Juan S. Garrido

Juan S. Garrido

1902 - 1994



Juan Santiago Garrido Vargas was born on May 9, 1902, in Valparaíso, Chile. He died on January 23, 1994, in Mexico City. His parents were Mr. Evaristo Antonio Garrido Briseño and Mrs. Margarita Vargas Valenzuela. He lived in Chile until 1932, and in Mexico from that year on. He studied High School and Commerce.

During his childhood his mother taught him to play the piano. He began his career as a composer in Santiago de Chile, at the age of twelve. His first song was "Mother, Blessed Word." He was very hardworking, creative and active; he was an orchestra director; six years President of the Mexican Union of Theater and Music Chroniclers; director of musical choirs, such as the Televicentro Children's Choir, which he directed from 1959 to 1972, and the Banca Serfín Choir.

He was also a radio show host. He directed the program "La Hora del Aficionado" on XEW for thirty-six years; In it many of the artists of the Golden Age of Mexican song became known. In another of his facets, he served as an important writer and researcher of all aspects related to Mexican music. For eighteen years he published the column "Buenos Días Mis Amigos" in the newspaper Novedades, which later went to Universal.

Between 1980 and 1983 for the Mexican Radio Institute he made the program "Musical History of Mexico", which has also been broadcast by Radio UNAM.

He is the author of the book "History of Popular Music in Mexico (1896-1973)" published by Editorial Extemporáneos, SA In his dedication he printed Mtro. Garrido: "To the Mexican people, owners of an acute artistic feeling, expressed in their wonderful popular songbook, I offer this book as proof of my sincere gratitude. JSG" This work contains two thousand five hundred cataloged compositions, five hundred authors and fifty photographs of famous composers .

Regarding his way of being and personality, a few months before his death he defined himself in the following way: "In my youth I was a simple man, enthusiastic about music. I made very good, dear and great friends. I liked the artistic friends and those who wanted to become one. I had parties at my house and invited many of them. Now I am a calmer and more homely man." Two of his great passions are reading and listening to classical music, national popular music, jazz and Fox trot.

The works with which he obtained the greatest satisfaction were "The Cockfight at the San Marcos Fair" and "Noche de Luna en Jalapa", so much so that in Aguascalientes and Jalapa he was received as a distinguished guest, recognized with medals, tributes and above all. all with the love of the people. In a very emotional ceremony he received the keys to the city of Jalapa, and then a huge choir performed "Noche de Luna en Jalapa", and then they named a street in the city after him. In 1990 a great tribute was paid to him at the City Theater. He composed works in co-authorship with various authors such as Ernesto Cortazar, with whom he made "El corrido villista" and "Enamorado"; with José Antonio Zorrilla "Monís" and with Manuel Muñoz Farrus. Among these are "El ay, ay, ay",

An anecdote that he liked to tell tells that when he was twenty years old and living in Chile he got a job at a record company. He played the piano very well and a friend suggested that he play in a restaurant with a musical group. He accepted, but she had to split herself in two to fulfill his work in the office and the restaurant. One day he didn't go to the office to arrive at the restaurant a little earlier and stay longer. And what was his surprise when he discovered his boss among the audience, but his surprise was huge because his boss fired him. The relevant thing about this was that at that time he was left with only one job, in which he continued... his entire life. He considered that these are things of destiny.

Of the satisfactions he received from his career, he commented: "I couldn't talk about one, but many. For example, meeting people from different cities who have inspired some of my songs. Knowing that there is a park in Mexico City that bears my name. Having formed a high-quality orchestra, with which music lovers danced, for many years. Having woken up so many people in the morning singing my songs. That I always find someone who remembers my music and "He stops me to greet me. That my friends who are performers, all of them, have liked my songs and have sung and recorded them."