The 20 Greatest Ranchera Singers of All Time, No. 10-1

Categories: Español Music
javier_solis.jpg
Javier Solís: CLASS
See also:

*The 20 Greatest Ranchera Singers of All Time, No. 20-11
*The 20 Greatest Songs of Vicente Fernández: The Complete List


There is room for much debate for who make the bottom rung of the 20 greatest ranchera singers of all time. But the top? Not even close. Anyone who argues about the inclusion of any of the nine men (and one woman) on this list deserves immediate deportation. The trick of the matter, though, is in the placement of said people--THAT is subject to mucho interpretation, and that is the minefield upon which I set to travel to in five, four...

10. Miguel Aceves Mejia


Mejia is best remembered in Mexican society for two features: an awesome streak of grey in his otherwise-black helmet of hair as he got older, and the greatest falsetto in male history, one that allowed him to let the huapango and son huasteca genre truly shine in ranchera music. His interpretation of "La Malagueña" remains the standard by which all men desperately try to reach. Even more importantly? He was the man who discovered José Alfredo Jiménez, whom we'll meet in a bit...

9. Vicente Fernández


Okay, Jalisco cabrones and all of ustedes who have fallen victim to the tapatio myth: howl at this injustice. HOWL, damn you! Why is Chente so low? How dare I relegate El Rey Chente to so low on the list? But refry this: Chente does not belong in the top five on virtue of the status of the folks who occupy those spots. In terms of projecting Mexican pride and Jaliscan chest-thumping, he can't hold a tequila bottle to Jorge Negrete. And while Chente wrote some of his music, he doesn't compare to the other singer-songwriters on the list. So nothing against Chente--I won't even hold the fact that he's from Jalisco against him this time--but there was simply more talented people than him ahead in the list. Think of him as the Chris Mullen of ranchera--HA!

8. Cuco Sánchez


He was a fabulous singer in his own right, a chubby, vulnerable guy before Juan Gabriel made the archetype his and his alone, and was one of the finest interpreter of the songs of songwriter Chucho Monge ("Pa' Que Me Sirve la Vida") and Agustín Lara ("Imposible"). More importantly, Sánchez was a fabulous composer; his most famous songs--"El Mil Amores," "Grítenme Piedras del Campo," "No Soy Monedita de Oro"--are standards in the Mexican canon covered by many. And, as I wrote so long ago, his "Cama de Piedra" was "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" decades before Morrissey ever encountered his first gladiola. Criminally underappreciated, but not as much as...

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35 comments
Jessica Boudevin
Jessica Boudevin

Really enjoyed this list! Commentary: He's not Mexican and doesn't really sing Ranchera, but I grew up listening to a lot of Carlitos (Carlos Gardel) with my boludo Argentine abuelo. I'm excited to show him your picks and see what he has to say. Knowing him, they were all somehow his soccer buddies together (which is what he says about the new pope, too). Ay, argentines!

Veronica Zarate
Veronica Zarate

I LOVED this Tavo, it was great having them altogether

keonianalo
keonianalo

Great piece, Gustavo!  You never cease to amaze me.  Javier is my all-time fav Ranchera artist.  Kudos!

Angelina N Hernandez
Angelina N Hernandez

I think Chente should have not made it on this list and definitely should not go on top of Miguel Aceves Mejia. You could have put El Charro Avitia, Luis Aguilar, Amalia Hernandez, or Lucha Villa. Aside from that pretty good list.

josephabaca
josephabaca

I have to say Gustavo, out of everything you have ever written, and I am a huge fan of your writings and follow you closely, this is by far the best piece of writing you have ever done. As for the choices and placements, I think they are all close enough and just the fact that you gathered them into a list for the public at large to understand along with video and spot on descriptions is awesome. Thanks so much - you brought back so many childhood memories of my father and mother. I actually saw a a couple of these guys when living in Colombia, when they were on a world tour together. Awesome! Your writing and descriptions though were perfect. My favorite quote that for me demonstrates your deep understanding of American music of all genres, and qualifies you as the only person knowledgeable enough to write this piece is: "Almost every artist on this list owe their careers to the songs written by Jiménez, whose hit parade makes the collected works of Gershwin, Porter, Leiber-Stoller, the Brill Building AND Woody Guthrie seem as voluminous as the output of Paper Lace." You are the man - and you really demonstrated that you have "Huevos Gigantes" in taking this on. Thanks for the awesome childhood memories. I will keep this and share this with anyone I respect enough to read your awesome piece.

Jose Amaro
Jose Amaro

On pure talent I agree with list but overall I'd move Chente to #4. He may not be as talented as the others but he is a heck of an entertainer. His ability to connect with an audience and his appeal to OTMs, (which includes us pochos) IMO moves him up in the ranks.

Yara Warren
Yara Warren

What???? Pedro Infante was, is and will always be NUMBER ONE!!!

Rick Zapata
Rick Zapata

1-Vicente Fernández 2-Jorge Negrete 3-Javier Solís 4-Pedro Infante 5-Luis Aguilar 6-José Alfredo Jiménez 7-Lola Beltrán 8-Antonio Aguiñar 9-Miguel Aceves Mejía 10- Lila Downs Esa es mi lista En gustos se rompen géneros

Stay True
Stay True

By far JAVIER SOLIS IS THE GREATEST!

Alex Reyes
Alex Reyes

I've only heard of 4 of these guys...that's three more than I thought i'd know. Awesome lol

Rafael Santos
Rafael Santos

i am bias, i don't think there's anyone near Pedro Infante. however, i can't disagree much with your choices, all of them are well deserving

Ricardo Martinez
Ricardo Martinez

Thinks a little Zacatecas home court advantage gets Antonio Aguilar so high on your list - I might have had him top ten, but probably closer to the bottom of those ranks - neck and neck w/ Chente. Aparte de eso, good list. Solo que El Rey Jose Alfredo siempre viene primero en mi lista.

Belen C Bueno
Belen C Bueno

EXCELLENT LIST!! You got number 1 right. I am SOOOO happy :) Since I knew what music was I have admired Javier Solis. Good job, Mexican.

Coco Farias
Coco Farias

Yes how can I forget Lola and amalia? Amparo Ochoa was revolutionary ... How can I forget the ladies!!!

Dio Colindres
Dio Colindres

Lola should be in the top 3. Aceves Mejia should be second and the Chris Mullin of Jalisco, should be number 10. Just my opinion.

Misael Mesinas
Misael Mesinas

I agree 99%. You forgot El Charro Avitia, you could've replaced Vicente Fernandez, to my opinion he's overated, but I like we're you put Antonio Aguilar, ahead of Fernandez.

Coco Farias
Coco Farias

Miguel acevedes mejia... He wrote all your top 20 ranchera songs!

Chino Negrete
Chino Negrete

One minor adjustment. i'd switch Jose Alfredo Jimenez with Javier Solis. Now bring on the pinchi migra.

Michael Ceja
Michael Ceja

The Chris Mullen of ranchera, too funny!

Luis C. Gutierrez
Luis C. Gutierrez

This is great! I've always maintained, there are two types of singers: Javier Solis, y los demas!

Marcos Hdez
Marcos Hdez

They're gonna lynch you for putting Chente so far down the list bro.

Viri Guerrero
Viri Guerrero

Awesome!!! I knew I liked you for a reason hahah Javier Solis!!!! nadie mas. Love your list I would exclude one but that's just my taste :)

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