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Antonio Mairena


Full name

Antonio Cruz García

Date of birth

07 Sep 1909

Place of birth

Mairena del Alcor


Antonio Cruz García was born in Mairena del Alcor on the 7th of September 1909. He grew up in the heart of a gypsy family closely linked to great artists of the era. Not surprisingly that his father was a very good friend of Manuel TorreJoaquín el de la Paula or El Gloria.

It is said that he was discovered, when, at a party celebrated in Mairena for the dancer Faíco, the boy came out to sing 'tangos´ by Pastora Imperio, «Soy grande con ser gitano» -I´m great being a gypsy-. He wanted to participate in the Granada Competition in 1922, but his father wouldn´t let him due to the lack of money. However, two years later, in 1924, another contest was celebrated in Alcalá de Guadaira which helped Antonio to appear on stage for the first time. He was fifteen years old and sang 'seguiriyas´ and 'soleares´.

Joaquín el de la Paula gave him the first prize, of 20 duros, five peseta pieces (0,60 euros). He began to be known as Niño de Rafael and in 1930 he was known as Niño de Mairena. He attempted to meddle in the flamenco operas, but didn´t manage it, for which reason he became involved in the festivals in the Alameda de Hércules, where he met great artists. He stood out at first for his performance of 'saetas´, which he never managed to record, and he set up a tavern in Mairena.

On the arrival of the war, Antonio refused to be Carmen Amayas´ singer, who started a tour through America, and stayed in Sevilla. After the war, he recorded his first albums along side the guitarist Esteban Sanlúcar for La Voz de su Amo. He meant to record "seguiriyas", "soleares", "alegrías", "bulerías"and "tangos", but the record company obliged him to sing "fandangos" and 'cuplés por bulerías´. Afterwards he began his era as a singer for dances.

He worked for Pastora Imperio in the "tablao La Capitana" in Madrid. On finding out that Carmen Amayahad returned to Spain he went to find her and she invited him to sing for her on various occasions.

Later he went on tour with Teresa and Luisillo throughout America, and in the forties, thanks to Juanito ValderramaAntonio el Bailarín, took him on proportioning him with definitive recognition. In this manner we reach 1962, year in which he was awarded the Third Golden Key of Song, just two years after the death of its previous owner, Manuel Vallejo.

Thanks to this award, which he achieved under the wing of the poet Ricardo Molina, he became an established artist and began to be in demand in all the forums He also turned into a theorist along with the cited poet, writing Mundo y formas del cante flamenco where he establishes the gypsy-Andalusian aspects of the 'jondo´ art, to justify the supremacy of the artists of his race, thanks to what he called «Razón incorpórea»- incorporeal reason-. After recording numerous anthologies of the basic songs which he recreated from fossilised styles, he died in September 1983.


1941: Fiesta por bulerías y fandangos - Odeón SO9304;9

1941: Bulerías y fandangos - Odeón SO9303;5

1941: Bulerías y fandangos - Odeón SO9308;10

1941: Bulerías y fandangos - Odeón SO9306;7

1944: Disco de Tánger - Estudios de Discos.Tánger

1950: Bulerías y soleares - Columbia C8714;5

1950: Bulerías jerezanas y fandangos - Columbia C8716;7

1950: Alegrías y seguiriyas - Columbia C8706;7

1950: Bulerías y soleares - Columbia C8708;9

1952: Con Antonio y Carmen Rojas al baile - Columbia CL26002

1954: Disco de Londres - Modern Recording MM709

1958: Cantes de Antonio Mairena - Columbia CCLP31010

1959: Sevilla cuna del cante flamenco - Columbia

1960: Cinco grabaciones en disco de amianto para uso personal de Antonio Mairena - Es ejemplar único

1960: Antología del cante flamenco y cante gitano dirigida por Antonio Mairena - Columbia CCLP31014, 31015 y 31016

1963: Duendes del cante de Triana - Hispavox HH 16396

1963: Noches de la Alameda - Hispavox HH 16395

1963: Tangos de Andalucía - Hispavox HH 16397

1964: La llave de oro del cante flamenco - Hispavox HH10-251,HH16-536 y HH-537

1965: Cien años de cante gitano - Hispavox HH10-269,HH16-514, HH515 y 516

1966: La gran historia del cante gitano-andaluz (3LP) - Columbia MCE-814,815 y 816

1967: Sevilla por bulerías - Columbia QE10531

1967: Festival de Cante Jondo Antonio Mairena - Columbia MCE-825

1968: Misa flamenca en Sevilla - RCA Victor LSC16341-N

1969: Mi cante por Saetas - RCA Victor 3-21071

1969: Honores a la Niña de los Peines - RCA Victor LPM 10396-N

1970: Mis recuerdos de Manuel Torre - RCA Victor LSP 10408-N

1970: La fragua de los Mairenas - RCA Victor LSP 10409-N

1972: Cantes festeros de Antonio Mairena - Ariola 85486-I

1972: Grandes estilos flamencos - Ariola 85487-I

1972: Antonio Mairena y el cante de Jerez - Ariola 85488-I

1973: Cantes de Cádiz y los Puertos - Philips 6328103

1973: Triana, raíz del Cante - Philips 6328104

1974: Grabación de su participación en el Festival de la Unión    

1976: Esquema histórico del cante por siguiriyas y soleares - Zafiro ZND 805

1983: El calor de mis recuerdos - Pasarela PRD92EC

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Antonio Mairena

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