Vikki Carr

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Vikki Carr
Vikki Carr 1974.JPG
Vikki Carr in 1974.
Background information
Birth name Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona
Born (1941-07-19) July 19, 1941 (age 75)
Origin El Paso, Texas, United States
Genres Latin pop
Pop
Traditional pop
Mariachi
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1962–present
Labels Liberty, Columbia, UMG
Website vikkicarr.com
Notable instruments
Vocals, Guitar

Vikki Carr (born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona,[1] July 19, 1941) is an American singer and humanitarian, of Mexican descent. She has performed in a variety of music genres, including jazz, pop and country, but has enjoyed her greatest success singing in Spanish.

Career[edit]

Cardona was born in El Paso, Texas. After taking the stage name 'Vikki Carr', she signed with Liberty Records in 1962. Her first single to achieve success was "He's a Rebel", which in 1962 reached #5 in Australia and #115 in the United States. Producer Phil Spector heard Carr cutting the song in the studio and immediately recorded a cover version billed to the Crystals that reached #1 in the United States. In 1966, Carr toured South Vietnam with actor/comedian Danny Kaye to entertain American troops there. The following year her album It Must Be Him was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards. The title track reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in 1967. "It Must Be Him" sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[2] She had two other songs make the US Top 40: 1968's "The Lesson" and 1969's "With Pen in Hand". Around this time, Dean Martin called her "the best girl singer in the business". Carr had 10 singles that made the US pop charts and 13 albums that made the US pop-album charts.

Vikki Carr in 1968

In 1968 she taped six specials for London Weekend TV. She appeared on various television programs, such as ABC's The Bing Crosby Show in the 1964–1965 season. In 1970, she was named "Woman of the Year" by the Los Angeles Times. She guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1973. Carr married Michael Nilsson, a paint company executive, on August 20, 1979.[3] She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981. Carr also achieved the rare feat of singing for five presidents during her career: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton.

In the 1980s and 1990s Carr had enormous success in the Latin music world, winning Grammy Awards for Best Mexican-American Performance in 1986 for her album Simplemente Mujer; Best Latin Pop Album in 1992 for Cosas del Amor; and Best Mexican-American Performance in 1995 for Recuerdo a Javier Solis.[4] She also received Grammy nominations for the discs Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti (1993) and Emociones (1996). Her numerous Spanish-language hit singles include "Total", "Discúlpame", "Déjame", "Hay Otro en Tu Lugar", "Esos Hombres", "Mala Suerte" and "Cosas del Amor". The last song spent more than two months at No. 1 on the US Latin charts in 1991, her biggest Spanish-language US hit. Her Spanish-language albums have been certified gold and platinum in Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador. She also voiced Georgette in the Latin American dub of Disney's Oliver and Company.

In 1999 she taped a PBS TV special, Vikki Carr: Memories, Memorias, in which she performed popular bilingual tunes from the 1940s and 1950s. Her guests were Pepe Aguilar, Arturo Sandoval, and Jack Jones. In 2001, she released a bilingual holiday album, The Vikki Carr Christmas Album.

In 2002, she appeared to great acclaim in a Los Angeles production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Follies, which also featured Hal Linden, Patty Duke, and Harry Groener. In 2006, Carr made a cameo appearance in a straight-to-video thriller called Puerto Vallarta Squeeze. In 2008, Carr hosted a PBS TV special, Fiesta Mexicana, which celebrated the music and dance of Mexico. Later that year, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy. She marked the occasion with an appearance on the Latin Grammy telecast in which she performed "Cosas del Amor" with Olga Tañón and Jenni Rivera.

Most recently, Vikki Carr recorded with Latin Rock legends El Chicano, being featured singing "Sabor A Mi" on their most-recent studio album, released in April 2014.

Charitable work[edit]

Respected as an artist and humanitarian, Vikki Carr devotes time to many charities including the United Way, the American Lung Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and St. Jude's Hospital. For 22 years she held benefit concerts to support Holy Cross of San Antonio Middle and High School in San Antonio, Texas. In 1971, she established the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation, dedicated to offering college scholarships to Hispanic students in California and Texas. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than 280 scholarships totaling over a quarter of a million dollars.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album US 200 US Latin UK
[1]
notes
1963 Color Her Great! - - -
1964 Discovery! 114 - -
Discovery Vol. II - - -
1965 Anatomy of Love - - - liner notes by Ethel Merman
1966 The Way of Today! - - 31
1967 Intimate Excitement - - -
It Must Be Him 12 - 12 UK release differs from US release
1968 Vikki! 63 - -
Don't Break My Pretty Balloon - - -
1969 For Once in My Life 29 - - live
1970 Nashville By Carr 111 - - recorded in Nashville
1971 The Ways to Love a Man - - -
Que Sea El - - -
Vikki Carr's Love Story 60 - -
Superstar 118 - -
1972 The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face) 146 - - Song Sung Blue in UK
En Español 106 - -
1973 Ms. America 142 - -
Live at the Greek Theatre 172 - -
1974 One Hell of a Woman 155 - -
1975 Hoy 203 - -
1976 The Story of a Woman - - - live from Japan (JP release only)
1980 Y El Amor - - -
1981 El Retrato Del Amor - - -
1982 Vikki Carr - - -
1984 A Todos - - -
1985 Simplemente Mujer - - - #3 US Regional MX / #15 US Latin Pop
1986 Promesas - - -
Esta Noche Vendras - - -
OK Mr. Tango - - - with Mariano Mores
1987 Dos Corazones (with Vicente Fernández) - - - #2 US Regional MX
Me Enloqueces - - -
1988 Esos Hombres - - - #4 US Latin Pop
1990 Set Me Free - - - several songs from Esos Hombres sung in English
1991 Cosas del Amor - - - #1 US Latin Pop
1992 It Must Be Him – The Best of Vikki Carr - - -
1993 Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti - - -
1994 Recuerdo a Javier Solís - 35 - #10 US Latin Pop
1996 Emociones - - -
1998 Con el Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán - - -
1999 Memories, Memorias - - - from the PBS TV Special
2001 The Vikki Carr Christmas Album - - -
2012 Viva La Vida - 49 - #16 US Latin Pop

Singles[edit]

1960s and 1970s[edit]

  • Years represent year of release, not necessarily the chart peak year.
Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
US 100 CB US AC UK
[1]
AUS Original Source
1962 "I'll Walk the Rest Of The Way"
b/w "Beside A Bridge (Along The River Tiber)"
- - - - - Non-album tracks
"He's A Rebel"
b/w "Be My Love"
115 102 - - 5
1963 "The Rose and Butterfly"
b/w "From Nine To Five"
- - - - -
"San Francisco"
b/w "Look Again"
- - - - - Color Her Great
"Medley: Poor Butterfly/Stay"
b/w "The Right Kind Of Man" (Non-album track)
- - - - - Discovery!
1964 "Forget You"
b/w "Her Little Heart Went To Loveland"
- - - - - It Must Be Him
1965 "Busca Ese Camino"
b/w "No Seas Asi"
- - - - - Non-album tracks
"The Color Of Love"
b/w "There Goes My Heart"
- - - - - Unforgettable
"Unforgettable"
b/w "Theme From Peyton Place"
- - - - -
"I Only Have Eyes For You"
b/w "None But The Lonely Heart"
- - - - - Anatomy Of Love
1966 "The Silencers"
b/w "Santiago" (from Unforgettable)
- - - - - Non-album track
"Heartaches"
b/w "True Love's A Blessing" (Non-album track)
- - - - - Anatomy Of Love
"My Heart Reminds Me" (Part 1)
b/w "My Heart Reminds Me" (Part 2)
- 127 31 - - The Way Of Today!
"Summer Samba (So Nice)"
b/w "It Must Be Him" (from It Must Be Him)
- - 32 - - Unforgettable
"Until Today" / - - 39 - - Non-album track
"Now I Know The Feeling" - - 28 - - Unforgettable
1967 "Sunshine"
b/w "Fly Away" (Non-album track)
- - - - - The Very Best Of Vikki Carr
"There I Go"
b/w "One More Mountain" (from It Must Be Him)
UK release only
- - - 50 - Vikki!
"It Must Be Him"
b/w "That's All" (from That's All)
3 5 1 2 2 It Must Be Him
1968 "The Lesson"
b/w "One More Mountain" (from It Must Be Him)
34 35 1 - - Vikki!
"She'll Be There" / 99 92 13 - - Don't Break My Pretty Balloon
"Your Heart is Free Just Like the Wind" 91 - 32 - -
"Don't Break My Pretty Balloon"
b/w "Nothing To Lose"
114 103 7 - -
"A Dissatisfied Man"
b/w "Happy Together" (from For Once In My Life)
- - 18 - - The Ways To Love A Man
"With Pen In Hand" / 35 42 6 39 - For Once In My Life
1969 "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" - - - - - It Must Be Him
"Eternity"
b/w "I Will Wait For Love" (Non-album track)
79 69 5 - - The Best Of Vikki Carr
1970 "Singing My Song"
b/w "Make It Rain"
- - 30 - - Nashville by Carr
"I'll Be Home"
b/w "Call My Heart Your Home"
96 117 7 - - Vikki Carr's Love Story
1971 "Six Weeks Every Summer (Christmas Every Other Year)"
b/w "If You Could Read My Mind"
- - 28 - -
"I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel for You"
b/w "I've Never Been A Woman Before" (from Vikki Carr's Love Story)
- 103 - - - Superstar
"I'd Do It All Again"
b/w "I'm Gonna Love You"
- 102 39 - -
1972 "The Big Hurt"
b/w "Cabaret" (from The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face))
108 - 31 - - Non-album track
"Grande, Grande, Grande"
b/w "Y Volvere"
- - - - - Los Exitos De Hoy Y De Siempre
"Let the Band Play On"
b/w "Reflections"
- - - - - Non-album tracks
1973 "Ms. America"
b/w "We Didn't Know The Time Of Day"
- - - - - Ms. America
"Leave A Little Room"
b/w "Have You Heard The News"
- - - - - Live At The Greek Theatre
1974 "Sleeping Between Two People"
b/w "Borrowed Time" (Non-album track)
- - - - - One Hell Of A Woman
"Wind Me Up"
b/w "One Hell Of A Woman"
- - 45 - -
1975 "Hoy"
b/w "El Pajaro Herido"
- - - - - Hoy (Today)
"Puttin' Myself In Your Hands"
b/w "I Don't Want A Sometimes Man"
- - - - - Non-album tracks

1980s to the present[edit]

Year Song US Latin Original Source
1980 "Disculpame" - Y El Amor
"Abrazame" - Y El Amor
1981 "Total" - El Retrato del Amor
1982 "Todo Me Gusta de Ti" - Vikki Carr
1983 "Ya" - Vikki Carr
"Prefiero Amar un Extraño" - El Retrato del Amor
"Eso No" - El Retrato del Amor
1984 "Comprendeme" - A Todos
1985 "Ni Princesa Ni Esclava" - Simplemente Mujer
"Atrapame" - Simplemente Mujer
"Ni Me Viene Ni Me Va" - Simplemente Mujer
"Cantare, Cantaras" - Hermanos
1986 "Promesas" - Promesas
"Yo Creo en un Mundo de Amor" - OK Mr. Tango
"Esta Noche Vendras" 33 Esta Noche Vendras
"Tu Dicha, Tu Calma" - Esta Noche Vendras
"Asi es la Vida" - Esta Noche Vendras
1987 "Que No Que No" - Me Enloqueces
"Fallaste Corazon" - Me Enloqueces
"Me Parece Perfecto" - Me Enloqueces
"Dos Corazones" (duet with Vicente Fernández) 10 Dos Corazones
"Juntos los Dos" - Dos Corazones
1988 "Mala Suerte" 3 Esos Hombres
"Hay Otro en Tu Lugar" 14 Esos Hombres
"Esos Hombres" 37 Esos Hombres
1991 "Cosas del Amor" (duet with Ana Gabriel) 1 Cosas del Amor
"Me Estoy Volviendo Loca" - Cosas del Amor
"Con los Brazos Abiertos" - Cosas del Amor
1993 "Dejame" 30 Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti
"Nadie" - Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti
"Una Mujer" - Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti
1994 "Amaneci en Tus Brazos" - Recuerdo a Javier Solis
"Sombras" - Recuerdo a Javier Solis
"En Mi Viejo San Juan" - Recuerdo a Javier Solis
1996 "Emociones" - Emociones
"Que No Se Rompa la Noche" - Emociones
1998 "No Soy de Piedra" - Con El Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitan

Cultural references[edit]

  • In the "Family Guy" episode Total Recall, Peter is envious of his wife Lois, after she becomes very popular among his friends. After she comments "one of them drives a Volvo", referring to a "trapeze people", a joke which makes no sense, everyone but Peter laughs. He remarks, "So what? She can name a kind of car. Big whoop, I can do that too… Vikki… Vikki Carr".
  • At a State Dinner, November 12, 1974, Don Penny was dancing with Mrs. Ford while President Gerald Ford was dancing with Vikki Carr. Ms. Carr innocently said to him, “What’s your favorite Mexican dish?” And he said, “You are.” Mrs. Ford was not amused.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 95. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 217. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ "Marriages". Billboard. September 1, 1979. p. 72. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Don Penny - Gerald R. Ford Foundation". Geraldrfordfoundation.org. May 28, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2016. 

External links[edit]