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José Alfredo Jiménez


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Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico (1948 – 1973)

José Alfredo Jiménez (born in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico on 9 January 1926 - died 23 November 1973 in Mexico City, Mexico) was a legendary Mexican singer-songwriter in the 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 frequented 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


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