It’s still incomplete, but let’s at least say this:
El Pollito started life as John M. Lane. John was born in San Jose, California and became a folk singer as a teenager in the sixties. In 1966, at the age of 19, Johnny Lane heard that his hero Woody Guthrie was in a New York hospital. Concerned for the fate of his greatest musical influence to date, he took off for New York to find him. Once there, he befriended the ailing folk master and spent the better part of a year visiting and honoring him by singing Guthrie back to Guthrie.
After Woody’s death in 1967, Johnny took off for Spain to study Spanish Literature at the Universidad Complutense. Upon graduation, and after a short stint as an English teacher, he took off to Granada to study his newest passion…flamenco. For many years Juan Callejuela (as he was then known) lived, studied and honed his serious art directly with notable gypsy flamencos back in the caves of Sacromonte. After a long period of being a serious flamenco John Lane was dubbed El Pollito (The Little Chicken). The name fitted both his boyish and Irish-blond good looks and so it stuck. Now embracing his moniker, while adding a touch of linguistic banter along with measured doses of physical humor, the flamenco personality we now know as El Pollito was hatched. This life is his art.
During his 30+ years of being a flamenco, El Pollito has had the privilege to work with and socialize a veritable who’s who list of modern flamenco greats. In fact, El Pollito de California is one of very few foreigners to have been noted in the official book of flamenco.
Now, after six years since they were originally recorded, El Pollito’s original studio recordings are being made available for the first time in his album: De California a Graná. On this CD he covers a wide variety of flamenco song forms, including: Alegrias, Bulerias, Fandangos, Tangos, Tangos de Malaga, Tanguillos, Soleares, Rumba (four very danceable tracks), Rumba Fusion, and two lovely original Spanish ballads: "Quiero Volar" and "Por La Mañana".
New for 2008! Not only are these songs now available on iTunes and CD Baby, El Pollito now has a new CD release that reaches back to his own American Folk roots. This new album is titled: "The Riddles of Life". It's mostly original folk songs, all performed in English. To distinguish himself from his celebrated flamenco identity, he recorded "The Riddles of Life" under the subtle new alias of "Johnny Pollito". Along with his original songs, are a variety of choice covers of some traditional American folk songs that helped form him as a performing artist.