October 26, 2020

Fight Kings, the voice and the smile of the Creole music | Culture

Fight Reyes He had a life full of difficulties and suffering. Of very humble origin, he grew up with 15 other brothers. The death of his father, as a child, was the first blow he suffered in his life, which would be followed by the mistreatment of his stepfather, a fire in his house and the forced change of city, a marriage also painful and full of violence and numerous health problems.

In spite of everything, the smile never stopped accompanying the face of Lucha Reyes, whom possibly another fact that at the time also considered painful helped him later to become the person loved and worried about the others that he always was: due to the The family's precarious economic situation was sent to the convent of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, in charge of Franciscan religious. There she received a basic school education but, above all, she was instilled with values ​​that accompanied her later in her proximity to the humble and in her vision of life from an always human point of view.

Fight Reyes he had a powerful and special voice, but the discovery of his talent was casual while he was working at dishes in a Creole club. From there, she triumphed on the radio and with songs composed for her that touched the hearts of Peruvians and crossed borders. He popularized Creole music, a musical style that combines the Afro-Peruvian and Andean rhythms expressing the feelings of the humble population, so, despite dying very young, at 37, he became an icon of this type of music.

Lucila Justina Sarcines Reyes de Henry, that was his name, was born in the capital of Peru, on July 19, 1936. His family, very humble, was composed of his parents and 15 brothers. When she was 6 years old, her father died and the new man who began to be part of her mother's life physically and psychologically abused her. Shortly after the fire in the family home by a candle forced the family to move to another area of ​​Lima known as the cradle of Creole music, which undoubtedly marked the future of the small Lucha Reyes.

Thanks to the Franciscan sisters, she received a very basic education to be able to support herself in life, and at the age of 16 she married a sergeant of the National Police of Peru. The marriage, nevertheless, lasted very little by the episodes of violence that continued suffering, but in him their two children were born, Humberto and Alexander. Despite the pain that accompanied Lucha much of his life, he had a second relationship and, with the older children, came to raise another girl.

The young Reyes tried to keep her family selling newspapers, washing clothes and working long hours in the kitchens of different restaurants, where she also washed the dishes. Singing tried to pass the time without thinking about the sorrow that accompanied her, and that was how they discovered her talent while working in a Creole club.

With only 20 years Fight Reyes participated in a program of amateur singers of the popular Radio Victoria called 'El Sentir de los Barrios' and had a resounding success. At that time it seemed that his life took a turn and left behind the hardships and suffering to change it for success and economic tranquility, but that still had to wait, as his health began to take its toll: medical tests showed that he suffered emotional diabetes, edema and dyspnea, having to undergo continuous tests and spending large periods hospitalized.

In 1960 he regained his incipient artistic career to never quit and he triumphed at the Pizarro theater with the waltz.Abandoned' A discoverer of talent integrated it into the famous Peña Ferrando and began to travel to other cities performing imitations of Celia Cruz, Olga Chorens, Toña la Negra and Celina González.

He remained in La Peña until 1970, but he already had a hallmark of his own: multicolored wigs that he used and combined with different styles and cuts. The success and the popularity no longer resisted him and began to interpret subjects and to record discs with a so personal style as captivating for that listened to it.

However, her health returned to resent when she was already considered a diva and followed by the media, and had to be re-admitted due to high blood pressure and heart failure, two more diseases that added to her fragile existence.

To the successes that it harvested in the scenes began to add the recognitions, since it received the Gold Record by 'Came back' He also had his own radio program in 1971,Creole firstfruits', With a characteristic and remembered entry on the air: "I am Lucha Reyes, gentlemen, your Creole servant, with Peru and with you in my appointment of this hour!".

In 1972 he released his third album: 'Always CreoleAnd traveled to the United States, where he triumphed at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Health, however, again gave him a serious warning for his busy schedule of commitments and trips and had to be admitted to a hospital again because the medical checks that were done monthly revealed that, far from improving, his health was complicated.

At the beginning of 1973 the doctors forbade him the performances definitively, but at that moment he asked the composer Polo Campos to write him a heartfelt song. The result was the waltz 'Wait sweetheart', Which she premiered on January 18. This last effort to sing her reduced her health even more with eye problems.

In May, Fight Reyes, aware that his end was approaching, he visited the composer Pedro Pacheco to beg him to compose a farewell waltz. It emerged like that 'My last song', Integrated in his fourth and last album. In mid-August her physical condition began to deteriorate so quickly that it made her dependent on a wheelchair.

On the morning of October 31, 1973, Lucha was invited to a Mass at the Peruvian Society of Actors for the commemoration of the Day of the Creole Song. In the car that took her from her home she suffered a heart attack that ended her life at 37 years old. The media reflected the pain of the Peruvian people for his death, and as was his wish the singer was made up and combed with her best wig and veiled by thousands of people.

His funeral was multitudinous, with 30,000 people who objected to his coffin being carried in a hearse and the women did it on his shoulders for three hours to travel a little over six kilometers and singing his successes.

In 1991 his life was taken to television in a series entitled 'Came back', And in 2010 the documentary'Fight Reyes: letter to heaven', Which won the Lima Film Festival. His memory and his legacy of Creole music are still present in South America and, especially in Peru, where for the humble classes he represents his cultural identity.

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