Considered the king of the rancheros, Fernández's romantic, nostalgic sound typifies old Mexico. He wields exquisite control over his voice, surging from intimacy to drama at the drop of a hat. Fernandez is heir to singers like Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante, but his story is also bound up with the rise of television. Born in Jalisco in 1940, Fernández had his first brush with musical success when he won a Guadalajara singing contest. But it wasn't until he won a small role on a television show called La Calandria Musical that his career really got moving. He began singing for many of the major mariachi groups of the 1950s, and famously gave an impassioned concert in Mexico City just after learning his father had died.