Alfonso Vélez, Mr. Fuá
Alfonso Vélez, known as “Jíbaro de Añasco” was born in 1939 in Añasco, Puerto Rico. He gained notoriety in the 1973 Christmas season when he released an album that would become an instant classic. “La Luz”, a folkloric song with humorous lyrics that chronicled the adventures of a man who each time would try to light a candle ” the breeze would come and… fua… faded the light”.
The inspiration for this song came from his sense of observation on a night in which some jíbaros played cards under the light of a gas cylinder. The breeze insistently extinguished the small flame, which produced the verses of his song. The song won dozens of performers, among them El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico and international Marco Antonio Muñiz.
Alfonso came from a humble family, he grew up with his father and four brothers. In the 1950s, he helped his father by shining shoes, selling cakes, cutting sugar cane and plowing fields with oxen. He started to sing popular music when he was 13, focusing in trova jíbara. After he left for New York and saved money, he recorded his own songs. By the time La Luz was released, he had already released 6 records.