Pedro Flores born (March 9, 1894 – July 14, 1979) was one Puerto Rico’s best known composers of ballads and boleros.
Flores (birth name: Pedro Juan Flores Córdova[note 1]) was one of twelve children born into a poor family in the town of Naguabo, Puerto Rico. Flores’ father died when he was only nine years old and therefore, he was forced to work at a young age. When he was sixteen years old, he took a special course in the University of Puerto Rico (Universidad de Puerto Rico) and received his teachers certificate. Flores taught for five years and worked for one year at a sugar mill in the island of Vieques. In 1918, he served in a clerical position in the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged from the Army when he was twenty-four years old.
In 1926, Flores went to New York without any formal musical education and joined another Puerto Rican composer, Rafael Hernández in his Trío Borinquen. Even though Flores and Hernández became very good friends, they also became competitors as composers. When Flores wrote “Sin Bandera”, Hernández rushed and wrote Preciosa.
In 1930, Flores formed his own trio which he named “Trío Galón”, and whose music and songs had a faster beat then the “Trío Borinquen”. Flores had problems with the music publishing company and he abandoned the trio. He moved to Mexico and then lived in Cuba for a short period of time. Flores eventually returned to New York where he reorganized his old trio. Some of the singers of this new trio were Myrta Silva, Daniel Santos and Pedro Ortiz Dávila “Davilita”.
Some of the songs written by Flores were: Amor Perdido (Lost Love), Bajo un Palmar (Under A Palm Tree), Borracho no Vale (which may translate to Drunk Doesn’t Count or Doesn’t Count If You’re Drunk), Linda, Sin Bandera (Without a Flag), Despedida (Farewell) and Perdón (I’m Sorry). Among those who have performed his songs are Beny More, Los Panchos, Celia Cruz, and María Luisa Landín. A 1996 television special honoring his work features versions by many Puerto Rican and international artists, such as Ednita Nazario, Marc Anthony, Yolandita Monge and Shakira.
Pedro Flores died in San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 14, 1979 and is buried in Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery located in Old San Juan