El Rey

When the Beatles landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport in 1964, the frenzy was just getting started.

I cannot fully fathom the immense impact of the British Invasion. But one doesn’t have to be a student of history to recognize the effects of Beatlemania.

It even drove fans–who once admired The King–to hold up signs that read: Elvis is dead! Long live the Beatles!

Cheerlessly, Beatlemania left with Lennon in ’80. And Elvis has been gone since 1977. Dead at 42.

Michael Jackson was a living legend, and he too is gone.

Legends often have every gift but length of years.

Our cultural icon, Vicente Fernandez, is 74. And for over 40 years he has enchanted Mexico, and millions more by cultural extension. His melodramatic voice enshrouds Latino celebrations in every corner of the hispanosphere.

He is the hearbeat of the mariachi, and the voice of a nation.

I am incapable of explaining to most of you what our beloved Rey de la Cancion Ranchera means to so many of us. He is our ambassador, and the emotional connection to our tierra. Imagine 40 years of Beatlemania. There is just no comparison.

Un grito for the one we affectionately call “Chente”!

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