Mercedes Sosa, an interview

Mercedes Sosa was born in San Miguel de Tucumán on July 9, 1935, in a humble home. From those years comes her attachment to popular artistic expressions. Just out of her teens, she liked to dance and taught folk dances. She also sang.

In October 1950, when she was fifteen years old, pushed by the enthusiasm of a group of inseparable friends, she decided to participate in a radio contest organized in Tucumán. Hidden behind the pseudonym of Gladys Osorio, her incipient quality as a singer made her triumph in a contest whose prize was a contract for two months of acting at the station. It was the beginning…

A decade later, when there was a kind of explosion around folk music, merely consumerist, the name of Mercedes Sosa was already committed to popular singing as a member of the  Movement of the New Songbook, a renovating trend of folklore, emerged in the province of Mendoza, which proposed to put aside passing fashions, to put the accent on the daily life of the Argentine man, with his joys and sorrows.

Among the founding artists and promoters of this movement were Armando Tejada Gómez, Manuel Oscar Matus and Tito Francia.

Her artistic and personal skills surprised an audience accustomed to something else. Together with her husband, Manuel Oscar Matus, she did concerts at the University. Other scenarios are beginning to receive them encouragingly. Matus released the first album by Mercedes Sosa on an independent label: “Canciones con fundacion”.

Because of this option, the singer had to work for several years before achieving recognition like the one she received at the Cosquín National Folklore Festival in 1965, when, thanks to the generosity of singer Jorge Cafrune, the entire country was able to discover to this wonderful Argentine singer and it was the occasion that marked the birth of the great popular artist that she always deserved to be.

After her, it was her undeniable conditions that allowed her to become the great figure that everyone applauds today. Also in 1965 he took part in the recording of «Romance de la muerte de Juan Lavalle», by Ernesto Sábato and Eduardo Falú, singing «Palomita del valle» .

In March 1966, “I don’t sing for the sake of singing”, was released, with a dozen songs that are now anthologies, among which were “Indian landslide song” “Song for my America”, “Chayita del vidalero”, “The flooded”,  ;“Zamba para no muerte”, “Tonada de Manuel Rodríguez” and “Zamba al zafrero”. Such was the acceptance of this album, that just seven months later, in October, she was invited to record another one that appeared with the title “Hermano” .

At the end of 1967, “La Negra” made known “To sing to my people”,, a album that accumulated an important flow of Argentine and Latin American poetry.

In April of that same year, she had captivated the European and United States public with successful performances in Miami, Lisbon, Porto, Rome, Warsaw, Leningrad, Kislovo, Sochi, Gagri, Baku and Tbilisi.

During that tour she met Ariel Ramírez who immediately suggested that she be the voice of  “Mujeres Argentinas”, a job that would only materialize in 1969, after the appearance of  “Zamba para no muerte”, a compilation with the most important songs recorded up to that moment, and “With flavor of Mercedes Sosa”, in which he recorded for the first time < em>“To the garden of the Republic”.

When they proposed to record  “Argentine Women”, the country was living under the weight of a military regime and Mercedes, like many Argentines, suffered the consequences: their songs could not be broadcast on Radio Nacional, the government station.

In 1970 she participated in the film «The Saint of the Sword», by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson and released two important albums in his career: «The cry of the earth» and «Christmas with Mercedes Sosa». During this period he recorded, among others, «Canción con todos»  and “When I have the land”, by Ariel Petrocelli and Daniel Toro and the beautiful “Juanito Laguna’s Christmas”, by Cuchi Leguizamón and Manuel J. Castilla.

In 1971, “The voice of Mercedes Sosa” and “Homenaje a Violeta Parra” appeared, an album that brings together almost a dozen songs of the great protagonist of the Chilean Popular Song. That year he also participated in & nbsp; “Güemes ” & nbsp; (The land in arms) , a film directed by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson. In a brief but significant role, she played the Alto-Peruvian heroine Juana Azurduy.

In 1972, “Hasta la victoria” was released, an album full of songs loaded with social and political content. Those were times when a few composers and also singers such as Mercedes Sosa did not remain oblivious to the commitment and militancy with which they wanted to collaborate to achieve a more just and equitable world. Also in that year she lent her voice to the & nbsp; “Cantata Sudamericana” , with music by Ariel Ramírez and lyrics by Félix Luna.

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