburg. From a very young age, Pepe dreamed of entering the music scene. While he can play a variety of instruments, including the accordion, bass and bajo-sexto, he was especially interested in singing. It was in 1956 when Pepe joined his first group. With Lopez, Pepe recorded "Nada Me Importa" and "La Quintanita" in 1957 for Discos Ideal. He started singing and playing bass guitar for Gilberto Lopez y su conjunto. Pepe Maldonado y su conjunto switched to Bego Records in the mid-1960s.