Julio Iglesias. SUR
July, a month of success for Julio Iglesias

July, a month of success for Julio Iglesias

On 17 July 1968, an unknown singer swept the board with the song La Vida Sigue Igual at the Benidorm summer song festival. The same day in 1973, Julio Iglesias was named the most international Spanish singer of the year in Torremolinos

Alekk M. Saanders

Friday, 28 July 2023, 16:18

Opciones para compartir

Julio Iglesias, who this year turns 80, wrote the following on Instagram on 18 July: “55 years ago my life changed forever; I was studying law, I was playing football in the youth team of the club I loved, and an accident shattered all my dreams. But that accident, as I always say, brought my soul and my head together and I began to live an adventure that has not ended yet.”

Unexpected circumstances

In 1962, Julio Iglesias suffered a serious car accident in Majadahonda, Madrid. The accident smashed his lower spine and left him in a wheelchair. That put an end to the football player's incipient sporting career with Real Madrid. His legs were permanently weakened and required therapy for several years.

Julio Iglesias is reported to have spent long periods of time on the beaches in La Carihuela of Torremolinos recovering from his back injury in the company of his father. He feared he would never walk again, as the doctors claimed. Instead of giving up, he fought on.

One story says that while in hospital, a nurse named Eladio Magdaleno gave Julio a guitar so that he could recover the dexterity of his hands. Iglesias discovered his musical talent in learning to play the instrument. On the Costa del Sol he continued playing the guitar and wrote lyrics for songs. It might even have beenTorremolinos where Julio Iglesias composed his first song La Vida Sigue Igual.

On Instagram (18 July 2023) Julio Iglesias recalled: “I wrote this song thinking about what I felt in those moments after my operation. I found the strength I didn't have in the music of a guitar and I wrote these verses without knowing where they were going to end or where they were going to start and they ended up at the Benidorm Festival in 1968.”

Benidorm summer song festival

The summer song festival in Benidorm was launched in 1959 to promote both the Costa Blanca resort and Spanish music. During the first year the festival had the same format as others at the time, including the Italian Sanremo. The 10th contest was held in 1968. On 17 July, Julio Iglesias sang La Vida Sigue Igual with Los Gritos, a band from Malaga.

Los Gritos, Julio Iglesias, poster. SUR
Imagen principal - Los Gritos, Julio Iglesias, poster.
Imagen secundaria 1 - Los Gritos, Julio Iglesias, poster.
Imagen secundaria 2 - Los Gritos, Julio Iglesias, poster.

Pop group Los Gritos was formed in Fuengirola in the late 1960s by Manolo Galván (vocalist, bassist and composer), José Ramón Moreno Muñoz (drums), José Sierra Blanco and Francisco Doblas Vega (guitarists). In 1968, the group was reformed and the members were regulars in nightclubs and discotheques on the Costa del Sol such as La Nogalera, Piper's and the Hotel Alay.

In 1968, Los Gritos got a contract with the Belter record company and on 17 July participated in the Benidorm Festival. Together with Julio Iglesias they were proclaimed winners and found fame.

In 1968, Los Gritos from Fuengirola entered the Benidorm Festival; they were were proclaimed winners along with Julio Iglesias

As for Julio Iglesias, the victory at the Benidorm festival led him to sign his first record contract, recording his album in London. He was to go on to become the most international and important performer in Spain.

Iglesias ends his message on Instagram with: “Thanks to this National Song Festival everything became a dream that lasts until today. These have been 55 years that changed my life forever, thanks to all of you for giving me so much strength to live.”

Back to Torremolinos

La Vida Sigue Igual launched the career of Julio Iglesias, who eventually smashed all records for sales and popularity in Spanish music. The singer became an idol without frontiers.

Exactly, five years after his debut the popular artist arrived in Torremolinos as a headliner of the 1st 'Español Pop' Summer Gala, organised by Radio Juventud, La Voz de Málaga.

On 17 July 1973 Julio Iglesias performed at the Palacio de Congresos in Torremolinos where he was declared the most international Spanish singer of the year

On 17 July 1973 Julio Iglesias performed at the Palacio de Congresos in Torremolinos where he was proclaimed the most international Spanish singer of the year and was presented with a trophy.

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