Say "Si Si"

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"Para Vigo me voy"
Single by Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra
B-side A Street in Old Seville
Released 1936
Format Shellac 10"
Recorded December 13, 1935
Genre Ballroom conga
Label Victor
Writer(s) Ernesto Lecuona
Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra singles chronology
"Cosi cosa"
(1935)
"Para Vigo me voy"
(1936)
"The Missouri Waltz"
(1936)
"Para Vigo me voy"
Single by Lecuona Cuban Boys
B-side Patica y Mondonguito
Released 1937
Format Shellac 10"
Recorded May 31, 1937
Genre Ballroom conga
Label Columbia Records
Writer(s) Ernesto Lecuona
Lecuona Cuban Boys singles chronology
"La paloma - Cielito lindo"
(1937)
"Para Vigo me voy"
(1937)
"Trakatrá"
(1937)

"Para Vigo me voy", known in English as "Say Si Si", is a popular song written in 1935 by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona with lyrics by Francia Luban (original Spanish version) and Al Stillman (translated English version). Early bands to record the song include Xavier Cugat's orchestra (1935) and Lecuona Cuban Boys (1937). The song was copyrighted in the United States in 1940.[1] It became a hit in the US when it was recorded by The Andrews Sisters and Glenn Miller in 1940, and The Mills Brothers in 1953.

Style[edit]

Releases including "Para Vigo me voy" often label the song as a "conga", or occasionally a "rumba". Thus, it is considered an early example of a "salon conga" or "ballroom conga",[2] in the same vein as the famous "ballroom rumbas" such as "The Peanut Vendor" ("El manisero"). According to musicologist Alberto Pérez Perazzo, "Para Vigo me voy" is one of the first popular songs with a true conga rhythm.[3]

Recordings[edit]

One of the earliest recordings of "Para Vigo me voy" was made by Xavier Cugat and his orchestra featuring vocalist Desi Arnaz in December 1935 for Victor. Cugat re-recorded the song in 1945.[4] In 1937, Lecuona Cuban Boys, the ballroom rhumba band established by Ernesto Lecuona himself, recorded the song for Columbia with a 1936 recording of "Patica y Mondonguito" as the B-side.[5]

Popular American artists who have recorded the song include The Andrews Sisters, Glenn Miller and his orchestra, and The Mills Brothers. Besides, the song appeared in various films including It Comes Up Love (sung by Gloria Jean and The Guadalajara Trio, accompanied by Leon Belasco and his orchestra).

The Andrews Sisters' version (on Decca Records label 3013), recorded February 7, 1940 and released in February 1940)[6][7] was the most popular version. It entered the US Billboard charts on March 30, 1940, reaching a peak position of #4.[8][9] This version was also re-released under Decca label 25098 in 1948 after it was included in the movie When My Baby Smiles at Me[10]

The Glenn Miller version, with vocals by Marion Hutton (on Bluebird Records label 10622[11]), was recorded on January 26, 1940 and also released in 1940. It reached #15 on the Billboard charts.[8]

The Mills Brothers' recording (on Decca Records, label 28670[12]) was recorded on February 24, 1953.[13][14] It was released in May 1953 and reached #12 on the Billboard charts.[8]

Other versions[edit]

According to the Diaz Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Collection at the Florida International University Libraries, the following artists have recorded "Para Vigo me voy": Johnny Rodríguez (1936), Lorenzo Pego y su Orquesta (1936), Manuel Escalona (1936), Orquesta Obregón (1936), Leo Reisman (1937), Francisco Lomuto (1937), Marimba Panamericana (1937), Nilo Menéndez (1938), Henry King (1938), Diosa Costello (1940), Marcos Rosales (1940), Noro Morales (1945), Frank Damirón (1948), Miguelito Valdés (1950), Tony-Armand (1952), Pearl Bailey (1954), Billo's Caracas Boys (1954), Varela Varelita y su Orquesta de Jazz (1954), Humberto Suárez (1955), Julio Gutiérrez & Cuarteto Faxas (1956), Oquesta Havana Casino (1956), Félix Guerrero (1956), Dan Davis (1956), Lawrence Welk (1957), Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney with Billy May's orchestra (1958), Carlos Barbería y su Orquesta Kubavana (1959), Toni Arden (1959), Orquesta D'Artega (1960), Chapuseaux y Damirón, Chucho Rodríguez, Antonio Matas, Chamaco García, Ñico Membiela, Huberal Herrera, René Cóspito, Everardo Ordaz, Hugo Avendaño, Juan Bruno Tarraza (1964), César Morales (1968), Mariano Mercerón (1975), Alfredo Sadel (1978), Los Guaracheros de Oriente (1980), Alfredo Kraus (1996) and Bebo Valdés in 2000 as the last track of El Arte del Sabor (in a medley with "Adiós Panamá", also by Lecuona).[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical compositions (1941). Pt. III, n. s., v. 35, p. 18173.
  2. ^ Moore, Robin (1997). Nationalizing Blackness: Afrocubansimo and artistic Revolution in Havana, 1920-1940. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 110. 
  3. ^ Pérez Perazzo, Alberto (1988). Ritmo afrohispano antillano, 1865-1965. Caracas, Venezuela: Editorial Sucre. p. 75. 
  4. ^ Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal (Fall 2013). "Xavier Cugat" (PDF). Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music 1925-1960. Florida International University Libraries. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal (Fall 2013). "Lecuona Cuban Boys" (PDF). Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music 1925-1960. Florida International University Libraries. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  6. ^ Decca Records discography of numbers 3000-3499
  7. ^ Warner, Jay (2006). American Singing Groups: A History from 1940s to Today. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 8. ISBN 978-0634099786. Retrieved 2015-04-10. 
  8. ^ a b c Say Si Si (Para Vigo Me Voy) - Billboard charts. Music VF. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  9. ^ http://tsort.info/music/yr1940.htm
  10. ^ "Advertisement". Billboard: p. 29. December 25, 1948. 
  11. ^ Bluebird Records discography of numbers 10500 to 10999
  12. ^ "Coming Up in the Trade". Billboard: p. 28. June 6, 1953. 
  13. ^ Ruppli, Michel (Aug 30, 1996). The Decca Labels: A Discography, Volume 1, The California Sessions. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 473. ISBN 978-0313299841. Retrieved 2015-04-10. 
  14. ^ Decca Records discography of numbers 28500-28999
  15. ^ Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal (Fall 2013). "Volume 2 - 1925-1960". Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music. Florida International University Libraries. Retrieved June 21, 2015.