Tag Archives: Flamenco

29. Al gurugu – La Niña de los Peines – 1946

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About

No Wikipedia entry for the song.

La Niña de los Peines

Pastora Pavón Cruz, known as La Niña de los Peines (Seville, Spain, February 10, 1890 – November 26, 1969), is considered the most important woman flamenco singer of the 20th century.

She was a sister of singers Arturo Pavón and Tomás Pavón, also an important flamenco singer, and aunt to Arturo Pavón, the first flamenco pianist. Both brothers, Pastora and Tomás, together with singer Manuel Torre, were the inspiring models for the next generation of singers like Antonio Mairena, Pepe de la Matrona or Fosforito, who led the movement towards the revival of traditional forms in the decades of the 50s-70s.

Backed by flamenco guitar and palmas (hand claps), “Al gurugu” displays La Nina at the height of her powers and stands as an intense performance of cante jondo (deep song). Here lives flamenco’s raw Gypsy soul.

Trivia

  • Born in the famous quarter of Alameda de Hércules, in Seville, Cruz started singing for the public as at the age of 8, in the Seville Spring Fair. Later, when she was singing at Café de la Marina, a café cantante in Madrid, she acquired the nickname La Niña de los Peines (The Girl of the Combs, a nickname she never liked).
  • At a young age, La Nina began touring Spain, and her first recordings were made in 1910.
  • The song’s title is a nonsense term comparable, say, to “doo-doo-doo.” It works primarily as a vocal effect, around which La Nina improvised lyrics.
  • “Al gurugu” is regarded by flamenco connoisseurs as one of the defining recordings of flamenco’s golden dawn.
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