La Niña De Los Peines

Real Name:
Pastora María Pavón Cruz
Profile:
Pastora Pavón Cruz, known as La Niña de los Peines (Seville, Spain, February 10, 1890 - November 26, 1969), is considered the most important woman flamenco singer of the 20th century. She was a sister of singers Arturo Pavón and Tomás Pavón, and aunt to Arturo Pavón, the first flamenco pianist. Both brothers, Pastora and Tomás, together with singer Manuel Torre, were the inspiring models for the next generation of singers like Antonio Mairena, Pepe de la Matrona or Fosforito, who led the movement towards the revival of traditional forms in the decades of the 50s-70s.

Born in the famous quarter of Alameda de Hércules, in Seville, she started singing for the public as at the age of 8, in the Seville Spring Fair. Later, when she was singing at Café de la Marina, a café cantante in Madrid, she acquired the nickname La Niña de los Peines (The Girl of the Combs, a nickname she never liked), as she usually sang a stanza in tangos style with the following lyrics: "Peinate tú con mis peines / Mis peines son de canela".

She never learnt to read or write, and only learnt to sign when she was already an adult. Her family were in dire need of money, so she started to sing regularly as a professional in the Taberna de Ceferino, in Seville, and then spent a period in Madrid and Bilbao. In this town, she was not allowed to sing in public owing to her young age, so she sat as model for painter Ignacio Zuloaga. Back in Andalusia, she took part in the performances of several cafés cantante in Jerez, Seville, Málaga and other towns. In 1910 she made her first recordings, and in 1920 the Teatro Romea was paying her the highest fee it had ever paid to an artist. After that, she started a long series of tours in all Spain.

In 1922 at Granada, she participated at the Concurso de Cante Jondo. This famous music festival was largely organized by Manuel de Falla and also Federico García Lorca in order to reinvigorate the flamendo arts. She was featured as a professional performer, along with Antonio Chacón, Manuel Torre, Juana la Macarrona, Ramón Montoya and others. She was also chosen as one of the judges for the contest between non-professionals.

Along her career she met or shared the stage with many classical flamenco singers of the Golden Age like Antonio Chacón, Manuel Torre, Francisco Lema (known as Fosforito El Viejo), El Canario, La Trini, or Frijones. She had also met in 1922 Federico García Lorca, who, in a lecture given in 1933, stated: "This woman's voice is exceptional. It breaks the moulds of all singing schools, as much as she breaks the moulds of any built music. When she seems to be out of tune, she is not out of tune: on the contrary, she is incredibly in tune as, owing to the special miracle of this style and the passion with which she sings third tones and quarter tones, impossible to record on the staff." (Quoted by Antonio Reina in Museo Virtual de la Niña de los Peines)

In 1931, she married flamenco singer Pepe Pinto. After the parenthesis of the Spanish Civil War, she came back to the stage, as part of several flamenco shows, together with artists like Concha Piquer. After this, she retired for a few years, and came back with a show called España y su Cantaora (Spain and her singer), together with her husband, which she toured for a few months and was acclaimed by the critics. Then she definitely retired again. In 1961 she received an homage in Córdoba, in which several well-known flamenco artists took part, such as Antonio Mairena, Juan Talega, Manuel Morao, or Fernando Terremoto. In 1968, a monument was built in her honour in her quarter of Alameda de Hércules. In the last three years of her life, she was completely retired owing to senile dementia. She died in 1969, a month and a half after her husband. In that same year, singer Anotnio Mairena recorded his album Honores a la Niña de los Peines in homage to her. In 1996, during the IX Bienal de Flamenco, the autonomous Andalusian government declared the voice of La Niña de los Peines Bien de Interés Cultural (Asset of Cultural Interest).
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Albums

La Niña De Los Peines - Cante Flamenco album art La Niña De Los Peines Cante Flamenco (Album) Columbia US 1941 Sell This Version
FL 9536 La Niña De Los Peines - Cantos Flamencos album art La Niña De Los Peines Cantos Flamencos(10", Mono, RE) Columbia FL 9536 US 1953 Sell This Version
1 J 040-20.587 M La Niña De Los Peines - La Edad De Oro Del Flamenco - Vol. IV album art La Niña De Los Peines La Edad De Oro Del Flamenco - Vol. IV(LP, Album) Regal 1 J 040-20.587 M Spain 1970 Sell This Version
S.C. 2040 La Niña De Los Peines - Homenaje De Pepe Pinto album art La Niña De Los Peines y Tomás Pavón Guitarrista: Niño Ricardo La Niña De Los Peines y Tomás Pavón Guitarrista: Niño Ricardo - Homenaje De Pepe Pinto(LP, Album) Discophon S.C. 2040 Spain 1970 Sell This Version
230 020.077 La Niña De Los Peines - Niña de Los Peines album art La Niña De Los Peines Niña de Los Peines(Cass, Album, RE) Amalgama (2) 230 020.077 Spain 1985 Sell This Version
20104 La Niña De Los Peines - Voz De Estaño Fundido album art La Niña De Los Peines Voz De Estaño Fundido(CD, Album) Sonifolk 20104 Spain 1997 Sell This Version
204974-204 La Niña De Los Peines Voz De Estaño Fundido(CD, Album) Sonifolk 204974-204 Germany 2000 Sell This Version
1 J 040-20.258 M La Niña De Los Peines - Los Ases Del Flamenco  Vol. 2 album art La Niña De Los Peines, El Niño De Almaden, Niño De Frenegal, Gloria Romero (2), El Peluso, Pericón De Cádiz, Niña De La Puebla, Manolo Caracol, Niño De Marchena La Niña De Los Peines, El Niño De Almaden, Niño De Frenegal, Gloria Romero (2), El Peluso, Pericón De Cádiz, Niña De La Puebla, Manolo Caracol, Niño De Marchena - Los Ases Del Flamenco Vol. 2(LP, Album) Regal 1 J 040-20.258 M Spain Unknown Sell This Version
J 046-20.204 La Niña De Los Peines - Cantaores Famosos album art Jarrito, Tomas Pavon, Manuel Vallejo, Tomás De Antequera, Manolo Caracol, Jésus Perosanz, Almaden, La Niña De Los Peines, Pericón De Cádiz Jarrito, Tomas Pavon, Manuel Vallejo, Tomás De Antequera, Manolo Caracol, Jésus Perosanz, Almaden, La Niña De Los Peines, Pericón De Cádiz - Cantaores Famosos(LP, Album) Regal J 046-20.204 Spain Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

JOS.26 La Niña De Los Peines - Fandangos / Bulerias album art Niña De Los Peines* Y Pepe Pinto Niña De Los Peines* Y Pepe Pinto - Fandangos / Bulerias(Shellac, 10") His Master's Voice JOS.26 UK 1946 Sell This Version
DSOE 16.254 La Niña De Los Peines - Los Ases Del Flamenco album art Niña De La Puebla / Angelillo / Niña De Los Peines* / Canalejas* Niña De La Puebla / Angelillo / Niña De Los Peines* / Canalejas* - Los Ases Del Flamenco(7", EP) Odeon DSOE 16.254 Spain 1958 Sell This Version
7EPL 13.230 La Niña De Los Peines - De Sevilla A Cadiz album art La Niña De Los Peines De Sevilla A Cadiz(7", EP) La Voz De Su Amo 7EPL 13.230 Spain 1958 Sell This Version
7EPL 13.228 La Niña De Los Peines Que Te Quería Yo, No Lo Niego / Yo He Visto Varios Pintores / de Color Cera, Mare / Esquilones de Plata(7", EP) La Voz De Su Amo 7EPL 13.228 Spain 1958 Sell This Version
7EPL 13.355 La Niña De Los Peines - El Cante de la Niña de Los Peines album art La Niña De Los Peines El Cante de la Niña de Los Peines(7", EP) La Voz De Su Amo 7EPL 13.355 Spain 1959 Sell This Version
7EPL 13.527 La Niña De Los Peines - Navidad Andaluza (Villancicos) album art Niña De La Puebla, La Niña De Los Peines, Canalejas De Puerto Real Niña De La Puebla, La Niña De Los Peines, Canalejas De Puerto Real - Navidad Andaluza (Villancicos)(7", EP) La Voz De Su Amo 7EPL 13.527 Spain 1960 Sell This Version
AGS 20.159 La Niña De Los Peines - Canta la Niña de Los Peines Volumen No. 1 album art La Niña De Los Peines Canta la Niña de Los Peines Volumen No. 1(7", EP) CBS AGS 20.159 Spain 1963 Sell This Version
J 006-20.729 La Niña De Los Peines - Cancionero Flamenco Vol. 13 album art La Niña De Los Peines Cancionero Flamenco Vol. 13(7", EP) Odeon J 006-20.729 Spain 1971 Sell This Version
AA 357 La Niña De Los Peines - De Sevilla A Cadiz / Fiestas De Navidad album art La Niña De Los Peines De Sevilla A Cadiz / Fiestas De Navidad(Shellac, 10") La Voz De Su Amo AA 357 Spain Unknown Sell This Version
413-M La Niña De Los Peines - Seguidillas / Peteneras album art La Niña De Los Peines Seguidillas / Peteneras(Shellac, 10") Columbia 413-M US Unknown Sell This Version
13262 La Niña De Los Peines Sevillanas No. 3/Soleares No. 3(Shellac, 10") Odeon 13262 France Unknown Sell This Version
412-M La Niña De Los Peines - Alegrias / Saetas album art La Niña De Los Peines Alegrias / Saetas(Shellac, 10") Columbia 412-M US Unknown Sell This Version
32113 La Niña De Los Peines Cantinas Malaguenas/Fandangos(Shellac, 10") Victor 32113 US Unknown Sell This Version
15.519, 15.520 La Niña De Los Peines - Bulería / Saetas album art Niña De Los Peines* Bulería / Saetas(Shellac, 10") Disco Fadas, Disco Fadas 15.519, 15.520 Spain Unknown Sell This Version
AGS 20.160 La Niña De Los Peines - Canta - Volumen No. 2 album art La Niña De Los Peines Canta - Volumen No. 2(7", EP) CBS AGS 20.160 Spain Unknown Sell This Version

Compilations

La Niña De Los Peines - Niña De Los Peines album art Niña De Los Peines* Niña De Los Peines (Comp) Regal Spain 1969 Sell This Version