Monday, July 04, 2011

Mae West: Gonzalo Curiel

MAE WEST recorded a number of interesting songs on her LP "The Fabulous Mae West" [released in September 1955]. And one fascinating bolero was "Havana for a Night" (Vereda Tropical) by the Mexican composer Gonzalo Curiel and Oscar Hammerstein II.
• • Born on 10 January 1904 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, musician Gonzalo Curiel y Orquesta had a long career and has been hailed as one of the greatest exponents and composers of Mexican popular music. Fascinated by music from childhood, he mastered the piano at an early age, as well as the guitar, mandolin, and violin. Despite these accomplishments, Curiel doubted his abilities and entered medical school in Guadalajara.
• • Irresistibly drawn to the keyboard, however, by 1927 he was busy recording piano rolls. But his real break came in the third decade of the twentieth century. In 1930 the radio station XEW, departing from the usual conventions of that time, decided to offer listeners live music. XEW hired 26-year-old Gonzalo Curiel, who made his public debut as a pianist who also led his own orchestra. For decades, Mexican romantics could hear several new compositions by Curiel — — such as "Vereda Tropical." Singer Lupita Palomera became the best known interpreter of Curiel's work and soon others were recording his songs.
• • Gonzalo Curiel co-founded the Society of Authors and Composers, and wrote classical piano concertos as well as the tracks for over 140 films. His popular piece "Vereda Tropical" has been rendered by Mexican singers as well as foreign vocalists in English, French, German, and Italian. Gonzalo Curiel was 54 when he suffered a fatal heart attack in Mexico City in July — — on 4 July 1958.
• • "Vereda Tropical" [excerpt] • •
• • Voy
• • Por la vereda tropical
• • La noche plena de quietud
• • Con su perfume de humedad.
• • Y en la briza que viene del mar
• • Se oye el rumor de una canción
• • Canción de amor y de piedad ...
• • Con ella fuí noche tras noche hasta el mar
• • Para besar su boca fresca de amar
• • Y me juró quererme más y más
• • y no olvidar jamás aquella noche junto al mar. ...
• • "Havana for a Night" [excerpt] • •
• • On the sidewalk tropical
• • The full night of quiet
• • With the scent of moisture.
• • And in the breeze from the sea
• • You hear the sound of a song
• • Song of love and mercy ...
• • With it went every night to the sea
• • To kiss your mouth fresh for love
• • And I swore to love me more and more
• • and never forget that night by the sea. ...
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • UK reporter Jessica Geen writes: Smiling, Angela Eagle says: “I’ve bought some new clothes… I’m a big Mae West fan, by the way. Always have been, from a very young age, She used to say it’s better to be looked over than overlooked. And if you’re looked over, it’s better to be well-dressed. ...”
• • Source: Article: "Interview: Labour MP Angela Eagle on gay rights, feminism and her makeover" written by Jessica Geen, Pink News, UK; posted on 30 June 2011
• • 17 July 2004 17 July 2011 • •
• • In mid-July the Mae West Blog will celebrate its seventh anniversary. Thank you to all those Mae-mavens who come up and see Mae every day.
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1981st blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1955 • •
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