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Jose Alfredo Jimenez
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Vocalist
    (January 19, 1926-November 23, 1973)
    Born in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico
    Mariachi entertainer
    Composed over 1,000 'Ranchera' folk songs
    Best known for his trademark anthem, 'Camino de Guanajuata'
    Released albums 'La Sota De Copas' (1970), 'El Cantinero•El Rey' (1971), and 'Gracias' (1972)
    Performed in films 'Camino de Guanajuato,' 'Los huéspedes de La Marquesa,' 'Pura Vida,' 'Ahí viene Martín Corona' ('Here Comes Martin Corona'), 'Los Adventureros,' 'Juana Gallo,' and 'Ferias de Mexico'
    Popular songs include 'Me Equivoqué Contigo,' 'Paloma querida,' 'Tú y la mentira,' 'Media vuelta,' 'Sin Sangre en las Venas,' 'El jinete,' 'Si nos Dejan,' 'Amanecí en tus Brazos,' 'Llegando a ti,' 'Tu recuerdo y yo,' 'El Hijo del Pueblo,' 'Cuando el Destino,' 'El caballo blanco,' 'Llegó Borracho el Borracho' and 'Que te vaya bonito'
    Honored as Best Composer for three consecutive years (1950-52); Song 'El Jinete' was awarded 'Best Song' of 1953 (1954)
    He sold women's shoes as a teenager.
    He was a heavy who looked like Chris-Pin Martin.
    He drew criticism in some circles for his open references to drunkenness and violence in his songs.
    His song, 'Llego Borracho el Borracho' ('The Drunkard arrived Drunk') was banned from the airwaves in several Mexican cities.
    He was a womanizer with a propensity for heavy drinking (which worsened as his fame grew).
    He carried on an illicit affair with songstress Alicia Juarez, at the time nearly half his age.
    He had no musical training and rarely even knew what key his songs were in.
    Publicists had posters designed to suggest that he was a guitarist, but in reality he couldn't play an instrument.
    Legend has it that he didn't even know the Spanish words for 'waltz' and 'key' (despite being born and bred in a Spanish-speaking country?)
    There are conflicting stories as to how he was actually discovered (both Pedro Vargas and Miguel Aceves Mejia tell colorful stories claiming to have done so).
    He lost his father when he was only ten years old.
    He supported his family in a series of odd jobs before turning to songwriting and singing on the streets.
    He first gained local recognition while working as a waiter at the La Sirena cantina-nightclub in Mexico City, where a music agent heard him perform several of his compositions.
    His first commercial hit came, in 1950, when his song 'Yo' was recorded by the conjunto group, Andres Huesca y sus Costenos.
    He would attain international fame a year later when Mario Talavera did a cover of a song he wrote at the age of 18, 'Ella.'
    The song, 'Ella,' would later be performed in the Cine Mexicano film, 'Nadie Muere dos Veces,' sealing his popularity with audiences.
    Talavera's neice, Paloma, who had introduced him to Jimenez's music, fell in love with the musician. They would marry and have two children.
    Last.FM equated his folksy style to that of Woody Guthrie (both spoke to their respective countries' working class laborers).
    He gave his final performance three months prior to his death, on Mexican television, singing a tribute, 'Gracias,' to the public for their lasting affection and loyalty (Aug. 1973).
    His songs have been recorded by Julio Iglesias,Los Lobos, Paul Anka,Pedro Infante, and Jorge Negrete.
    He is usually rated as on-par with Negrete and Infante, not only because of his talent, but due to their shared fate of dying at their prime.
    He resonates with Spanish-language music lovers to the point that his Dolores Hidalgo tomb has practically become a pilgrimage site.
    His songs not only continue to receive wide play at nightclubs and parties, but his recordings also average between 1 - 9 million views on YouTube (not bad for someone who had difficulty finding work as a radio interpreter early in his career!)

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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