Flor Silvestre

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This article is about the singer and actress. For the film, see Flor silvestre (film).
Flor Silvestre
Flor Silvestre, 1956.jpg
Flor Silvestre in 1956
Born Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla
(1930-08-16) 16 August 1930 (age 86)
Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico
Residence El Soyate, Villanueva, Zacatecas, Mexico
  • Singer
  • actress
  • equestrienne
Years active 1943–present (singing)
1950–1990 (acting)
Spouse(s) Andrés Nieto
Paco Malgesto
(married 1953–1959)
Antonio Aguilar
(married 1959–2007)
Children Dalia Inés
Francisco Rubiales
Marcela Rubiales
Antonio Aguilar, hijo
Pepe Aguilar
Relatives La Prieta Linda (sister)
Mary Jiménez (sister)
Awards Eduardo Arozamena Medal
Website florsilvestreoficial.com
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Associated acts

Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla (born 16 August 1930),[1] known by her stage name Flor Silvestre (Spanish pronunciation: [floɾ silˈβestɾe]) ("Wild Flower"), is a Mexican singer and actress whose multifaceted career spans more than seventy years in music, film, radio, television, and stage.[2]

Famed for her melodious voice and unique singing style, hence the nicknames "La Sentimental" ("The Sentimental One") and "La Voz Que Acaricia" ("The Voice That Caresses"), Flor Silvestre is one of the most prominent performers of Mexican music,[3] within the ranchera, bolero, bolero ranchero, and huapango genres. She has recorded more than 300 songs for three labels: Columbia, RCA Víctor, and Musart. In 1945, she was announced as the "Alma de la Canción Ranchera" ("Soul of Ranchera Song"),[4] and in 1950, the year in which she emerged as a radio star, she was proclaimed the "Reina de la Canción Mexicana" ("Queen of Mexican Song").[5] In 1950, she signed a contract with Columbia Records and recorded her first hits, which include "Imposible olvidarte", "Que Dios te perdone", "Pobre corazón", "Viejo nopal", and "Guadalajara". In 1957, she began recording for Musart Records and became one of the label's exclusive artists with numerous best-selling singles, such as "Cielo rojo", "Renunciación", "Gracias", "Cariño santo", "Mi destino fue quererte", "Mi casita de paja", "Toda una vida", "Amar y vivir", "Gaviota traidora", "El mar y la esperanza", "Celosa", "Vámonos", "Cachito de mi vida", "Miel amarga", "Perdámonos", "Tres días", "No vuelvo a amar", "Las noches las hago días", "Estrellita marinera", and "La basurita", among others. Many of her hits charted on Cashbox Mexico's Best Sellers and Record World Latin American Single Hit Parade.[6] She has sung on radio stations, stage plays, films, television programs, and was an equestrienne in her husband Antonio Aguilar's horse show.

Flor Silvestre appeared in more than seventy films between 1950 and 1990. Beautiful and statuesque, she became one of the leading stars of the "golden age" of the Mexican film industry. She made her acting debut in the film Primero soy mexicano (1950), directed by and co-starring Joaquín Pardavé. She played opposite famous comedians, such as Cantinflas in El bolero de Raquel (1957). Director Ismael Rodríguez gave her important roles in La cucaracha (1959), and Ánimas Trujano (1962), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[7] She was also the star of the comic book La Llanera Vengadora.[8] In 2013, the Association of Mexican Cinema Journalists honored her with the Special Silver Goddess Award.

Early life[edit]

Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla was born on 16 August 1930 in Salamanca, a city and municipality of the Mexican state of Guanajuato.[1] Her parents were Jesús Jiménez Cervantes, a butcher,[9] and María de Jesús Chabolla Peña (c. 1907 – 5 September 1993).[10] She is the third of seven children; her elder siblings are Francisco "Pancho" and Raquel, and her younger siblings are Enriqueta "La Prieta Linda", José Luis, María de la Luz "Mary", and Arturo.[11] Her maternal grandparents were Felipe Chabolla and Inés Peña.[10]

As a young child, Silvestre showed a passionate interest in singing and acting; she participated in festivals and organized school plays.[12] She completed primary school in Salamanca, and later moved to Mexico City, where she was enrolled in the Escuela Bancaria Comercial Milton.[13]


1943–1949: Early stage and radio success[edit]

Teatro del Pueblo, where Flor Silvestre made her debut

Silvestre made her singing debut at the age of 13 in Mexico City; she sang the songs "La canción mexicana", "Yo también soy mexicana", and "El herradero" and received an ovation from the audience.[13] Shortly after, she was invited to sing on the XFO radio station, where she sang "La soldadera" by popular songwriter Jesús Morales.[13] Her first stage names were La Soldadera ("the female soldier"), based on the success of the aforementioned song, and La Amapola ("the poppy"), because an announcer told her that she looked "like a flower", until she was required to choose another name since those were already in use.[13] She then chose Flor Silvestre ("wild flower"), the title of a 1943 drama film starring Dolores del Río, as her stage name.[13]

In 1946, she was invited to perform at the inauguration of Guadalajara's Juárez movie theater.[14] In the late 1940s, Silvestre won a singing contest sponsored by the XEW radio station which led to many contracts, including one for her to perform at the important Teatro Colonial, where she caught the attention of showmen who hired her for tours across northern Mexico and South America.[13] Upon her return from those tours, she sang at El Patio, where she met producer Gregorio Walerstein, who invited her to participate in films.[13]

1950–1952: Acting debut and first records[edit]

Flor Silvestre on the cover of Cinema Reporter, February 1950

Her musical career in radio started to rise in 1950, as reporter Mónica Fio noticed:

We unreservedly commend the young singer "Flor Silvestre" because her radio career, though quick, is made with effort, perseverance and study. Whenever we hear her programs we confirm that she does not abandon herself to passing and easy successes, but seeks to overcome. This is how one reaches the goal. This is how one creates prestige. This is how one triumphs.[15]

Silvestre made her acting debut alongside Joaquín Pardave, Luis Aguilar and fellow film newcomer Francisco Avitia, also a ranchera singer, in the comedy Primero soy mexicano (1950), a Walerstein production.[11] She worked with Aguilar and Francisco Avitia again in El tigre enmascarado (1951). Around the same time, she signed a contract with Columbia Records (her first record label) and released the successful singles "Llorar amargo" and "Oye morena".[16] She played the female lead in El lobo solitario, La justicia del lobo, and Vuelve el lobo (all in 1952).

1955–1957: Return to films and television debut[edit]

In 1955, she and Miguel Aceves Mejía starred the radio program Su programa Calmex, sponsored by Calmex Sardines.[17]

Flor Silvestre and María Félix in La cucaracha (1959)

Silvestre's first color film was Miguel M. Delgado's La doncella de piedra (1956). Her first film co-starring Antonio Aguilar, her future husband, was La huella del chacal (1956). She traveled to Nicaragua for Rapto al sol (1956), another color film. On Mother's Day 1957, she participated with great success in the television play Secreto de familia.[18] One of her famous roles was as Leonor, the mother of Cantinflas' godson, in the popular Eastmancolor comedy El bolero de Raquel (1957). She received top billing for the first time in Pueblo en armas (1959) and its sequel ¡Viva la soldadera! (1960), both directed by Miguel Contreras Torres. She had a supporting role opposite María Félix in Ismael Rodríguez's Mexican Revolution epic La cucaracha (1959); she also sang "Te he de querer", "La chancla", and "La Valentina" for the film's soundtrack album, La cucaracha: Música de la película, released by Musart Records.[19]

1958–1963: First recordings for Musart Records and Ánimas Trujano[edit]

In the early 1960s, she starred with popular comedy duo Viruta and Capulina in Dos locos en escena (1960). Silvestre was cast along with Toshiro Mifune and Columba Domínguez in the award-winning film Ánimas Trujano (1962), another film directed by Ismael Rodríguez. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and contains her best known role among American and international audiences.


Cashbox ranked her among the top ten Mexican folk singers of 1964.[20]

Flor Silvestre's fourth studio album for Musart, La sentimental (1964), included both ranchera and bolero songs. It was her first album without mariachi accompaniment; Benjamín "Chamín" Correa is credited as the album's guitarist. La sentimental peaked at number 9 on Record World Latin American LP Hit Parade.[21] "Mi destino fue quererte" peaked at number 4 on Record World Latin American Single Hit Parade[22] and became one of Flor Silvestre's signature songs.

Her fifth studio album, La acariciante voz de Flor Silvestre, was released in 1965. One of the album's singles, "Una limosna", topped the Record World Latin American Single Hit Parade chart.[23]

Celosa con Flor Silvestre y otros éxitos (1966), her sixth studio album for Musart Records, peaked at number 11 on Record World Latin American LP Hit Parade.[24] The album's lead single, "Celosa", peaked at number 9 on Cashbox Mexico's Best Sellers[25] and number 4 on Record World Latin American Single Hit Parade.[26] "¿Por qué, Dios mío?", another single included in Celosa, also charted well on Record World Latin American Single Hit Parade.[27]

In this decade, she would avert her roles from low-budget westerns and comedies to star in Mexican Revolution drama films starring her husband Antonio Aguilar, such as Caballo prieto azabache (1968), Lauro Puñales (1969), and El ojo de vidrio (1969).


By the 1970s, Silvestre had created a symbolic persona of a folkloric woman-hero, therefore she became the star of a comic book entitled La Llanera Vengadora,[8] which translates as "the avenging plainswoman," that used her likeness and name. The magazine featured a female hero who sought justice, and was dressed in brightly colored cowboy garb.[8]

Flor Silvestre in 1974

She made a cameo appearance as the singer Rafaela in Valente Quintero (1973), in which she sang "No me lo tomes a mal", and played the female lead in La yegua colorada (1973). Her next two films were historical dramas: she played Pancho Villa's lover in La muerte de Pancho Villa (1974) and the wife of Felipe Carrillo Puerto in Peregrina (1974). She sang "La palma" in Simón Blanco (1975) and played the female leads in Don Herculano enamorado (1975), El moro de cumpas (1977), and Mi caballo el cantador (1979). Her last soldadera role was featured in Benjamín Argumedo el rebelde (1979) and Persecución y muerte de Benjamín Argumedo (1980).


Her last film was Triste recuerdo, shot in 1990 and released in 1991.

On 21 December 2010, she released Soledad, an album dedicated to her late husband.[28]

On 9 March 2015, her documentary titled Flor Silvestre: Su destino fue querer premiered at the Plaza de las Américas as part of the Guadalajara International Film Festival.[29][30]

In 2016, she was featured on "Para morir iguales", a track of her son Antonio's most recent album, Caballo viejo.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre on their wedding day

Flor Silvestre married her first husband, Andrés Nieto,[32] in the 1940s. She gave birth to her first child, singer and dancer Dalia Inés Nieto, when she was 16 years old.[33]

Around 1953, Flor Silvestre married announcer and presenter Francisco Rubiales Calvo, whose stage name was "Paco Malgesto."[34] They had two children, translator Francisco Rubiales and singer and actress Marcela Rubiales.[33] The couple separated and began divorce proceedings in 1958.[35]

Flor Silvestre's third and last husband was singer and actor Antonio Aguilar, who died in 2007. Aguilar was the love of her life. They first met each other in 1950 when he was invited to sing on her program Increíble pero cierto at the Verde y Oro studio of the XEW radio station in Mexico City. In 1955, they made their first film together, La huella del chacal, but their relationship began when they made the film El rayo de Sinaloa in 1957. They married in 1959 and had two sons, singers Antonio "Toño" Aguilar and José "Pepe" Aguilar.

On 28 February 2012, Flor Silvestre underwent surgery to extirpate the cancer-stricken half of her right lung.[36] She responded well to the surgery.[37]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • In 1969, Musart Records awarded her The Golden Clover (Trébol de Oro) for being one of the company's best-selling artists.[38]
  • In 2001, the National Association of Actors awarded her the Eduardo Arozamena Medal for her 50-year career.[39]
  • In 2008, she was the grand marshal of the Comité Mexicano Cívico Patriótico's Mexican Independence Parade in Los Angeles, California.[40]
  • In 2010, the twenty-first edition of the World Mariachi Day (Día Mundial del Mariachi) awarded her the Pedro Infante Medal for her "outstanding work and dissemination of Mexican music".[41]
  • In 2012, the Confederation of Livestock Organizations awarded her a "bull sculpture" for her contribution to Mexican culture.[42]
  • In 2013, the Association of Mexican Cinema Journalists awarded her the Special Silver Goddess for her career.[43] Mexican actor Ignacio López Tarso presented her with the award and said: "For me it is a great honor and personal satisfaction to give you this award, to a great figure of Mexican cinema who, either walking or on horseback, made the best movies of the Mexican film industry".[43]
  • In 2014, the Government of the State of Zacatecas paid tribute to her career and gave her a special accolade at the Teatro Calderón in the state capital as part of the First Corrido Festival.[44]
  • In 2015, while promoting the release of her documentary entitled Flor Silvestre: Su destino fue querer, she was honored in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco;[45] Los Angeles, California;[46] and Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes.[47]


Flor Silvestre made her first recordings in 1950 for the Mexican Columbia label (Discos Columbia de México). In these recording sessions, she was backed up by the mariachis of Gilberto Parra and Rubén Fuentes. Ten of these recordings, which were originally released on 78 rpm singles, were included in the greatest hits album Flor Silvestre canta sus éxitos, released in 1964 by Columbia's subsidiary label Okeh. This compilation album was later remastered and reissued in digital format by Sony Music Entertainment México in 2016.

Flor Silvestre also recorded some songs for the RCA Víctor label in 1957. For this label, she recorded a single containing her first version of "Cielo rojo" on side A and "Que padré es la vida" on side B.

In 1957, Flor Silvestre signed a contract with the Musart label. Among her first recordings for Musart are the songs "Nuestro gran amor" and "Pajarillo de la sierra", included in the soundtrack album of the Heraclio Bernal films, and "Te he de querer", "La chancla", and "La Valentina", included in the soundtrack album for the film La cucaracha. In 1958, she released her first studio album for Musart, Flor Silvestre. Musart has more than 300 of Flor Silvestre's recordings, many of them available in digital format since 2008.

Studio albums[edit]

  • Flor Silvestre (c. 1958)
  • Flor Silvestre (c. 1963)
  • Flor Silvestre, vol. 2 (1964)
  • La sentimental (1964)
  • La acariciante voz (1965)
  • Celosa (1966)
  • Boleros rancheros con la acariciante voz (1967)
  • Flor Silvestre, vol. 6 (1967)
  • Flor Silvestre, vol. 7 (1968)
  • Flor Silvestre, vol. 8 (1968)
  • Amor, siempre amor (1970)
  • Y las canciones de sus tríos favoritos (c. 1971)
  • Las noches las hago días (c. 1971)
  • Una gran intérprete y dos grandes compositores (1972)
  • La voz que acaricia (1972)
  • Canciones con alma (1973)
  • La onda norteña (1973)
  • Aquella (1974)
  • Con todo mi amor a mi lindo Puerto Rico (1974)
  • Y yo (1975)
  • La basurita (1976)
  • Arrullo de Dios (1977)
  • Ahora sí va en serio (1978)
  • Flor Silvestre cantando norteño (1984)
  • No te pido más (1988)
  • Flor Silvestre con tambora (1991)
  • Me regalo contigo (1994)
  • Flor Silvestre con tambora (2001)
  • Soledad: canto a mi amado y a su recuerdo (2010)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Flor Silvestre canta sus éxitos (1964)
  • Los éxitos de Flor Silvestre (1972)
  • El disco de oro de Flor Silvestre (1977)
  • 15 éxitos (1988)
  • 15 éxitos, vol. 2 (1997)
  • 15 grandes éxitos (1998)
  • Colección de oro: Flor Silvestre con mariachi (2003)
  • Mexicanísimo: Flor Silvestre (2015)
  • Serie del recuerdo: Flor Silvestre (2016)



  1. ^ a b "Guillermina Jimenez-chabolla, "United States, Border Crossings from Mexico to United States, 1903-1957"". FamilySearch. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Flor Silvestre recibe Diosa de Plata especial por su trayectoria". El Informador. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Native and Foreign Stars Score With Audiences". Billboard. 16 December 1967. p. M-14. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Coliseo Olímpico: Viernes 14 de diciembre de 1945, Grandioso Debut de: El Chino Herrera Con la Gran Compañía de Revistas y Atracciones en la que figuran:... Flor Silvestre Alma de la Canción Ranchera". El Informador. 12 December 1945. p. 6. 
  5. ^ "Flor Silvestre: Reina de la Canción Mexicana. Estrella de Cine". El Informador. 25 July 1950. p. 6. 
  6. ^ "Latin American Single Hit Parade" (PDF). Record World. 21 May 1966. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "The 34th Academy Awards (1962)". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "An International Catalogue of Superheroes". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Entrevista Lic. Esparza con Flor Silvestre". YouTube. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Maria de Jesus Chabolla Pena Mexico, Distrito Federal, Civil Registration, 1832-2005". FamilySearch. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Flor Silvestre, estandarte de la música ranchera". Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  12. ^ Liner notes by Raúl Vieyra for the album Flor Silvestre, vol. 6.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Kühne, Cecilia (23 October 2003). "Una flor que comenzó cantando". Imagen. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Se Inauguró Solemnemente el Teatro "Juárez": El C. Gobernador del Estado pronunció unas palabras – Asistieron artistas de México". El Informador. 22 November 1946. 
  15. ^ Fio, Mónica (9 April 1950). "Micrófono: "Flor Silvestre"". El Siglo de Torreón. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "Novedades de esta Semana y de más Exito". El Siglo de Torreón. 8 July 1951. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "Advertisement for Su programa Calmex". El Siglo de Torreón. 2 January 1955. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "El Cine en México: Flor Silvestre Artista de Cine y TV.". El Siglo de Torreón. 9 June 1957. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "Liner notes for the album La cucaracha: Música de la pelicula.". Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "Mexico – Review 1964" (PDF). Cashbox. 26 December 1964. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "Latin American LP Hit Parade" (PDF). Record World. 23 April 1966. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  22. ^ "Latin American Single Hit Parade" (PDF). Record World. 30 April 1966. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  23. ^ "Latin American Single Hit Parade" (PDF). Record World. 21 May 1966. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  24. ^ "Latin American LP Hit Parade" (PDF). Record World. 3 September 1966. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  25. ^ "Mexico's Best Sellers" (PDF). Record World. 9 April 1966. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  26. ^ "Latin American Single Hit Parade" (PDF). Record World. 30 July 1966. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  27. ^ "Latin American Single Hit Parade" (PDF). Record World. 29 April 1967. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  28. ^ "FLOR SILVESTRE: SOLEDAD". Google Play. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  29. ^ Jiménez, Lorena (7 March 2015). "Flor Silvestre, una vida musical". Mural. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "Flor Silvestre, pilar de la dinastía Aguilar, estrena documental". Esto. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "Vuelve Antonio Aguilar, hijo". El Sol de Mexico. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  32. ^ "Issues 142-158". Por esto!. Nuestra América, S.A. 1985. p. 38. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  33. ^ a b "Muestra Dalia Inés 'orgullo' familiar". lasnoticiasmexico.com. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  34. ^ "Paco Malgesto falleció ayer". El Siglo de Torreón. 23 June 1978. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  35. ^ "Un Aplazamiento Del Divorcio De Malgesto y Flor Silvestre". El Heraldo de Brownsville. UPI. 3 July 1958. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  36. ^ "Le extirparon la mitad del pulmón derecho a la mamá de Pepe Aguilar". TVyNovelas. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  37. ^ "Flor Silvestre fue operada de tumor en el pulmón". Univision. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  38. ^ "Discos Musart Awards The Golden Clover To Its Best Selling Artists - 1969". Billboard. 28 February 1970. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  39. ^ Guzmán Frías, Habacuc (14 November 2001). "Reconocen trayectoria de la dinastía Aguilar". El Universal. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  40. ^ "Celebran el Los Ángeles desfile por la Independencia de México". Horacero. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  41. ^ Camacho, Alma Rosa (28 September 2009). "Flor Silvestre y Lucha Villa serán homenajeadas". Esto. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  42. ^ Camacho, Alma Rosa (16 November 2012). "Antonio Aguilar y Flor Silvestre, homenajeados". Esto. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  43. ^ a b Camacho, Alma Rosa (1 August 2013). "Reconocen a histriones del cine mexicano". El Sol de Puebla. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  44. ^ Ortiz, Isela (16 June 2014). "Emotivo homenaje a Flor Silvestre". El Sol de Zacatecas. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  45. ^ Casillas Gómez, Carlos (10 March 2015). "Homenajean a Flor Silvestre". La Cronica de Hoy - Jalisco. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  46. ^ "Rinden homenaje a Flor Silvestre en Los Ángeles". El Universal. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  47. ^ "Homenaje de Aguascalientes a la Señora Flor Silvestre". Palestra Aguascalientes. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 

External links[edit]