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Friday, February 3, 2023

Xavier Cugat


Donde Estabas Tu

Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra
The Band With The Latin Beat
Mercury Records MG 20065

From the back cover: Latin American music and the name Xavier Cugat have become synonymous over the years as the perfect solution to dancing and listening pleasure in the South American way. Cugat is well known for his distinctive interpretations of both the old and the new favorites of Latin American music.

Cugat's career has had many facets, from culture to cartooning, from Barcelona, Spain, one of the oldest cities in the old world, where he was born into a family who patronized art and music, to some of the finest musical conservatories in Europe, where his grooming for a musical career took place. Cugat's studies in Rome led to what we call "The Big Break", for it was here that he was heard by the great Enrico Caruso, who asked him to go on tour to America with him. This tour turned into five years of working with the greatest tenor of all time, but proved to Xavier that although he was a good violinist he would not be a great artist that he had studied to be. For most men, this would seem failure, but not Cugat, for he turned to a love of his childhood and took a job as cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times. Although he was very successful as a cartoonist, deadlines and the daily routine soon drove him back to his first love – music.

He formed an orchestra in California, featuring the then unheard-of Latin American music. But his unique treatment of it soon "educated" the public and became widely accepted. Cugat's music not only popularized, but also influenced the dance rhythms of the Rhumba, Tango, Conga and Mambo.

Green Eyes
Linda Mujer
Walter Winchell Rhumba
A Gay Ranchero
Cucaracha Mambo
Blue Tango
Miami Beach Rhumba
Chiu Chiu
Donde Estabas Tu

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