third golden key award for song: flamenco prizes llave de oro del cante
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la llave de oro del cante - third golden key award for song

part 3   continued: part 1  part 2  part 4   

continued from llave de oro del cante part 2


third golden key award 1962

Antonio Mairena



antonio mairena







continued part 4

The award of the third Golden Key was to be different in 1962. The poet and flamencologist Ricardo Molina together with the singer Fosforito and other members of the panel organising the national Cordoba competition (Concurso Nacional de Arte Flamenco de Córdoba) decided to make the important trophy for song, the "Llave de Oro del Cante".

The outright winner was Antonio Mairena, who was perceived to be the guardian of the "cante puro" or rather the gitano-andaluz style since he was not in fact gypsy. This competition probably raised the status of the Golden Key Award.

Mairena died in 1983, but his old friend and flamencologist Francisco Vallcillo Pecino "registered" the Golden Key Award for Song on behalf of the Andalusian government, since when it gathered dust until the year 2000. It is not clear what validity existed for this "registration", but it was probably meant to elevate its status as intended by Francisco Vallcillo Pecino, himself an official flamenco adviser (asesor de flamenco de la Junta de Andalucia) to the government at the time.

After Mairena's death there was some support (though only lukewarm) among the peñas flamencas to give the next Golden Key to Antonio Fernandez Diaz "Fosforito" (himself the outright winner of the 1956 Cordoba singing competition.) He refused to consider it, saying it would exert too much of him in public.

The overriding mood among aficionados was that no further Golden Key prizes should be granted, out of deference to Antonio Mairena. This seemed a curious line to take, but shows how the fashion of the time dictates how the award is treated. Then suddenly in year 2000 the Andalusian government assumed the role of prize-giver and awarded the next trophy to Camarón de la Isla, eight years after his death...

antonio mairena on a stamped postcard - xi national congress of flamenco activities in granada

Content flamenco prizes golden key award © Simon Zolan 2001




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