Fernández [Gómez], Vicente
- Lorenzo Candelaria
(b Huentitán el Alto, Jalisco, Mexico, Feb 17, 1940). Mexican singer and actor. He is the leading interpreter of the canción ranchera (ranch song), a rurally inflected music popularized on Mexican film and radio since the 1930s. There are over 60 albums and 30 movies to his credit; most were produced in the 1970s and 1980s. His humble origins and subsequent promotion as an accessible “everyman” have helped earn a loyal following that continues to sell out live performances into the 2000s. Born to Ramón Fernández and Paula Gómez, ranchers in a small town northeast of Guadalajara, Vicente began singing and playing the guitar at age eight, assimilating the repertories and styles of the charros cantantes (singing cowboys) then popular on Mexican radio and film. He cites Pedro Infante as an important early influence. In 1954 Fernández won an amateur singing contest in Guadalajara and in 1960 received a payment of 35 pesos for performing on the local television show ...