Polo Montañez, the always natural peasant
By Gabriela Santiesteban
Although his professional career was brief, the Cuban singer-songwriter Polo Montañez left a deep mark on Cuban music and especially on the heart of his people and on that of the large audience that also acclaimed him in other latitudes.
Upon his premature death on November 26, 2002 he had composed a hundred songs, since his first creation in 1973, entitled "This happy time" together with sones and guarachas were part of his rich musical work, which he cultivated in a self-taught way and toured the world, in countries such as France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica ... and mainly Colombia , where he practically began his dizzying path to fame.
Fernando Borrego Linares was born on June 5, 1955 in El Brujito, a rural town in the west of the island and, even as a child, he made music with his father, a charcoal burner who is a member of the Cantores del Rosario group, performing in that mountainous area.
He soon began to sing and play the guitar, becoming the leader of the group, an artistic occupation that he combined with the various occupations he carried out: charcoal burner, cow milker, tractor driver, cane cutter ...
When the Las Terrazas Complex was inaugurated, Polo Montañez and his group began to perform in the tourist facilities, where the owner of a record company met him and proposed a contract to record several albums. The first of them, “Guajiro Natural”, was a real success, worthy of Gold and Platinum Records in Colombia, where he was the most listened to international artist.
His second phonogram, “My Guitar”, was also a success, and in less than three years the singer-songwriter became a popular idol in this and other nations, starring in multitudinous concerts that brought together followers of different generations.
Love, women, everyday life, his own or someone else's, stand out in the lyric of his themes, permeated with peasant elements, for which he is given the merit of universalizing the most authentic rhythms of the Cuban countryside. Among his many songs are "Natural Guajiro", "My Guitar", "Boat adrift", "A matter of luck", "Where will we be", "The corner of my anxieties", "The woman I love", " The last song ", “Love Madness"," My best friend "," Pure lies "," If you fall in love with me ", "I'm an idiot "and "A lot of stars ".
Heartfelt manifestations of mourning ran throughout the island after the death of Polo Montañez in a traffic accident, a natural peasant from head to toe, legendary for his history, his talent, his simplicity and charisma.