Alfredo Gil (1915-1999)

           Rafael Basurto   Chucho Navarro     Alfredo Gil

   Mexico City- Alfredo Bojalil Gil, whose mellifluous guitar added honey to the sweet sound of the Latin Trio Los Panchos, died the 10th of September at Hospital Español in Mexico City. He died of pneumonia, complicated by emphysema and cirrhosis. He was 84.

   Mr. Gil, who was known by his nickname, "El Guero", was the last surviving member of the singing group.

   He was born in Teziutlan, Puebla to a musical family in 1915. But to find recognition he had to travel to the Latin nightclubs of New York. On May 14, 1944 the trio made it's debut with Alfredo Gil, on requinto and with fellow Mexican guitarist, Jesus "Chucho" Navarro singing harmony. The heart-melting lead voice belonged to a tenor from Puerto Rico, Hernando Aviles.

   Alfredo said they agreed to call the group Trio Los Panchos after the Mexican revolutionary, Pancho Villa, who the assumed would be well known outside of Mexico.

   Crooning songs like "Sin Ti," ("Without You"), "Sin un Amor," ("Without a love"), and "Quizas,quizas,quizas" (Perhaps,perhaps,perhaps), the trio made the sound of the bolero familiar to romantics worldwide. Mr Gil composed many of the songs the group performed.

   To lighten and smooth the group's sound, Mr. Gil chose to play a small guitar called a requinto which tunes to the fifth fret of a guitar. The instrument he pioneered became essential for romantic troubadour trios.

   Trio Los Panchos made more than 300 records, incluiding a number of songs with American singer Eydie Gorme, and appeared in some 50 Mexican films. Their recordings continue to sell to tens of thousands of copies each year. While the lead singer frequently changed, Mr. Alfredo Gil remained with the group until he retired in 1981.

   This information is from The New York Times with unavoidable corrections from the Trio Los Panchos Home Page.

   Alfredo Gil actually has as many students, as those that claimed to have been Andres Segovia's.

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