He’s released over 70 albums, starred in a handful of semi-biographical feature films, won a smattering of Grammys, and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s composed over 1,800 songs and gone 150 times platinum over a 40-plus-year career; he is Juan Gabriel, and he’s getting a TV show based on his life.
Of course, with this guy’s CV any producer would swoon over picking up Juanga’s life rights, but it also happens that the man has a biography that makes the brutal melodramas of Mexico’s golden age of cinema seem unrealistically light. The campesino father who went mad after accidentally burning his fields, his escape from the boy’s school in Ciudad Juárez, his adolescent years spent hustling his guitar through the border nightclub scene, the false arrest for robbery, and of course, his eventual triumph.
In the Spanish-speaking world, Juan Gabriel is The Beatles. Nobody comes close. And generations after he’s passed he will continue to be the standard against which any successful Latin pop artist is held. So let’s hope they do this right.
Titled Hasta que te conocí, the biographical series is being produced by Disney Media Distribution Latin American (or Disney, for short), and features Sr. Alberto Aguilera Valadez (JG’s real name) himself as Executive Producer. The 13-episode run will be broadcast on TNT and Univisión for stateside audiences, and TV Azteca south of the border, but as of yet no firm release date has been announced.
Until that day, el Divo de Juarez’s legions of rabid fans will be left asking that perennial question: “Dime cuándo tú, dime cuándo tú, dime cuándo tú vas a volver, ay ay.” Ay ay, indeed.