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The Good Neighbor Policy; Latin music in the 30's and 40's....

Discussion in 'Radio' started by Lincsong, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. I've got an itch for some Carmen Miranda, Xavier Cugat, Desi Arnaz this morning and it made me remember all the great ballroom Latin Music of the '30's and 40's. So I'd like to start with my personal favorite...[video=youtube;H-y8TS7jbpY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-y8TS7jbpY&feature=related[/video] Aquarelo de Brasil is also significant since we're approaching Mardi Gras/Carnaval and it won the best song award down in Rio.
  2. Walt Disney and an entourage of his animators went to South America as part of President Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy. Two sets of shorts came out of this trip; Three Amigos and Saludos Amigos...[video=youtube;7hkJr3bOFOE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hkJr3bOFOE&feature=related[/video][video=youtube;JGWOY8nPCMw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGWOY8nPCMw&feature=related[/video]
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  3. It strikes me that Latin music had a rarefied, upscale audience thru most of the 30s, and that only occasionally would a Latin number break big, until the r(h)umba itself became a national craze late in the decade. This must have been the start of its "ballroom" period, rather than the "club" or "hotel" period before.

    One of my favorite orchestras in that style is that of Enric Madriguera (Andres Segovia's brother-in-law), a violinist who played both non-Latin and Latin styles. In the 30s his recordings were mostly non-Latin, then became largely Latin in the 40s. It is those that are still listened to (because danced to).

    Xavier Cugat, another violinist (an instrument nobody remembers him playing), started out in the early '30s with a sound heavy on strings, accordion, and tangos. The big hit stuff came when he added a brass section, hot chick singers, etc., and became known as Egg-savior rather than Hah-vee-air.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  4. Let's do the Conga...

  5. There was always a strong niche audience for Latin music -- Cugat played the Waldorf-Astoria for a long time, and that was about as upscale as you could get. But it also had a place on radio -- NBC maintained a house marimba band, of all things, for a while in the mid-thirties, featuring them on Sunday mornings and in other sustaining time slots. It was a harmless sort of romantic exoticism, the same sort of thing that led people to tune in "foreign music" on the shortwave bands, the idea that you, too, could be a sophisticated world traveler without leaving your living room.
  6. The Depression Era Entertainment was one of escapism.
  7. [video=youtube;YrN2JDYC-kw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrN2JDYC-kw[/video]
  8. [video=youtube;nkBSx68bPyE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkBSx68bPyE&feature=related[/video]
  9. Two of the best examples of tango from the '40s.

    Miguel Calò and his Orchestra -- Gime Al Viento (1943)
    (vocal by Raul Iriarte)


    Osvaldo Fresedo and his Orchestra -- Vida Mia
    (vocal by Hector Pacheco)

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  10. Latin music has gone through several popularity phases. The Tango was one that became a big thing in the US and maybe the first big Latin scene for music that was a focus. I was always happy with Mambo but other types are great for the sound.

    I recall that there was a dissertation on the use of percussion coming from the Latin music influenced making changes in US music and the significance of adding that percussion to the blues was an important step for many types of US music eventually leading to rock and roll.

    I haven't read much but this seems to have some good info:
  11. Tango in the USA goes way back into the 'teens, but the rumba definitely broke here with El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor), in 1930. Just going by the number of song hits, tho, it seems the rumba burnt out in a year or so and only gradually began coming back. I don't think great crowds of ballroom patrons began rumba-ing till very late in the decade.
  12. [video=youtube;b_sG5vRKcB0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_sG5vRKcB0[/video]
  13. [video=youtube;OUQGzMJBS8o]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUQGzMJBS8o[/video]
  14. [video=youtube;beAO7zrZL3A]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beAO7zrZL3A&feature=related[/video]
  15. The Lecuona Cuban Boys are my favorite latin orchestra. I also like Beny More and Antobal's Cubans.


    I think of Ernesto Lecuona as the Cuban Gershwin. Wonderful.


    His magnus opus.[video=youtube;EuQQxZ7TXaY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuQQxZ7TXaY[/video]
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  16. Tita Merello (1904-2002) was an Argentine actress who was popular in the '40s and '50s starring in numerous films -- a sort of Argentine Marlene Dietrich.

  17. Lefty W.

    Lefty W. One of the Regulars

    My samba group played Aquarela do Brasil with the Ft. Worth symphony on New Year's Eve a couple of years ago. It's always been one of my favorites.
  18. I want Aquarela do Brasil played at my funeral.
  19. [video=youtube;1iwOFoSVfbU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iwOFoSVfbU[/video]
  20. The Original sound...


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