Gonzalo Meza was born July 6, 1925 on a rancho near Cuidad Guzmán, Jalisco. At the age of eight, his family moved to Mexico City where his uncles played with Mariachi Pulido, a group that would later become Mariachi México de Pepe Villa. His uncles would take him to their performances, which is how young Gonzalo became interested in mariachi music. By the age of nine, he was playing vihuela with groups in Plaza Garibaldi. At the age of fifteen Gonzalo switched from vihuela to guitarrón.
One day in the early 1940s, Gilberto Parra (trumpeter and author of the song, Por un Amor) took Gonzalo to radio station XEW to play guitarrón on a live program with Mariachi Tizapán el Alto. By coincidence, bandleader Silvestre Vargas happened to be in the studio. Upon hearing Gonzalo play; Vargas invited the young guitarrón player to join his group. Meza accepted, learning the group’s style of bass playing from their harpist, Ernesto Villa.
Gonzalo remained with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán for almost twenty years, during the heyday of the golden age of mariachi music. Today, he is considered one of the greatest practitioners of his instrument of all time. His unmistakable guitarrón can be heard on countless recordings by Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, Miguel Aceves Mejía, Lola Beltrán, Amalia Mendoza, José Alfredo Jiménez, and other stars of the era. His legacy also includes nearly 100 Mexican films he appeared in with Mariachi Vargas.