Agustín Lara (October 30, 1897, México – November 6, 1970)
Agustín Lara, Ángel Agustín María Carlos Fausto Mariano Alfonso del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Lara y Aguirre del Pino ), known as Agustín Lara was a Mexican singer and songwriter.
Agustín Lara was born in Tlacotalpan, Veracruz. Later, the Lara family had to move to Mexico City, establishing their house in the borough of Coyoacán. After their mother died, Agustín and his siblings lived in a hospice run by their aunt, Refugio Aguirre del Pino. It was there that he had his first contact with music.
Lara’s first musical composition was Marucha, written in honor of one of his first loves. In 1927 he already was working in cabarets. He subsequently moved to Puebla, but returned to Mexico City in 1928. That same year he started working for the tenor Juan Arvizu as composer and accompanist. In September 1930, Lara began a successful radio career. At the same time he acted and composed songs for such films as Santa.
Lara’s first tour, to Cuba in 1933, was a failure because of political turmoil on the island. Later, more successful tours in South America, as well as such new compositions as Solamente Una Vez (composed in Buenos Aires and dedicated to José Mojica), Veracruz, Tropicana, and Pecadora increased his fame.
By the beginning of the 1940s, Lara was well known in Spain. In 1965, the Spanish Caudillo, Francisco Franco, gave him a house in Granada to show his appreciation of Lara’s songs with Spanish themes, such as Toledo, Cuerdas de mi Guitarra, Granada, Seville and Madrid. He received additional honors and decorations from around the world.
In 1968, Lara’s health began to decline rapidly; an accident that fractured his pelvis further aggravated his condition. On November 6, 1970, Lara died. He was buried in the Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres of the Panteón de Dolores in Mexico City. By the time of his death, Lara had written more than 700 songs.
Agustín Lara was a son of Joaquín Lara and María Aguirre y Pino. He had an aunt named Refugio Aguirre del Pino and younger sister, María Teresa Lara. He married beautiful María Félix and was a stepfather to the actor Enrique Álvarez Félix, who died in 1996.