ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) –– For Willie Alvarado, a native of West Texas, his passion is with the traditional sounds of Mexican Bolero Ranchera music.
“People that write them because they’re hurting or because they’ve been through something tragic or a love story, a breakup,” Alvarado said.
He has been keeping hits alive from some of Mexico’s most beloved artists, such as Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Vicente Fernandez, and many others.
“A lot of people criticize me. Why do you sing those songs? They’re old. But they’re timeless classics, and I like to say what I do what Michael Buble does with Sinatra’s classic jazz tunes, and that’s what I do with Spanish music. It’s a timeless classic,” Alvarado said.
In fact, Alvarado didn’t just start singing these timeless classics. It all started at a young age.
“My dad and his friends would be playing under the palm granite bushes or trees in Mexico. They’re really big. They were playing poker. I would be walking by, and they would ask me to sing, so I would sing El Rey, and they would give me money for chicklets. I was getting paid already at five,” Alvarado recalled.
Since then, he has played in many places, paying tribute to Vicente Fernandez and others. Despite language barriers at some venues, such as a recent performance in San Angelo, the beauty of the music still shines through.
“This lady came up to me when I got off stage, and she said, ‘I don’t know what you’re saying when you’re singing, but that’s the most beautiful, but that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It really is.’ I’m like. It can’t be. But she goes, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that,’” Alvarado shared.
Alvarado, known for capturing the beauty of classic bolero ranchera ballads, has produced music of his own, including the hit single ‘Un Gran Amor.’
“Things are moving along, but it’s because of this music,” Alvarado said.
Nonetheless, Alvarado is hopeful that the next generation will continue this timeless genre of music.
“I encourage anybody, any young person, if you love it, just keep going. I don’t see it going anywhere. There’s just got to be more artists doing it,” Alvarado expressed.