Toña la Negra

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Toña la Negra
Toña la Negra singing in the film María Eugenia.jpg
Toña la Negra in María Eugenia (1943).
Background information
Birth name Antonia del Carmen Peregrino Álvarez
Born (1912-11-02)2 November 1912
Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
Died 19 November 1982(1982-11-19) (aged 70)
Mexico City, Mexico
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • actress
Years active 1932–1982
Labels
Associated acts

Antonia del Carmen Peregrino Álvarez[1][2] (2 November 1912[1] – 19 November 1982), known by her stage name Toña la Negra (Toña the Black Woman), was a Mexican singer and actress of African descent, known for her interpretation of boleros and canciones written by Agustín Lara.

Life and career[edit]

Toña la Negra was born Antonia del Carmen Peregrino Álvarez on 2 November 1912 in La Huaca, a neighborhood of Veracruz, Veracruz. Her father, Timoteo Peregrino Reyes (born c. 1857), played guitar[3] and was a founding member of a guild of local port workers.[4] Her mother, Daría Álvarez Campos (born c. 1867), sang at family gatherings.[3] Toña had four siblings and three paternal half-siblings.[5]

Toña's paternal grandfather, Severo Peregrino, was from Port-au-Prince, Haiti and had immigrated to Mexico in the 19th century.[4]

Toña began her career in the 1920s singing tangos as the lead singer of the Trío Peregrino-Uzcanga. In 1932, she traveled Mexico City and met songwriter and composer Agustín Lara. She first became famous for her interpretation of Lara's "Enamorada", as well as "Lamento jarocho", written specially for her to sing. She later popularized "Noche criolla", "Veracruz", and other Lara compositions associated with her home state. She first recorded these songs and many others for Peerless Records in the 1940s.

She began to record for the RCA Victor label in the late 1940s. In February 1953, her single "Como golondrinas" peaked at number 2 on Cashbox's Mexico's Top Ten Tunes chart.[6] She went on to record numerous hit singles and also several studio albums, including Caleidoscopio musical con Toña la Negra (1958), Noche criolla, vol. II (1961), and La sensación jarocha, vol. III (1964).

In the mid-1960s, she signed a contract with the Orfeón label and recorded more studio albums. She recorded two songs with the Sonora Matancera in 1974.

Personal life[edit]

Toña la Negra was married twice. Her first husband, Guillermo Cházaro Ahumada, was a musician. They had three sons, Ramón (b. 1932), Guillermo (b. 1933), and Ernesto (1935–1979), and separated in 1945. Her second husband was Mexican jazz pioneer and bass player Víctor "Vitillo" Ruiz Pazos; they were married from 1955 to 1963.

Death and legacy[edit]

On Wednesday, 17 November 1982, she was admitted to a hospital in Mexico City because of cardiovascular problems. That following Friday, 19 November,[2] at the age of 70, Toña la Negra died of a heart attack.[7] She was interred in the actors' section of the Panteón Jardín in Mexico City.[8]

The municipality of Veracruz erected a statue of Toña la Negra after her death. The alley where she was born in the old barrio of La Huaca carries her name.

In 1993, German film director Christian Baudissin made a television documentary about Toña la Negra that included interviews with her ex-husband, musician Víctor Ruiz Pazos, and others artists who knew her.

Rafael Figueroa Hernández, a researcher and professor at the Universidad Veracruzana, wrote the first full, in-depth biography of Toña la Negra.[9]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Caleidoscopio musical con Toña la Negra
  • Noche criolla, vol. II
  • La sensación jarocha, vol. III
  • Toña la Negra interpreta a Agustín Lara, vol. I
  • Toña la Negra interpreta a Rafael Hernández y Pedro Flores
  • Toña la Negra interpreta a Agustín Lara, vol. II
  • Íntimas

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Lo mejor de Toña la Negra
  • Inmortales de Toña la Negra
  • Las estrellas de La Hora Azul
  • Lo mejor de lo mejor: Toña la Negra, 40 temas originales
  • RCA 100 años de música

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Birth record of Antonia del Carmen Peregrino Álvarez". FamilySearch. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Antonia del Carmen Peregrino Álvarez - Mexico, Distrito Federal, Civil Registration". FamilySearch. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Figueroa Hernández 2012, p. 16.
  4. ^ a b Figueroa Hernández 2012, p. 11.
  5. ^ Figueroa Hernández 2012, p. 15.
  6. ^ "Mexico's Top Ten Tunes" (PDF). Cashbox: 18. 7 February 1953. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 
  7. ^ "Top Mexican Singer Dies". The Victoria Advocate. November 20, 1982. p. 12A. 
  8. ^ "Murió Toña la Negra intérprete de A. Lara". El Informador. 20 November 1982. p. 12-C. 
  9. ^ Cortés Pérez, Paola (3 May 2013). "Rafael Figueroa presentó biografía de Toña La Negra". Universidad Veracruzana. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
Bibliography
  • Figueroa Hernández, Rafael (2012). Toña la Negra. Como Suena. ISBN 1480058106. 

External links[edit]