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20 December 2013

Julio Iglesias

Today, it's Postcard Friendship Friday again on the net. A weekly event in which postcard blogs present themselves. Start at Beth's blog with the great title The Best Hearts Are Crunchy, and enjoy some rare vintage postcards that are preserved on the net by bloggers like me.

For this Postcard Friendship Friday, I have chosen postcards of Spanish singer and songwriter Julio Iglesias (1943), who sold over 300 million records worldwide. The handsome singer with the powerful voice also starred in a few Spanish feature films.

Julio Iglesias
Spanish card by Promotore des Artes Graficas, Barcelona, no. J.I.-5. Sent by mail in 1985. Photo: Julio Iglesias Difusión / P.A.G.S.A., 1982.

Julio Iglesias
Spanish card by Promotore des Artes Graficas, Barcelona, no. J.I.-7. Photo: Julio Iglesias Difusión / P.A.G.S.A., 1982.

Life Goes On


Julio Iglesias was born Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva in Madrid in 1943. His parents were Julio Iglesias, Sr., a gynecologist, and Maria del Rosario de la Cueva y Perignat.

As a teenager he achieved one of his great dreams when he was recruited to play goalkeeper for his favourite soccer team, Real Madrid. He alternated playing professional soccer with law studies at the Colegio Mayor Universitario San Pablo in Madrid.

He was due just one course to finish his study when he had a serious car accident in 1962. He was unable to walk for two years, and the car crash finished his professional football career. During his two year hospitalization after the accident, a nurse gave him a guitar to have something to do with his hands. In learning to play, he discovered his musical talent and began writing songs.

In 1968, he won the Benidorm International Song Festival, an annual songwriter's event in Spain, with the song La vida sigue igual (Life Goes On). The song became a number one hit in Spain and he sang it also in the film La vida sigue igual/Life Goes On (Eugenio Martín, 1969), about his own life.

Iglesias signed a deal with Discos Columbia, the Spanish branch of Columbia Records. In 1970, he represented Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in fourth place, behind Ireland's winning entry performed by Dana. His entry was the song Gwendolyne.

Shortly after he had a number one hit in many European countries with Un Canto A Galicia. That single sold 1 million copies in Germany.

Soon he was one of the most popular musical performers throughout Europe, performing for tens of thousands of fans in most of the world's capitals. In 1975 he found success in the Italian market by recording a song exclusively in Italian called Se mi lasci non vale (If You Leave Me, It Can't Be).

He also sang in French. One of his popular songs is Je n'ai pas change (I have not changed). In 1976, Iglesias played a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Notable albums from this decade are Soy (1973), A Flor de Piel (1974, with the European hit Manuela), and El Amor (1975). He also starred in another film, Me olvidé de vivir/I forgot to live (Orlando Jiménez Leal, 1980) with Carol Lynley.

Julio Iglesias
Spanish card. Photo: publicity still for La vida sigue igual/Life Goes On (Eugenio Martín, 1969).

Julio Iglesias
German collector's card by Philips.

A Man Alone


Following the annulment of his first marriage to TV host Isabel Preysler in 1979, Julio Iglesias set his sights on conquering the English-language markets.

He signed a deal with CBS International, and released the album De Niña a Mujer (From Girl To Woman) (1981), dedicated to his daughter. It contained his first English-language hit, Begin the Beguine which became number 1 in the United Kingdom.

In 1984, he released 1100 Bel Air Place, the hit album which gave him publicity in the English-speaking entertainment industry. It sold four million albums in the United States. The first single To All the Girls I've Loved Before, a duet with Willie Nelson, earned a fifth place spot in the Billboard Hot 100. The album also featured All of You, with Diana Ross.

In 1985, after Basque terrorists had kidnapped his father, Iglesias moved to Miami, Florida. At the 1988 Grammy Awards, he won a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album for the album Un Hombre Solo (A Man Alone). He recorded a duet with Stevie Wonder on My Love for his Non Stop album, a crossover success in 1988.

His songs were used on the soundtracks of several films, including the comedy Moon Over Parador (Paul Mazursky, 1988) with Richard Dreyfuss, and the Spanish comedy-drama Huevos de oro/Golden Balls (Bigas Luna, 1993) starring Javier Bardem.

Iglesias made a cameo appearance as himself on the TV series The Golden Girls as Sophia Petrillo's date on St. Valentine's Day 1989.

In the 1990s, Iglesias returned to his Latin roots with the album Tango (1996), nominated for Best Latin Pop Album at the 1998 Grammy Awards.

His youngest son from his first marriage, Enrique Iglesias, also was nominated for the Vivir album, but both lost to singer Luis Miguel. Julio Iglesias went on to win the World Music Award for Tango in Monaco later that year where he was up against Luis Miguel and Enrique for the second time.

Julio IglesiasSpanish card by Promotore des Artes Graficas, Barcelona, no. J.I.-16. Photo: Julio Iglesias Difusión / P.A.G.S.A., 1982.

Julio Iglesias
Spanish card by Promotore des Artes Graficas, Barcelona, no. J.I.-8. Sent by mail in 1984. Photo: Julio Iglesias Difusión / P.A.G.S.A., 1982.

Numero 1


In 2001, Julio Iglesias finished his law degree at the Complutense University in Madrid. He had promised his old father that he would eventually graduate after dropping out 35 years earlier to pursue his music career.

In 2003, Iglesias released his album Divorcio (Divorce). In its first day of sales, Divorcio sold a record 350,000 albums in Spain, and reached the number 1 spot on the charts in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Russia.

In 2003 and 2004, he was featured on a ten month world tour. In 2006, a new English album titled Romantic Classics was released. In March 2011, the artist launched a new studio album called Numero 1. Iglesias' performance of the song La Mer (The Sea) was featured on the soundtrack of the film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011) starring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.

Julio Iglesias married twice. From 1971 till 1979, he was married to Isabel Preysler with whom he has a daughter, Chabeli Iglesias and two sons, Julio Iglesias Jr. and Enrique Iglesias. All three are singers and actors in their own right.

In 2010, he married his girlfriend of 20 years, Miranda Rijnsburger, in a traditional Catholic Wedding. They have five children. Iglesias has one granddaughter named Sofia Iglesias who is his daughter Chabeli's child.

Mark Deming at AllMusic: “While he maintained a busy performing schedule, Iglesias seemed to be slowing down his recording commitments after the release of 2006's Romance Classics, but in 2011, declaring his voice to be as strong as it had been in his youth, he re-recorded a number of his best-known songs for a new collection, titled Vol. 1, which was a major commercial success.”

In a career that has spanned six decades now, the international superstar has sold over 300 million albums worldwide.


Julio Iglesias sings the title song of Me olvidé de vivir/I forgot to live (Orlando Jiménez Leal, 1980).

Sources: Mark Deming (AllMusic), JulioIglesias.com, Wikipedia and IMDb.

2 comments:

Beth Niquette said...

Wow! What a great post! I thoroughly enjoyed this fellow's handsome visage in the postcard. I also loved the video you posted along with.

I'm always in awe of the history you provide. Just wonderful.

Merry Christmas, Paul! And happy PFF!

Irene said...

he gorgeous,