March 12, 2014
Venezuelan folk singer Simón Díaz dies, 85
CARACAS — Venezuelan folk singer Simón Díaz, who wrote some of the country’s best-known songs and inspired generations of musicians, died yesterday. He was 85. Affectionately known as “Uncle Simón,” Díaz became a household name thanks to radio and television shows that featured typical music of the Venezuelan plains interspersed with jokes and light-hearted stories. “With tears in my eyes, I announce to the country that my beloved father peacefully left us this morning,” wrote his daughter, Bettsimar Díaz, without describing the cause of death.
Diaz wrote the song Caballo viejo, or Old Horse, which became a classic in Venezuela and was the inspiration behind Bamboleo, the best-known song of the pop-oriented flamenco group Gipsy Kings. Díaz helped boost the popularity and acceptance in Venezuela of plains music.