Armando Manzanero Canché (born in Mérida, Mexico on December 7, 1935) is a Mexican musician and composer of Maya descent, widely considered the premiere Mexican romantic composer of the postwar era. One of the most successful composers of Latin America.
At the age of eight he was introduced into the world of music in the Escuela de Bellas Artes (School of Fine Arts) of his native city, later furthering his musical studies in Mexico City. In 1950, at the age of fifteen, he composed his first melody titled Nunca en el Mundo (Never in the World), of which twenty-one versions in different languages have been recorded to date. The following year he began his professional career as a pianist.
In 1957 he was signed as musical director by the Mexican branch of CBS International and as Musical Promoter for EMI, becoming the next year the pianist of Latin American artists such as Pedro Vargas, Lucho Gatica and Raphael.
In 1959, an executive of RCA Victor urged him to record his first album of love songs, which he named Mi Primera Grabación (My First Record).
In 1965 he won the first place of the Festival de la Canción (Song Festival) in Miami with the song Cuando Estoy Contigo (When I'm With You).
In 1970, his song Somos Novios was translated into English by Sid Wayne, composer for Elvis Presley. The English version, "It's Impossible", was performed by Perry Como and was nominated for a Grammy. This success was marred by the verdict of an American court, which ruled against Manzanero, who was accused of plagiarism and forced to return all the royalties he gained from "It's Impossible". This was a great blow for Manzanero, who had composed the song "Somos Novios" twenty years before and who was himself the victim of plagiarism by a composer (not Sid Wayne). Today, it's acknowledged that Manzanero was indeed the composer of this song and that he was wrongfully accused.
In 1978 he won the first place of the Mallorca Festival in Spain, with the song Señor Amor (Mister Love). In 1982, the song Corazón Amigo (Heart Friend), was honored in the Yamaha Festival. In 1993 Billboard magazine gave him an award for his excellent musical career.
Since 1982 Manzanero is the vice president and one of the main directors of the Asociación Nacional de Autores y Compositores (Mexican National Association of Authors and Composers). His work in defense of copyright laws has strengthened this organization and has given it international acclaim.
During his lifetime, Armando Manzanero has composed more than four hundred songs, fifty of which have given him international fame. He has participated in numerous radio and television shows, has recorded more than thirty albums and composed the musical scores of several movies. During the fifty years of his musical career, Manzanero has given performances all over Latin America, particularly in São Paulo (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), El Metropolitan (Mexico), the Teresa Carreño Theater of Caracas (Venezuela), Madison Square Garden (New York), and many other prestigious cities of Europe and Asia.
His most famous songs include Voy a apagar la luz (I'm Going to Turn Off the Lights), Contigo Aprendí ( With you I Learnt... ), Adoro (Adore), No sé tú (I don't know if you...), Por Debajo de la Mesa (Under the Table) Esta Tarde Vi Llover (English version "Yesterday I Heard the Rain"), Somos Novios (English version "It's Impossible"), Felicidad (Happiness) and Nada Personal (Nothing Personal).
1959: Mi Primera Grabación
1967: A mi amor... Con mi amor
1967: Manzanero el Grande
1968: Somos Novios
1968: Armando Manzanero, su piano y su música
1969: Para mi siempre amor
N/A: Que bonito viven los enamorados
1976: Lo mejor de Armando Manzanero
1977: Fanático de ti
1977: Corazón Salvaje
1979: Ternura y Romance
1981: Mi trato contigo
1982: Otra vez romántico
1985: Armando Manzanero
1987: Cariñosamente, Manzanero
1988: Mientras existas tú
1992: Las canciones que quise escribir
1993: Entre amigos
1995: El piano... Manzanero y sus amigos
1996: Nada Personal
1997: Intimos (Ft. Bebu Silvetti)
1998: Manzanero y La Libertad (Ft. Tania Libertad)
^ "...de nada valio ante la Corte de Justicia la comprobación del mexicano y perdió el juicio debido al favoritismo que recibió, el demandante, quien realmente, él fue el que si plagio la canción de Armando Manzanero Canche "Somos Novios" en la version al ingles, escrita por Sid Wayne y tanto Manzanero con Sid tuvieron que devolver casi 400 mil dolares de cheques que vi les entreguen en la RCA Victor de Nueva York..." Wilbert Alonzo Cabrera, founder and Vicepresident of the Asociacion de Cronistas de Espectáculos (ACE), New York, September 9, 2006.