Saturday, January 14, 2012

La Fernanda as a Teenager - Rare Footage!

Fernanda de Utrera
La Gran Fernanda en otro de los palos donde ejerce su magisterio curtido en las numerosas noches de juergas junto a la guitarra amada de Diego el del Gastor. -- La Fernanda de Utrera had a special voice that was full of a gravelly emotion similar to that found in the old blues singers like Billie Holliday or Bessie Smith. La Fernanda had this special quality and in her later years her voice was a struggling pain filled cry but which contained a soulful tone that came straight from the blood in her veins.

She was born in Utrera, Seville, in 1923, four years previous to her sister, La Bernarda, who was to become her constant companion and singing partner. It was said during the 1960s and ‘70s that wherever you saw La Fernanda, her sister would not be far behind. They were to become two of the most respected female singers in the history of flamenco, performing at festivals and juergas together all over Spain. La Fernanda and La Bernarda belong to the Peña family, they are the grand daughters of El Pinini, who was as famous for his cantiñas as he was for his drunkenness. The Peña family is one of the biggest and most influential flamenco families, a tribe who’s roots spread from Utrera across to Lebrija and consist of names like El Perrate, Pedro Bacán, El Lebrijano and Miguel El Funi, to name only a few.

Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera appear in this rare film footage as teenagers, singing por solea. Don't know who the guitarist is. Thank you Richard Black!

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