Consuelo Velázquez

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Consuelo Velázquez Torres (Ciudad Guzmán Zapotlán el Grande, Jalisco, August 21, 1916 – January 22, 2005[1]) (popularly also known as Consuelito Velázquez[citation needed]) was a Mexican concert pianist, songwriter and recording artist. (Most music resources, however, list her birth date as August 29, 1924.[citation needed])

Career[edit]

Velázquez was born in Ciudad Guzmán, Mexico, in 1916.[2] She was the fourth of five daughters.[3]

Velázquez was the songwriter and lyricist of many Spanish standard songs, such as "Amar y vivir" ("To Love and to Live"), "Verdad amarga" ("Bitter Truth"), "Franqueza", "Que seas feliz", "Abuela abuela", "Cachito", "Enamorada", and, most notably, the enduring 1940s-era standard "Bésame mucho", a romantic ballad which was soon recorded by artists around the globe, making it an international hit. The Beatles famously performed it as a part of their 1 January 1962 studio audition for Decca executives, at which Decca 'failed' them (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg48JepkiRo). The song was inspired by the sight of seeing a couple kissing in the street.[4]

Velázquez, who is said to have begun playing the piano at the age of four, started her professional career as a classical music concert pianist, performing at Palacio de Bellas Artes and XEQ Radio, but later became a singer and recording artist. According to Velázquez herself, she was strongly influenced by Spanish composer Enrique Granados. Velázquez also was elected to the Mexican Congress, she served as president for SACM (Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico), and she was vice-president of CISAC (International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies).

Death[edit]

According to her obituary, she was 88 years old when she died in Mexico City, of respiratory problems, on January 22, 2005.[5][6] Velázquez had been in hospital since she suffered a fall in November 2004.[7]

“Bésame Mucho” (Kiss Me A Lot)[edit]

Her best known success is the iconic song “Bésame mucho”, a bolero she wrote when she was only 16 years old. This is the piece that gained her more recognition and introduction to the rest of her artwork. The song was created before Consuelo received her first kiss of love. After being recorded by the Spanish-Mexican baritone Emilio Tuero, in 1944 the famous American pianist and singer Nat "King" Cole made the first adaptation in English. From then on, it was performed by hundreds of artists around the world, such as Pedro Infante, Javier Solis, The Beatles, Plácido Domingo, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Luis Mariano (who made it popular in France), La Sonora Santanera International, Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra, The Ventures, Antonio Machín, Lucho Gatica, Vera Lynn, Andrea Bocelli, Filippa Giordano, Luis Miguel, Sara Montiel, José Carreras, Ray Conniff and his Orchestra, Diana Krall, Zoé, Susana Zabaleta and Monica Naranjo among others. Bésame mucho is also known as Kiss Me Kiss Me Much, Kiss Me a Lot, Kiss Me Again and Again, Embrasse-Moi and Stale Ma Boskavaj. Translated into more than 20 languages, the song is nowadays an icon of popular music. Part of its great success in the United States was the contextualization of the song towards women who waited for their husbands during World War II.

Her life as a composer[edit]

As a composer her legacy has been most noteworthy. Her first compositions, Do not ever ask me, Pasional and Let me love you, were of a romantic nature. Then, among other songs such as Bésame mucho, Amar y vivir, Verdad Amarga, Franqueza, Chiqui, Cachito, Que seas feliz, Enamorada, Orgullosa y bonita and Yo no fui (dance song popularized initially by Pedro Infante and, in years recent, by Pedro Fernández). It is interesting to note Velázquez' participation as an actress in the 1938 Argentine film Nights of Carnival 1, directed by the filmmaker Julio Saraceni. She also played a pianist in films of director Julián Soler. She composed music for several Mexican films.

Legacy[edit]

In 2003, sculptor Sergio Peraza immortalized Velázquez with a Mexico City statue.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tuckman, Jo (2005-01-26). "Obituary: Consuelo Velázquez". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  2. ^ Fox, Margalit (2005). "Consuelo Velázquez Dies; Wrote 'Bésame Mucho'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  3. ^ Tuckman, Jo (2005-01-26). "Obituary: Consuelo Velázquez". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  4. ^ Tuckman, Jo (2005-01-26). "Obituary: Consuelo Velázquez". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  5. ^ Ankeny,Jason. "Artist Biography: Consuelo Velázquez". AllMusic.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Fox, Margalit (January 30, 2005). "Consuelo Velázquez Dies; Wrote 'Bésame Mucho'". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Channelnewsasia.com". 2005-01-24. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  8. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Artist Biography: Consuelo Velázquez". AllMusic.com. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)

External links[edit]