A car without a license plate and the journey that changed Mexico’s musical history

Chamin Correa, also known as “The Best Requinto of America” ​​was one of the country’s most prominent entertainers; however, his work as an arranger, musician and performer could not have taken place without a singular adventure that he lived with his colleagues Roberto Cantoral Yes Leonel Galvez.

According to what the expert of requinto told us, after the first disc of The Three Caballerosthe trio he forms with his companions does not succeed as expected, they decide to go to State Joined to try your luck.

Like millions of Mexicans have done over the years, these friends decided to seek a better life across the pond, although they didn’t do it the conventional way, since they did not fly or risk crossing the country. of “The beast”.

Instead, they all left the then Federal District in a car Packard What Chaminwhose real name was Benjamin BeltHe had bought with his savings. The vehicle had no license plate, but they still traveled the more than four thousand kilometers between the two cities in a journey that took more than 41 hours, not counting breaks, stops to go to the bathroom or how long they slept.

In North Americathe musicians began working at various establishments between 1954 and 1956, but decided to move to Washington because they considered it better to be located in the country’s capital than run by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

It’s there that Robert songbook He created the two songs that would not only become popular, but would change the history of music in Mexico: “The Boat” and “The Clock”.

They were so confident in both songs that the musicians went back to Mexico to record them on a record company. This hunch was correct, as they immediately became hits that still play today on stations dedicated to memorable hits.

Chamin He surmised that both songs were two years long and sounded like the trending themes, which made them decide to sit and wait, sure they would get more introductions.

The surprise came when they were called from all over the world to perform their melodies. The Three Caballeros. In 1959 they already had an important tour of Latin America. In 1961 they were invited to the Festival of San Remo, Italy, but they could not play, due to a strike in the television channel that would present the event.

With no money to support themselves, the musicians started playing as if they were in their native country. In four months, they already had a solid repertoire in the local language. In 1966, after living together for several years, the trio separated in 1966.

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Why did they change music?

After the group broke up, Chamin He devoted himself to the work of artistic director and arranger, which made his mark on artists such as Julio Iglesias, Víctor Yturbide “El Pirulí”, Óscar Chávez, Gloria Estefan, Flor Silvestre, Tania Libertad, Luis Miguel, Lucía Méndez, Dulce, Rocío Durcal, among others.

Even his role as a composer led him to write “With and for love”a melody that ended up giving victory to Enrique Guzman at the OTI Song Festival in 1982. In 1990″A bolero” he won the same competition with the voice of carlos caves.

In the 1980s, he also recorded three albums with Juan Gabriel, including one with Dew ducal; After that, Armando Manzanero invited him to be part of the album “novels“by Luis Miguel, where it was included”The boat“O”Watch“, a song that had given success to The Three Caballeros.

Without appearing in front of the stage, Belt He was the architect of the sounds that marked the time and were recognizable thanks to his particular way of playing the requinto.

The role of Robert songbook in the music industry, because in addition to creating the song”Poor Christmas” and distributing the copyright of this melody to associations in favor of children, he became one of the greatest composers in the country.

Perhaps his most recognized piece “El Triste” became internationally known on March 15, 1970 during the Festival world of the Song Latinwhen a young José José performed it in front of an audience that still sings it.

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He was also president of the Mexican Society of Composers and Authors for more than 25 years, during which he watched over the rights of authors and also gave the opportunity to big stars to start their career in this discipline.

His mark on music was marked by hits like “At final”the night is wrong“, “Where are you“, among many others that have been recorded by artists of the stature of Plácido Domingo, Los Panchos, Los Diamantes, Trío Los Calavera, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Sara Montiel, José José, Vicente Fernández, Marc Anthony, Emmanuel, Luis Miguel, Alejandro Fernández, Fernando de la Mora, Cristian Castro, Mijares, Yuri and a long etcetera.

Although they were recognized behind the scenes, the members of The Three Caballeros they were the basis with which many artists achieved fame, success and also created a style that continues to infect people with the feelings that three friends started the day they decided to get into a car without license plate and travel thousands of kilometres. to make your voice heard.

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