The Untold Story of Cañita Brava

The Rise of Cañita Brava: The Iconic Star of the 90s

If you are already a few years old, you may remember Marlene Morreau presenting, together with Jordi Estadella, a program in which the audience mercilessly applauded or booed what was in front of them and decided whether or not they could continue on stage for longer. A kind of ‘You are worth it’ or ‘Got Talent’ but with that component of sadism that only the 90s could have. His name was ‘El semaphore’, a program that went down in history as the starting shuttle for the most unexpected from Spain: Cañita Brava.

The Traffic Light is Back

Manuel González Savín was born on March 2, 1946 (if you don’t figure it out, 77 years ago, although he would never admit his age) in the Las Jubias neighborhood of A Coruña. Next to his house, he always had the sea, so his life was directed to be a worker on the pier, in the El Muro fish market, while in his spare time, he composed songs under the name “Cañita Brava,” which came from the time when he sold ice cream.

I sing everything. In Spanish, in Russian, in English, in Spanish, my creations, my own creations, were invented by me. I don’t copy and the most difficult thing is to compose a song -Cañita Brava

The Emergence of Cañita Brava

His first manager was Cholo, his cousin, who accompanied him to all the performances in the province (the first, by the way, in Los Castros, A Coruña, in 1976). Life was calm, at least until he met Benigno Elriz. Elriz became his new representative: he knew he had a diamond on his hands, so he spoke with Juan Ballesteros, a screenwriter for Chicho Ibáñez-Serrador who now works as an editor at TVE.

Ballesteros told Chicho that I had 30 songs and Chicho told him ‘Bring it to TVE, it’s convenient for me,’ Cañita commented in an interview for Vice.

The Iconic Performance

His first appearance in ‘El semáforo’ sang ‘Spinkin you’ and was booed by the crowd, but he didn’t give up: right after, after the performance, he broadcast a goal at the presenter’s request. Jordi Estadella, inquired into the personality of that television monster, who would come back again and again, even out of competition (Chicho was not going to let his goose that laid the golden eggs go) to sing his own songs like ‘La pepeta’, ‘El fugitivo’, ‘La porta del caldo de María’ or ‘The shepherds are coming’.

The Idol of a Generation

Cañita became the idol of a generation that did not know whether to applaud or laugh, but it turned him into a milestone in pop culture.

The Finances of Cañita Brava

It was last year when the truth about his financial state came out: almost thirty years after its brilliant success, Cañita Brava hardly did concerts and survived on a pension of 400 euros, as he told ‘Sálvame’.

It’s strangers who cheat. Fans don’t cheat, he’d say, confessing that he’d spent all his money on a girlfriend who was out of a job.

The Light of Yesteryear Shines Bright

Lately, our protagonist has tried it on Twitch, sending New Year or Carnival messages and playing in concerts with Tam Tam Go. Although the light of yesteryear never returns, as long as ‘La Pepeta’ plays on stage and his name bring smiles to a whole generation, there will continue to be Cañita Brava.

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