Juan Carlos Calderon, Renowned Spanish Composer, Dead at 74
Juan Carlos Calderon, Renowned Spanish Composer, Dead at 74

A pioneer of Spanish-language pop in the 1970s.

Composer, producer, arranger and musician Juan Carlos Calderón died Monday (Nov. 26) in a Madrid hospital. The cause was cardiac arrest, according to Europa Press

Calderón work with artists including El Duo Dinámico, Julio Iglesias and Miguel Bosé defined an era of Spanish pop music in the 1970s. For the group Mocedades, he penned the 1973 hit "Eres Tú", which reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spawned dozens of cover versions, including the English-language "Touch the Wind." Calderón's credits include Herb Alpert's Fandango and albums by Luis Miguel, Ricky Martin and Laura Branigan, among many others.

Born in Santander in 1938, Calderón started his career as a jazz musician. In the Sixties, he took a different direction when he began arranging music for prominent singer/songwriters Joan Manuel Serrat and Luis Eduardo Aute, then started working the stars of Spain's emerging pop scene.

"I was showered with offers," Calderón said in a 2003 interview with Diego Manrique, the music critic for the Spanish daily El Pais.

Calderón also made his mark in the United States. In 1981, he came to Los Angeles to work with Herb Alpert on the album Fandango. He subsequently wrote and arranged for Latin pop artists including Chayanne, Maria Conchita Alonso, and Emanuel. His song "Me Gustas Tal Como Eres," recorded by Sheena Easton and Luis Miguel, won a Grammy for Best Mexican/Mexican American-performance in 1984.

"I'll keep making music until I die," Calderón told a reporter for the news agency EFE in 2010.