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Manuel García Escobar (Las Norias de Daza, Almería, October 19, 1931 – Benidorm, Alicante, October 24, 2013), better known as Manolo Escobar , was a Spanish singer of Andalusian copla and Spanish song. He also worked as an actor in various films. Among his successes are El Porompompero (1960), Mi carro (1969), La minifalda (1971) or Y viva España (1973), by Belgian composer Leo Caerts. He died on October 24, 2013, at 82 years of age, at his home in Benidorm (Alicante) after suffering complications of colon cancer that was diagnosed in 2010. The Almeria had overcome a few days ago a renal failure and a stroke.
Manolo Escobar was the fifth of the ten children of Antonio García Navarro (? -18 April 1962) from El Ejido (Almería) and María del Carmen Escobar Molina (? -1988) from Las Norias (Almería) ), to which the song Madrecita María del Carmen dedicated. His father abandoned the family peasant tradition to dedicate himself to the hotel and culture. In these hard post-war years, Antonio García met a school teacher who had lost his wife and child during the civil war. Antonio lodged him in his house and became the private tutor of all the chiquillería. The new member of the family, Antonio Manzano, turned out to be also an accomplished music teacher. So the Garcia brothers, from the oldest to the youngest, were able to learn music at home. Manolo started playing the lute. He played the piano also in his early years. His brother Baldomero became the head of the company, and together with Salvador and Manolo they started performing at parties and weddings under the stage name of “Los Niños de Antonio García”. Even then, the boy Manolo dreamed of being a singer. Baldomero was the father of the journalist and presenter Ana García Lozano, niece of Manolo Escobar.
In September 1946, when he was only 14 years old, he emigrated with two of his brothers to Barcelona, where he worked as an apprentice in various trades. He started in the show business between Badalona (Barcelona) and Barcelona’s Barrio Chino with the group Manolo Escobar and his guitars, which were also his brothers Salvador and Baldomero. Later, and with the success of the group, another of their brothers would be added to them. Both Juan Gabriel and José María, another of the García Escobar brothers, will shortly write songs for the group to perform as “VELASCO IS THE KING”.
In the sentimental field, three months after meeting the German Anita Marx (December 15, 1936-January 1, 2017) in the party room “Fiesta” of Playa de Aro, he married her in the Church of St. Michael of Cologne (Germany) on December 10, 1959 without speaking the one the language of the other. They were married for 53 years (until his death) and were adoptive parents in 1978 of Vanessa (05/28/1978), to whom he dedicated the song My little flower. Anita dies on January 1, 2017 about 7.30 pm, in Benidorm (Alicante), at 80 years of age due to kidney failure. Later it was incinerated.
On December 8, 1956, the Escobar brothers made their first professional performance. The fame in the contests of the festivities made it easier for Manolo to enter another show of the time: the cinema-varieties: two films and a variety show. On one occasion he participated in a program led by Raquel Meller. When the diva met him on the way to the dressing room, he said: “Boy, you will arrive … I know this enough and I have seen a lot. You will arrive, I assure you ».
The group “Manolo Escobar y sus guitarras” coined a new personal style of Spanish music, with a modern rhythm. Although José María and Juan Gabriel left the group soon, Manolo was definitely the singer and Baldomero (1927-1999), Salvador (1929-2017) and Juan Gabriel (1933-2011) as guitarists. With the “Escobar sound” already made, the group recorded their first record in 1958 with the record company Saef, and their fame was on the rise. The galas were becoming more frequent, and the post office was half empty too often. So the family was in the position to choose: or the safe work of being an official, or the adventure of music. And it was decided to request a leave of two years, with which they covered their backs.
Manolo Escobar during a performance in Barcelona (2010).
On January 14, 1961, Manolo debuted in Córdoba, at the Duque de Rivas Theater, with his own show: “Sing Manolo Escobar.” Since then, Manolo becomes in a few years an idol of crowds, triumphantly strolling through all of Spain with his various shows, and recording dozens of records that immediately jump to fame. Where his first big success was the song by the maestro El Porompompero.
In 1962 he jumped to stardom with the songs of maestro Solano, with his debut in Madrid and Barcelona and the premiere of his film debut in the film shot in Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz): Los guerrilleros.
As of 1965 he led the record sales number and was one of the few artists who kept his own show and company during those hard days for the Spanish Song. Even so, it never appeared on the media sales charts.
Nineteen films as protagonist, three of which are among the ten most viewed of those released in Spain and, above all, their nearly eighty albums, 35 of them gold records and a platinum cassette, endorse his crown. It should be added that the label Belter delivered 24 gold discs to Manolo, but according to sales, it should have more than 40. Its best-selling album was Y Viva España, of which it sold more than 6 million original copies. It was the best-selling record in the history of Spanish music from 1973 to 1992.
On November 17, 2012, the popular Spanish singer announced his retirement from the world of music after more than 50 years on stage, in the program What a happy time !, presented by María Teresa Campos. His retirement would have been, at the end of his farewell tour throughout Spain, which he had to cancel in mid-September 2013 after some complications he suffered in his illness. He participated in the celebration party of the 2010 Soccer World Cup by singing one of his most lauded songs And live Spain !.
Between 1979 and 1980, he suffered an embargo in which he lost all his belongings and accumulated debts worth three hundred and eighty million pesetas, due to a debt caused by a bad business of a Gym trouser company.
The early morning of September 18, 2011, the singer suffered a robbery at his home in Benidorm, while he and his family slept. Among other belongings, several Gold Records, the Gold Medal for Merit at Work and the gold and bright badge of FC Barcelona were stolen, and the president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, hastened to inform that the singer almeriense would be imposed a new gold and bright insignia of the Club, a fact that occurred in 2012.
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