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|Statue of A. Lara in Madrid, by sculptor Humberto Peraza|
|Birthday/Birthplace||October 30, 1897
|Deceased||November 6, 1970(1970-11-06)
Yolanda Santacruz Gasca
Rocío Durán (adopted daughter/wife)
Enrique Álvarez Félix (stepson)
Gerardo Agustín Lara Santacruz (adopted son)
Agustín Lara Lárraga (biological son)
|Father||Joaquín M. Lara|
|Mother||María Aguirre del Pino de Lara|
Angel Agustín María Carlos Fausto Mariano Alfonso of the Sacred Heart of Jesús Lara and Aguirre del Pino , known as Agustín Lara , (Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, October 30, 1897 – Mexico City, November 6, 1970) was a Mexican composer and performer of songs and boleros. It is recognized as one of the most popular of its time and its kind. Also known by the nicknames of El Músico Poeta and El Flaco de Oro, his work was widely appreciated not only in Mexico, but also in Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Spain. After his death, he has also been recognized in the United States, Italy and Japan.
His main interpreters were and are Pedro Vargas, who was his compadre, Toña la Negra (María Antonia Peregrino Álvarez), Pedro Infante, Javier Solís, Alejandro Algara, Hugo Avendaño, Julio Iglesias, Manuel Mijares, Vicente Fernández, Pérez Prado , Natalia Lafourcade and other artists more.
Agustin Lara’s Biography
There is no certainty about the date or place of birth. The musician claimed to have been born in Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, on October 30, 1900. He appears in several of his biographies, and that is the year recorded in his tomb located in the Rotunda of the Illustrious Persons.
However, the journalist Jaime Almeida assured, after an investigation carried out in 1970, that the composer was really born in the Federal District, on October 30, 1897, based on the baptismal faith and the birth certificate he found in the Civil Registry: “Lara was born in a place called El Callejón Puente del Cuervo number 16, which now corresponds to the second street of the Republic of Colombia, in the Historic Center, a few blocks from the Abelardo Rodríguez market. In fact, there is still the house where the Lara Aguirre family lived. “That is, Agustín Lara took off for three years. But it is also true that being very small the family moved to Tlacotalpan, where he spent his childhood.
Others accept this date, but understand that the real place of birth was not the Mexican Federal District but Tlatlauquitepec, Puebla. The family lived there, but as the father of the future artist had to pass a doctor’s examination, they moved to the capital and there took the opportunity to register their son in the Civil Registry, thirteen days after being born, on November 12 of 1897. According to the author, all the people who interviewed in Tlatlauqui assure that Lara was born in that place.
In the book Mi novia la tristeza the authors accept the date and place of the birth certificate and ask themselves: «In a neighborhood of that street lived doctor Joaquín M. Lara and his wife María Aguirre, parents of the composer. Mr. Lara told the Civil Registry judge, Mr. Wenceslado Briceño, that his son had been born in that house. Neither Agustín’s father nor his mother nor the witnesses Carlos María Padilla and Jacinto Lara had any need to lie about this fact. If Agustín had been born in Tlacotalpan only thirteen days before his minutes were drawn up, as he said, why did not his parents settle him in this document? »
Other versions, much less credible, claim that he was born in Spain or Suchitepequez, Guatemala.
His father, Joaquín Mario Lara, was originally from a small town in the northern highlands of Puebla called Tlatlauquitepec and his mother, María Aguirre and del Pino, originally from Tlalnepantla de Baz, state of Mexico. In 1906 his family moved to Mexico City. His father abandoned the family. Agustín lived with an aunt named Refugio, a place where he knew the harmonium, he took music lessons and at 7 he showed a remarkable ability to play the piano.He studied at the Liceu Fournier, but had to abandon his studies to support his home. From the age of 12 he worked as a pianist in nightclubs, telling his mother that he was doing telegraphic night shifts. He entered the Military College and in 1917 he joined the revolutionary movement. Being under the orders of General Samuel Fernández, he was wounded in both legs and returned to the capital.
During the 1920s he worked as a pianist in bars, cafés and silent movie theaters. By then, he composed the song Marucha, written in honor of one of his first loves. This song ended up causing difficulties to her, arriving at one time to have a fight with another woman. In 1927 he was already working in cabarets. That year, a showgirl named Estrella attacked him with a broken bottle; as a result, Agustín Lara was marked with a scar on his face.
He moved temporarily to Puebla until 1929, due to the events of the Cristero War. He himself narrated, through the radio, the circumstances in which he met Father Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez: at the police headquarters, he witnessed his execution, which was executed without trial or evidence, however, it was not until 1929 that he started working for the tenor Juan Arvizu, who discovered him and made his compositions known.
The first song recorded in his name was La prisionera, which he composed in 1926. In September 1930 he began his career of resounding successes on the radio, through the program called La hora intima de Agustín Lara. At the time he performed and composed songs for several films, including Santa (1931), inspired by the novel by Federico Gamboa, and soon after he participated in the radio with the program La Hora Azul on the XEW radio, sharing with performers like Tona Negra and Pedro Vargas, also directing the El Son Marabú Orchestra. He appeared at the Politeama theater in Mexico City in 1932. In 1933 he faced the failure of his first tour in Cuba, due to the changing political climate prevailing on the island. He made several tours through South America and new compositions would increase his fame as Only once (composed in Buenos Aires and dedicated to José Mojica), Veracruz, Guitar Guajira / Palmera, Tropicana, Singer, among others.
He was famous for his love with various women such as Esther Rivas Elorriaga in 1917, Angelina Bruscheta Carral in 1928, Clarita Martínez in 1949, Yolanda Santacruz Gasca “YiYi” in 1953, Rocío Durán in 1964. But the most important thing about her Amorous life, was the marriage with María Félix celebrated in 1945. For her she composed several songs like María bonita, Aquel amor and Noche de Ronda, among others. His house in Las Lomas was a center for gatherings for artists and writers who used to meet often, and more so in the time of María Félix. In the cinema he acted in films like Novillero (1936) and Coqueta perdida (1949).
In 1953 he received a tribute from President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. In Spain his figure was well known at the beginning of the 1940s, he even received various honors and decorations around the world, such as he would receive from the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, who in 1965 gave him a beautiful house in Granada (Spain), thanks to the songs dedicated to various cities such as Toledo, Granada, Seville, Valencia, Madrid, Murcia among others. The surprising thing about these compositions is that Agustín Lara did not know Spain when he composed these songs.
Fan of the Fiesta Brava
He was a bullfighting fan. He met the Spanish bullfighter Manuel Rodríguez “Manolete” when he opened the Plaza de Toros Mexico, Manuel Benítez “El Cordobés” who gave him a job, and the Mexican bullfighter Silverio Pérez who composed a pasodoble.
In 1937 he was accused of fraud and plagiarism by Luis Moreno and Music Publishing Co. for attempting to register with the Literary Property Registration Department b> the song I’d like to tell you.
From 1968 he began a rapid decline that would take him to the end of his life, he even had a fall in his house, accident that caused the fracture of the pelvis, which aggravated his health given his advanced age. He went into a coma on November 3, 1970 due to a stroke. He died on November 6, 1970 and, by presidential order, was buried in the Rotunda of Illustrious Persons of the Pantheon of Dolores in Mexico City.
More Facts about Agustin Lara
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