Tag Archives: Vicente Fernandez

Feel Good 5 Friday on Saturday … Chente Edition

18 Dec

Presence is a big thing.

You notice it when it’s missing. I mean when it’s there in the crowd or group you see it, but when it’s gone that void is there. You feel the heaviness of it.

This week my people lost a big voice.

Big.

Irreplaceable.

Chente.

Or as people who didn’t know him … Vicente Fernandez.

Had the presence so big and voice so powerful that he pulled off the one name. In my household seeing how my family is Guat, we listened mostly to cumbias, marimba, and merengue. However, when you live in something called “la vecindad” everybody be hearing your music. From the morning sounds of Apartment 6’s “I’m Your Puppet,” to Apartment 3’s “Hungry Like the Wolf,” to Apartment 9’s “The Dream Team is in the House.” However, when it came to these carne asadas where everyone was considered family, the sounds of La Sonora Dinamita and the rest of the Sonoras dominated the cassette players or record players, but towards the end of the night, when most of the Budweisers were gone, Chente would come on the loudspeakers. There would be other rancheras, but Chente’s voice was accompanied by a chorus of neighbors singing. And singing. And singing.

In this neighborhood we had birthday parties, first communion parties, baptism parties, graduation parties, all kinds of parties, where every family in the building participated. You got everyone’s 1970’s orange flowered and avocado green linoleum kitchen chairs out in the large patios, with the large Sanyo speakers connected through multiple chords. The drumbeats, the trumpets, accordions, saxophones, keyboards, everything blaring and everyone dancing it up. But as the night ended there would be the deep, smooth voice echoing through the party and everyone sitting there feeling the mood of the song and the feelings in his voice. And they’d raise the cans in another toast.

As soon as I heard the news that Chente passed away, I thought of “la vecindad”. I thought about my childhood friends, I thought about red-light-green-light, tag, I thought about the food, the pinatas, I thought about the impromptu karaoke at the end of the night, and Budweiser cans raised in a toast. I thought about the parties and how the memories are some of the best ones to this date. And how along with La Sonora Dinimata, and Johnny Ventura, Chente was also very much present during the soundtrack of my childhood.

I got a chance to see him twice in concert when he came to town, and I was glad I did. One of the best shows I’ve seen. Definitely will be missed by me and even more so by la vecindad.

Buen Camino …

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Volver, Volver — Vicente Fernandez

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El Rey — Vicente Fernandez

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Me Voy a Quitar de en Medio — Vicente Fernandez

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No Me Se Rajar — Vicente Fernandez

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Aca Entre Nos — Vicente Fernandez

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