Monday, October 26, 2009

Consuelo Velazquez (1920-2005)

Mexican composer. She had graduated with the name profesora de piano from the Escuela National de Musica in Mexico City with the intention of becoming a concert musician but ended up working at a Mexico City radio station. She ended up forming her own group and broadcasting her own songs. Besame mucho (1941) was published in Mexico City when she was only twenty-one years old, was rereleased in New York in 1943, and was a best seller the USA for Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra in 1944. It ended up being a great hit with American servicemen fighting in World War II. The song was recorded by the Beatles in 1962, and now a New Years Eve favorite elevated her into an international success not done by any other woman in Mexican history. Her next great success was Que seas feliz (1956) won an award and was recorded by twenty-one different artists, such as Nat King Cole, Ray Coniff, Percy Faith, and Montovani. She had copyrighted forty-seven by 1989. She was self taught as a composer, but because of her classical instruction her harmony was considered to have exceeded American ballad musicians.

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