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José Alfredo (born José Alfredo Jiménez) was born to be a musician. Singing from earliest memory, he composed his first tunes at the age of nine. Within two years, he had begun recording. Although success was elusive, Alfredo eventually rose to the upper echelon of Mexican music. Beginning with his 1950 breakthrough hit "Yo," recorded with conjunto group Los Costenos, Alfredo was a constant presence on the music charts of Mexico. His lengthy list of hits included such top-sellers as "Cuatro Caminos," "Sucedio En La Barranca," "El Cobarde," "Que Suerte La Mia," and "Ella," which became a hit in both Mexico and the United States. His tunes were interpreted by Mexican pop singers, including Lola Beltrán, Lucas Villa, and Amalia "La Toriacuri" Mendoza; as well as international stars, including Vikki Carr and Paul Anka; and appeared in films sung by Pedro Infantino, Pedro Vargas, and Aceves Mejia. An album featuring songs that Alfredo recorded with mariachi/ranchera diva Mendoza (1923-2001), Cantando A Duo, was released in spring 2001. Alfredo succumbed to hepatitis on November 23, 1973.
José Alfredo Jiménez (January 19, 1926 in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato – November 23, 1973 in Mexico City, Mexico) was a Mexican singer-songwriter in the ranchera style whose songs are considered an integral part of Mexico's musical heritage.
Jiménez had no musical training according to singer Miguel Aceves Mejía. He also did not play an instrument and did not even know the Spanish terms for "waltz" and "key". Nonetheless, he composed more than 1000 songs. Among the most famous are "Ella", "Paloma Querida", "Tu Y La Mentira", "Media Vuelta", "El Rey", "Sin Sangre En Las Venas", "El Jinete", "Si Nos Dejan", "Amanecí En Tus Brazos", "Llegando A Ti", "Tu Recuerdo Y Yo", El Hijo Del Pueblo", "Cuando El Destino", "El Caballo Blanco", "Llegó Borracho El Borracho" and "Que Te Vaya Bonito", as well as "Caminos De Guanajuato", where he sang about his home state of Guanajuato.
In addition to his own recordings, many of his songs have been recorded by renowned artists from around the Spanish-speaking world, most notably by the following artists: Antonio Aguilar, Lola Beltrán, Vikki Carr, Gualberto Castro, Rocío Dúrcal, Alejandro Fernández, Pedro Fernández, Vicente Fernández, Los Relámpagos Del Norte con Cornelio Reyna y Ramón Ayala, Los Tigres del Norte, Manolo García, Little Joe Hernández & The Latinaires, Julio Iglesias, Pedro Infante, the Mexican rock group Maná, Miguel Aceves Mejía, Luis Miguel, Jorge Negrete, Sunny Ozuna & The Sunliners, María Dolores Pradera, Javier Solís, and Chavela Vargas. In addition, Joaquín Sabina paid homage to Jiménez with his song, "Por El Bulevar De Los Sueños Rotos" ("On the Boulevard Of Broken Dreams").
Like many of his contemporaries such as Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, and Javier Solís (the so-called "Three Mexican Roosters" or "Los Tres Gallos Mexicanos"), Jiménez died young. He was only forty-seven years old when he succumbed to complications resulting from hepatitis.
One of his last appearances on Mexican television occurred in 1973, just months prior to his death, where he introduced his last song, Gracias, accompanied by his wife, singer Alicia Juarez. It was his way of thanking the public for all of the affection they had shown him throughout his career as one of the most prolific and highly regarded composers and singers Mexico has ever produced.