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Vicente Fernandez and Mariachi Essay

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Updated: Dec 24th, 2018


Born in 1940, Vicente Fernandez Gomez is an American performer, vocalist, and producer. He is also referred to as the king of ranchera music. He is known for his music in the whole Latin America. Vicente began his music career on the streets. He has recorded more that 50 albums today.

He is the father of the famous artist Alejandro Fernandez. Vicente has won seven Grammy awards in Latin. His father Ramon and his mother Paula Gomez brought up the renowned actor in a ranch at Gadalajara. His mother would take him to watch movies as early as the age of seven years.

Vicente is married to Maria Refugio. They have three children Gerardo, Vicente junior, and Alejandro. However, Patricia Rivera claims that she has a son named Pablo Rodrigo with Vicente. Pedro Infante influenced Vicente’s music career since his tender age. In fact, by the age seven, he would take the guitar and sing in rachera style. He also sang in Arendas music festivals as a boy where he emerged the winner. As the paper reveals, he has had much influence on the mariachi style of music.

How Vicente Fernandez Influenced Mariachi across Mexico through his Music and Movies

Fernandez has influenced the mariachi style of singing in Mexico especially via his captivating music and his movies. A good example of Vicente’s influence on mariachi style of music is the emergence of female mariachi star singers such as Lola Beltran and Lucha Villa. The two superstars have confessed having been influenced by Vicente’s work of art.

The two women have influenced others to get into the mariachi. Mulholland reveals how women have got into the male dominated field of music out of Vicente’s influence (247). Many of those who have watched Vicente’s music since he was young have ended up trying their hand in mariachi. Although Vicente does not sing mariachi, fine mariachi singers always accompany him on stage.

Vicente’s has also influenced many young Mexicans into mariachi style. A good example of young people whom Vicente has pulled into mariachi music is his son Vicente junior who is now a renowned mariachi singer. Such influence indicates that Vicente has been able to make great artists as a father and a mentor. Just like his father who gained interest in music at the age of seven years, Vicente junior also began it at a tender age. The increased young fans in his shows also portray his influence on young people in Mexico. Young people have also been emulating Vicente’s example in their lives. According to Martinez, Vicente was influenced by Infante at a very young age (28).

Many Mexicans have also been influenced by Vicente’s film career. The singer got into the film market in 1971 when he produced the film ‘Uno y Medio Contra el Mundo’. He made another one that became a hit film in America: la Ley del Monte. Many Mexicans have been influenced into the mariachi music by the exemplary performance of Vicente in the films, which have made his songs become hits in the whole of Mexico. In fact, when Vicente produced the films, he became very famous thus marking the peak of his music career.

When one listens and watches mariachi music, there are overtones of influence from Vicente’s music such as “El idolo de Mexico and El Rey, El Hijo del Pueblo” (Jácquez 229). Jácquez affirms that these songs have become synonymous with mariachi music today (229). One cannot talk about mariachi without the mention of Vicente Fernerdez.

Mariachi singers adore Fernerdez. In fact, many artists in Mexico are also working hard to imitate Vicente’s music and films. Although various other artists in mariachi have come up, none of them has been able to measure up to the standards of Vicente. Popular shows have been hiring Vicente to perform to their audience. Vicente has also been a mentor to various musicians and film actors.

Mariachi artists have also been emulating the style of art that Vicente uses to increase their sales. Vicente’s music has topped the market as the most purchased songs in America. For example, the song that Vicente produced in 1976 by the title, ‘Volver volver’ became the most famous song in this era. It recorded a big impact on the ranchera music.

The trend of this song has been a source of inspiration to most mariachi artists. In fact, it was the most purchased ranchera music. Many groups of artists in Mexico also adopted the music for performance. Such an influence is an indication of how prominent the works of art by Vicente had become influential.

The song also became a hit in Central and South America. Mariachi artists appreciated Vicente as the most popular artist of the time. Since that time, Vicente became the king of ranchera. People have known him by this nickname. It is out of the Vicente’s performance in this song in accompaniment of mariachi singers that he became an international artist.

However, although many people in Mexico have imitated Vicente’s style of music, none of them has been able to excel as he did. In fact, the music industry in Mexico refers to Vicente as Chente. Many artists have featured Vicente in their films to make them more marketable. Due to his powerful influence, he had been featured in 20 films by 1990. He has also recorded over a hundred films with Sony BMG. One would wonder the role of mariachi in the music world. The next section unravels the puzzle.

Role of Mariachi in the Music Industry

Mariachi music is important to the world of music today. The music has led to the development of music in Mexico. Lychner asserts that development in mariachi has enabled the music industry in Mexico to develop instruments like guitars, harps, and trumpets (40). The harp is slowly being forgotten due to the development of guitars in mariachi music. Music has also become more organized in Mexico since mariachi is organized. New music venues have also been developed in Mexico for purposes of life performances of Mariachi.

The mariachi has also led to the development of mariachi bands. Jácquez points out that the costume that the mariachi uses is unique as it depicts the quality attributed to this kind of music (229). These costumes, referred to as charro, are meant for the upper class. The tight waistcoats used in mariachi have been adopted in many types of music today thus raising musicians to the class of the well-to-do. Rich farmers wore these regalia in early Mexico.

Other kinds of music have also adopted the use of music costume in performance. Mariachi music has also influenced the social life of musicians. Jácquez argues that the music industry has been influenced in that dancing styles like waltz, Folkloric Mexican, and polka have adopted the mariachi styles (229). Many songs have also adopted shouting and cries referred to as gritos. The glitos that put emphasis on certain words have become a popular in the music industry.

Mariachi music, which has been in existence since the early 1700s, has become the most popular music in Mexico. Mexicans refer to it as their music. The music has also made Jalisco very popular internationally. When mariachi music began to be played on radios and televisions in 1930, Mexicans became lovers of music. For example, the mariachi Vergas teclitlan made many people fall for the music. The Vergas went on to perform for president in 1934.

Therefore, mariachi music has raised the music industry in Mexico to the point of honor by the mighty and the powerful. In fact, after the performance of the Vergas band to the president in1934, their song became the official police band song for Mexico. Mariachi became so powerful in Mexico. Every other style of music wanted to rise to its height. People changed their culture trough the influence of this music. The music industry had a big influence from the mariachi music ranging from its attire, composition, and discipline.

Conclusion: Impact of Vicente Fernandez’s Music on me

Vicente’s music has also influenced me. The love appeal that Vicente presents through his songs has made me believe more in the power of love. In Vicente’s songs, there are lyrics on how to nurture love and keep promises of love.

Vicente views love as a natural occurrence that can be nurtured to produce unity and unending joy. For example, in Vicente’s song ‘La ley del Monte’ specifically stanza 2 verse 8 and 9, the song lyrics, “slimmest and even told me to also engrave it with two hearts and an arrow” (La ley del Monte). In these lyrics, Vicente shows the importance of love and togetherness.

Martinez (28) asserts that the words in some of Vicente’s words also present a tone of presenting and portraying deep affection. The tone that the words in the song ‘The Law of the Wilderness’ specifically stanza 1 and verse 2 are, “interlaced with mine, like proof before the law of the wilderness that we were there, in love” (The Law of the Wilderness). These words are indicators of deep affection revealing how to relay them to someone with whom one is in love.

The lyrics in Vicente’s songs are a great inspiration to me since they have influenced by self-esteem, feelings, and my ability to express myself in songs. The words are also easy to meditate. In most instances, they form part of the singer’s life. The song teaches me to be faithful and to honor my promises. For example, in the song ‘La ley del monte’ stanza 19, the lyrics, “you forgot that the margue knew what you swore on our night” (La ley del Monte) taught me to keep and honor promises.

Vicente’s song can be related to life experiences. The most disturbing issue in life is love. Most of people suffer because of love and lack of it. With love, people cannot fight, they cannot hate others, and cannot kill each other. According to Mulholland, Vicente sings about love, how to embrace, cultivate, keep, and to it. In real life, people want knowledge on love.

The issues that Vicente sings about, for example, jilt, are an issue that happens every day in life. People have trouble while expressing love. Love language is difficult. In his songs, Vicente uses lyrics that many people adopt in dance halls and even in homes. Partners sing the songs to their spouses or lovers.

Works Cited

Jácquez, Cándida. “Mariachi Music in America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture.” Latin American Music Review 27.2(2006): 229-232. Print.

La ley del Monte. Ex. Prod. Vicente Fernandez. Bendigo, Vic.: Video Education Australasia. 2005. DVD.

Lychner, John. (2008). “Instrumental Music Experiences from Mexico.” Music Educators Journal 94.4(2008): 40-45. Print.

Martinez, Cecilia. “Marvelous Mariachi.” Hispanic 10.11(1997): 28. Print.

Mulholland, Mary-Lee. “Mariachi, Myths and Mestizaje: Popular Culture and Mexican National Identity.” National Identities 9.3(2007): 247-264. Print.

The Law of the Wilderness. Ex. Prod. Vicente Fernandez. Bendigo, Vic.: Video Education Australasia. 2005. DVD.

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