Sheet music for "El Choclo"
|English title||The Corn Cob|
"El Choclo" (Spanish: meaning "The Corn Cob") is a popular song written by Ángel Villoldo, an Argentine musician. Allegedly written in honour of and taking its title from the nickname of the proprietor of a nightclub, who was known as "El Choclo". It is one of the most popular tangos in Argentina.
The piece was premiered in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1903 – the date appears on a program of the venue – at the elegant restaurant El Americano on Cangallo 966 (today Teniente General Perón 966) by the orchestra led by José Luis Roncallo.
"El Choclo" has been recorded (without vocals) by many dance orchestras, especially in Argentina. A number of vocal versions were recorded in the United States in 1952, but the most popular was the one by Georgia Gibbs, which reached #1 on the Billboard chart under the name "Kiss of Fire".  Tony Martin's version reached #6, Toni Arden's #14, Billy Eckstine's #16, Louis Armstrong's #20, and Guy Lombardo's version reached #30. There are Spanish versions of "Kiss of Fire" by Connie Francis and Nat King Cole. In 1953 Olavi Virta and Metro-Tytöt released a Finnish version, titled "Tulisuudelma", which means "Kiss of Fire". The Finnish words, by "Kullervo" (Tapio Kullervo Lahtinen), closely follow the English. In 2001 the hip-hop group Delinquent Habits made the song known to a new generation when they released "Return of the tres", which relies heavily on samplings from a Mariachi version of the classical tango.
The original lyrics by Villoldo specifically sang about the corn cob as food. He later wrote another version titled "Cariño Puro". Another version was written by Marambio Catán, but the most popular remains Enrique Santos Discépolo's (1947), which sing about tango as a way of life. Louis Armstrong sang English lyrics using the title El Choclo (Kiss of Fire). This English word variant was translated back into Spanish as Beso de Fuego and as such the song was sung by Connie Francis.
- Toni Arden (1952)
- Louis Armstrong (1952)
- Dick Beavers
- Nat King Cole (1959)
- Billy Eckstine (1952)
- Lester Ferguson
- Hibari Misora
- Connie Francis
- Georgia Gibbs (1952)
- David Hughes
- Allan Sherman Parody entitled Kiss of Meyer (not the same as Katz's version)
- Mickey Katz Parody entitled Kiss of Meyer
- Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians (vocal: Kenny Gardner) (1952)
- Tony Martin (1952)
- Ella Mae Morse as It's So Exciting
- Anne Shelton
- Victor Silvester
- Caterina Valente
- Billy Vaughn Orchestra
- Victor Orchestra (1912)
- Jimmy Young (1952)
- Chico Vasquez & Bill Aken - Guitar duet (1970)
- Ikue Mori (1995)
- Julio Iglesias (1996)
- Tav Falco's Panther Burns (1996)
- Violetta Villas (1993)
- Olavi Virta (1915–1972) of Finland (1953)
- Frista' He' Sextetten (2004 Sweden)
- Hugh Laurie featuring Gaby Moreno (2013)
Allan Sherman sang a parody of the song as "Kiss of Meyer", which starts out like a Jewish song with the "Dye Dee Dye Dee Dye", and ending the song with a brief quote of "Whatever Lola Wants" as "Whatever Meyer wants, Meyer gets/ And that's his name: His name is Meyer Goetz!" The instrumental version by 'Chico & Bill' (Chico Vasquez and Bill Aken) in their 1970 album was notable because they were joined in the studio on that one recording by Les Paul and Chet Atkins who were both long time family friends of Aken's parents.
- Billboard June 14, 1952  See page 50 The Nation's Top Tunes
- Billboard April 5, 1952. https://books.google.com/books?id=hB4EAAAAMBAJ&q=kiss+of+fire see page 52