Jose Alfredo Jimenez
José Alfredo Jiménez was a legendary Mexican singer-songwriter in the ranchera
style. His songs are considered part of the Mexican musical heritage and comparable, for
instance, to what Woody Guthrie meant to American folk music.
The restaurant where he worked as a young man, “La Sirena” was visited by
Andres Huesca, who heard some of his compositions of the then young singer, among
which was “Cuando el Destino” and “Yo”. Huesca immediately decided to record this
and following this in 1948 for the first time on the radio station XEX-AM and months
after the XEW-AM, which was catapulted to fame. He married Paloma Gálvez and had
two children, José Alfredo and Paloma.
He had no musical training—according to the singer Miguel Aceves Mejía,
Jiménez didn’t play an instrument and didn’t even know the Spanish terms for “waltz”
and “key”. Nonetheless he composed more than 1000 songs. Among the most famous are
“Ella”, “Media Vuelta”, “El Rey”, “El Jinete”, “Si Nos Dejan”, “Amanecí Entre Tus
Brazos”, “Cuando el Destino”, “El Caballo Blanco”, “Llegó Borracho el Borracho” and
“Que Te Vaya Bonito”, as well as “Camino de Guanajuato”, where he sang about his
home State of Guanajuato as well as his home town of Dolores Hidalgo Guanajuato.
In addition to his own hit recordings, many of his songs have been recorded
successfully by recording artists around the Spanish-speaking world, most notably by
Pedro Infante, Rocío Durcal, Javier Solís, Pedro Fernández, Jorge Negrete, Vikka Carr,
Luis Miguel, Lola Beltrán, Lucha Villa, Vicente Fernández and by Spaniards Julio
Iglesias, Joaquín Sabina and Manolo García.
Jiménez passed at a young age, like others of his contemporaries: Negrete, Infante
and Solís, the so-called “Three Mexican Roosters”, or Tres Gallos Mexicanos all died
young. He was struck-down by hepatitis at age 47...