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Ramón Ayala in 2012.
|Birth name||Ramón Covarrubias Garza|
December 8, 1945 |
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
|Genres||Norteño, Conjunto, Tejano|
Ramón Ayala (born December 8, 1945, in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México) is a Mexican musician, composer, and songwriter of Norteño and Conjunto music. Known as the "King of the Accordion," Ayala has recorded over 105 albums for which he has received four Grammy Awards. Additionally, Ayala has been featured in thirteen movies. A legend of norteño music, Ayala is one of the most recognized and best-selling artists of this genre of Mexican music, breaking many sales records along the way.
Ayala, born December 8, 1945, in Monterrey, Mexico, is a master accordionist, vocalist, and songwriter with a career that spans over 50 years. Ayala has defined norteño music with signature songs and definitive instrumental styling that have made him a superstar on both sides of El Rio Grande. Ayala, son of local musician Ramón Cobarrubias, began playing his favorite instrument, the accordion when he was six years old. Inspired and supported by his parents, he performed in different public places to help his modest family. His first band experience was a group called Los Jilgueros de Marin, later he joined Los Pavorreales. As a teenager in the early 1960s, Ayala virtually invented modern conjunto music, teaming up with the late bajo sexto guitarist/vocalist Cornelio Reyna to form Los Relámpagos del Norte.
The duo forged a distinctive sound and compiled a roster of songs that have since been covered by countless artists in contemporary Latin music. Their first hit single “Ya No Llores” was recorded in 1963. For the next eight years, Los Relámpagos del Norte tore up the music charts by revolutionizing and re-inventing norteño music, a genre that was then considered exclusively cantina music. Ayala and Cornelio livened the music and lyrics in order to reach and appeal to more people. The talented duo recorded a total of 20 albums leaving behind many classics.
After Cornelio Reyna left to pursue his own ranchero career in 1971, Ayala set out to prove that he could make it on his own and formed the legendary band, Ramón Ayala y Sus Bravos del Norte in late 1971. Early next year Ayala was growing and already making a name for himself with his new vocalist, Antonio Sauceda. Changes were yet to come, Antonio Sauceda showed a renewed interest in Christianity and decided to join a Christian seminary, this time Eliseo Robles joined the band, leaving behind the Satellite’s de Fidencio Ayala (Ramón Ayala’s brother). Together, Ayala and Eliseo forged a partnership that artistically surpassed all others and that to this day still remains as the premier perfection of the genre. They created a style that became the standard for norteño music. During the Eliseo – Robles years, Ramón Ayala y Sus Bravos del Norte’s album sales reached peak high in Mexico and the United States with hits such as: “Un Rinconcito En El Cielo” and “Chaparra de Mi Amor” among many others. In the mid-1980s Ayala found himself again without a lead singer. Ego problems from Eliseo caused him to leave the band. Antonio Coronado became the fourth lead singer but although it looked like it was going to be a successful add, the same ego problems appeared and he only recorded 8 albums with the group. In 1993 was the arrival of the 5th and current lead singer, Mario Marichalar who brought a new style to the band, appealing to a younger generation.
Ayala continues to be a classic musician who is remembered as one of the founders of the modern norteño music. Ayala has won and has been nominated for several Grammy awards. In 2001 Ayala was awarded with an American Grammy award for the album En Vivo… El Hombre Y Su Música. Ayala has also been awarded with two Latin Grammies for the albums “Quémame Los Ojos” and “El Numero Cien”. He is well known for his music.
- Ragland, Cathy (2009). Música norteña: Mexican migrants creating a nation between nations. Temple UP. ISBN 978-1-59213-747-3.
- San Miguel, Guadalupe (2002). Tejano proud: Tex-Mex music in the twentieth century. Texas A&M UP. ISBN 978-1-58544-188-4.