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Antonio Mairena was born Antonio Cruz Garcia in the village of Mairena del Alcor, twenty kilometers from Seville. As a boy, he worked at the family blacksmith's forge, but from the age of twelve he sang at the village festivals, and due to the seriousness of his cante and his research, success came early. While still fairly unknown, Mairena sang a long saeta from a balcony and was carried through the streets in triumph. He was later heard in the most famous tablaos in Spain and Latin America, and he traveled all over the world as a cantaor in the dance troupes of Antonio, Luisillo and Pilar Lopez. In 1935, he discovered the great guitarist Melchor de Marchena and later on, recorded the soundtrack for one of Carmen Amaya's films. He also supervised recorded anthologies of the best cante and wrote two books. His many recordings, remembered here, were made for eight different companies.
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