Juan José Tellez Rubio & Juan Manuel Marques Perales
Diputación de Cádiz, 2003. ISBN 84 95388 62 6
“Chano Lobato: Memorias de Cádiz” is written by two
professional journalists, Juan José Téllez and Juan Manuel
Marques Perales, based on many interviews with Chano over a period of
three years. The interviews are interspersed with their own commentary,
creating a chronological social history of Chano and his times.
The chapter “Los niños de antes morían enseguida”
('Children died quickly in the old days') gives a chilling reminder of
the sort of conditions in which flamenco flourished. It is one thing to
lament the passing of the flamenco way of life, but we are reminded that
the ambience went hand in hand with poor housing and sanitation and high
child mortality. The chapters describing the singer's early life show
how flamenco and carnaval existed side by side. And so the book develops,
with Chano describing and commenting on people and places, artists and
Unfortunately, we find the same stories are sometimes repeated: it appears
the editing has been a trifle careless. A strong point however are the
many interesting photographs, often from Chano's personal collection.
Sadly their captions are not always accurate and are sometimes absent,
which lessens their usefulness as historical documentation.
Although the book lacks the easy-going charm and wit of Ortiz Nuevo's
“Mil y Una Historias de Pericon”, it contains much interesting
social information and tends to come alive when we are reading the words
of Chano himself. Perhaps the authors should have kept to transcribing
the interviews and presenting them without comment. Nevertheless their
commentary does provide social context for Chano's stories.
There are more than 60 pages of “Anexos”: verses, conversations,
reviews and a discography, and the book comes with a very interesting
CD that was recorded live in the Diputación de Cádiz, with
the guitar of Pascual de Lorca. The track listing is: Garrotín,
Guajiras, Alegrías, Colombianas, Bulerías de Cai, Rumba
and Tanguillos, finishing with a very lengthy anecdote told by Chano.
Without a doubt, anyone interested in the history of Cádiz cante
would do well to obtain a copy
*In Spanish only
Additional information (in Spanish):
al pie del cañón