Last updateFri, 25 Sep 2020 8am

The most Mexican of Frenchmen

A minute of silence was held at last week’s press conference announcing details of Guadalajara’s 27th International Mariachi Festival, to honor singer and larger-than-life personality Francois Gouygou, better known as the Charro Frances (French Charro), who died in June in Chapala.

pg16Gouygou, 78, has been a perennial visitor to Jalisco for more than four decades and an ever-present figure at the festival since its beginnings. He was always a major attraction of the colorful inaugural parade, riding on horseback in full charro regalia, often holding a French flag, laughing, joking and bursting into song at a moment’s notice to please the adoring crowds.

Gouygou fell in love with mariachi at the age of 14, after his father returned from a business trip to Mexico with some records of popular ranchero singer and actor Miguel Aceves Mejía, who was known as “the King of the falsetto.”

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