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Luis Enrique Lucho Gatica Silva (Rancagua, August 11, 1928) is a Chilean bolero singer and actor. He is the father of Mexican actor Luis Gatica and uncle of Chilean music producer Humberto Gatica.
Origins and early life (1928-1946)
His parents were Agustín Gatica, merchant and small farmer, and Juana Silva. After the death of his father, which occurred on February 10, 1933, he suffered many deprivations in his childhood, as did his seven brothers.
It was Arturo Gatica, ten years older and who had started his musical career towards 1938, who promoted the first musical steps of his brother. Lucho Gatica studied at the O’Higgins Institute in Rancagua, dependent on the Catholic congregation of the Marist Brothers, and in 1941 he began to sing in gymnastics magazines and on the radio in Rancagua, a duo with his brother, at thirteen. In 1943, he recorded the first record of his life: an acetate recorded on the same radio with three tunes, one of them called “Negra del alma”, and accompanied by the guitars of two friends: Antonio Muñoz and Ernesto Rossón.
Arturo also welcomed Lucho when he arrived in Santiago in 1945, when he was enrolled in the Alonso de Ercilla Institute, also dependent on the Marist Brothers, where he had among his companions Andrés Zaldívar, future figure of Chilean politics. A year later, in 1946, the student Gatica also enrolled in the Industrial School № 2 of Santiago to qualify for the technical title of dental mechanic. At the same time, Arturo took his brother to the Radio Mining station to present him to the announcer Raúl Matas, who had the program La feria de los deseos. At eighteen, Lucho Gatica sang “Tú, donde estás”.
Debut and first hits (1946-1953)
In 1949, Raúl Matas managed his first recording, a duet with Arturo Gatica and the accompaniment of the Rey-Silva Duo. The brothers recorded four tunes on a 78 RPM record for the Chilean subsidiary of the Odeón label. These had the titles “The martyrdom”, “You who are selling flowers”, “The game” and “Tilín tolón”.
Always in a paternal role, Arturo urged his brother to finish his career, and in fact the diploma that proves his title of Dental Mechanic was delivered on July 31, 1951, but the space that corresponded to the signature of “interested” (title applicant) went blank. The duo of the Gatica brothers managed to appear on the cover of the Ecran magazine in huasos attire.
In the 1950s, Chile experienced a musical change when the bolero over tango prevailed as the favorite musical genre. In 1951, Lucho met Cuban singer Olga Guillot in Santiago and recorded with Don Roy’s orchestra. His simple CD with the song “Piel Canela” (1951), composed by the Puerto Rican Bobby Capó and first recorded by him with the Sonora Matancera, became a great success in all of Latin America.
Through the speaker Raúl Matas, Lucho Gatica met in Santiago the Los Peregrinos Trio, which backed the Bolivian singer Raúl Shaw Moreno with their voices and guitars, as well as the Chileans Fernando Rossi and Pepe González. Gatica decided to record with the support of the group the boleros “Contigo en la distancia”, by the Cuban César Portillo de la Luz, and “Sinceridad” by the Nicaraguan Rafael Gastón Pérez, for the Chilean subsidiary of the Odeón label. Later, Gatica recorded, this time with the orchestra of the British Maestro Roberto Inglez, his version of Consuelo Velázquez’s song, “Bésame mucho”, in 1953, year in which he produced two more songs, “Las chicas de la Plaza España” and the mentioned, “Sincerity”.
International Fame (1953-2000)
I fight Gatica in the 2000s.