Today’s member comes from Spain, Cecilia.
Evangelina Sobredo Galanes, known as Cecilia, (October 11, 1948 – August 2, 1976) was a Spanish singer-songwriter. She took her stage name from the song “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkel.
The daughter of diplomats, she was born in Madrid, spent her childhood in several countries (Spain, The United Kingdom, The United States, Jordan, Portugal) and was raised by an American nun. She attained a bachelor’s degree in law in Spain before deciding to dedicate herself to music and composition. Her ironic and lyrical songs, sung in a tiny voice, contributed to the existentialist and feminist movements of Spanish canción protesta (protest songs) of the 1960s and 1970s.
Her first steps in the music field were with the group Expresión, featuring Nacho Sáez de Tejada and Julio Seijas. She wrote and sang in English. This band only published a single in 1970. In 1971 she signed up a contract as a solo artist with CBS-Spain. Julio Seijas remained as a collaborative musician on Cecilia´s band. She tried to launch her career as ‘Eva’ but that name was already registered and in use by another Madrilenian artist. In those days, the CBS-Spain label had release Simon and Garfunkel´s hit “Cecilia” and Evangelina took on that stage name.
During her musical career as Cecilia, she released 3 LPs and 9 singles that were very well received by Spanish public. Cecilia was also a successful artist in Latin America. Her recordings were released in most Latin-speaking countries. She performed live in Colombia, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. She represented Spain in the fourth edition of the OTI Festival in 1975, which was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico with the song “Amor de medianoche” (Midnight Love). She ended up first runner-up. In 1976 she was working on several artistic projects, such as a tribute to poet Ramón del Valle-Inclán and launching her music career in the U.S. She was also developing some work as a musical producer.
On August 2, 1976, Cecilia and the musicians of her band drove back to Madrid after a concert in Vigo, Galicia. Early in the morning, they were involved a car accident near Benavente. She, along with musician José Luis González, died. She was buried in the Madrilenian Cementerio de la Almudena.
While Spanish singer-songwriters such as Mari Trini or Joan Manuel Serrat followed French influences, Cecilia introduced a new style in the 1970s. She brought and combined into her music her American and Middle East experiences and also looked into Spanish folk tradition and literature. She sang in English and Spanish. Cecilia was influenced by The Beatles, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez as she said in several press interviews. She performed and recorded songs of these artists. Her first single as “Cecilia” featured the song “Reuníos” asking to The Beatles to get back together as a group. The front cover of her first album Cecilia shows Evangelina wearing a boxing glove, a clear reference to Paul Simon´s song “The Boxer”.
Cecilia wrote and recorded her own compositions in her studio recordings. The only exceptions are “Lost little thing”, cover of Lennon and McCartney´s “Dear Prudence” and “Amor de Medianoche” by Juan Carlos Calderón and Evangelina Sobredo. She composed about 70 songs. The exact number is unknown because some materials remain unpublished. She also wrote several songs for other Spanish artists such as Julio Iglesias, Massiel, Simone or Mocedades. She cultivated other artistic fields besides music: poetry, painting and potteryware.
Like many other artists in Spain, Cecilia had to deal with the censorship of General Franco´s government. Some lyrics and photographs from the albums had to be slightly altered or even removed to be approved. Those elements with references to feminism or to the Spanish Civil War were specially conflictuous. The song “Un millón de muertos” (“A million dead”) after being altered and presented as “Un millón de sueños” (“A million dreams”) was not approved to be played on the radio (“No radiable”). Cecilia 2 was the name that replaced “Me quedaré soltera” (“I will remain single”) as the album title due to the feminism behind that statement. The front cover of the record, originally showing a pregnant Cecilia, was promptly removed by the record company. The super-hit “Mi querida España” had some words deleted on the final version to minimize subtle references to the Civil War and the end of the dictatorship. However, the authentic lyrics made it to print and came out in the inner side of the gatefold cover of the album.
Enjoy this selection I checked. Enjoy
F. M. Laster
“I’ve been things and seen places.”- Mae West