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Vikki Carr in 1974.
|Birth name||Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona|
|Born||July 19, 1941|
|Origin||El Paso, Texas, United States|
|Labels||Liberty, Columbia, UMG|
Vikki Carr (born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona, July 19, 1941) is an American vocalist and humanitarian who has had a singing career for over four decades. Originally from El Paso, Texas, born to parents of Mexican descent, she has performed in a variety of musical genres, including country, jazz, and pop while her greatest success has come from singing in Spanish. She established the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation in 1971.
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, sold over 1 million copies, and received a gold disc. 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.
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. 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. 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.
In 2014, Vikki was invited by producer Gerry Gallagher to record with Latin rock legends El Chicano as well as Alphonse Mouzon, Brian Auger, Alex Ligertwood, Salvador Santana, Ray Parker Jr., Lenny Castro, Siedah Garrett, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Pete Escovedo, Peter Michael Escovedo, Jessy J, Marcos J. Reyes, and David Paich and is featured on a remake of the Latin classic "Sabor A Mi" from Gallagher's most recent studio album due out in 2017.
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.
|Year||Album||US 200||US Latin||UK
|1963||Color Her Great!||-||-||-|
|Discovery Vol. II||-||-||-|
|1965||Anatomy of Love||-||-||-||liner notes by Ethel Merman|
|1966||The Way of Today!||-||-||31|
|It Must Be Him||12||-||12||UK release differs from US release|
|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||-||-|
|1972||The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face)||146||-||-||Song Sung Blue in UK|
|Live at the Greek Theatre||172||-||-|
|1974||One Hell of a Woman||155||-||-|
|1976||The Story of a Woman||-||-||-||live from Japan (JP release only)|
|1980||Y El Amor||-||-||-|
|1981||El Retrato Del Amor||-||-||-|
|1985||Simplemente Mujer||-||-||-||#3 US Regional MX / #15 US Latin Pop|
|Esta Noche Vendras||-||-||-|
|OK Mr. Tango||-||-||-||with Mariano Mores|
|1987||Dos Corazones (with Vicente Fernández)||-||-||-||#2 US Regional MX|
|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|
|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|
1960s and 1970s
- 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
|1962||"I'll Walk the Rest Of The Way"
b/w "Beside A Bridge (Along The River Tiber)"
|"He's A Rebel"
b/w "Be My Love"
|1963||"The Rose and Butterfly"
b/w "From Nine To Five"
b/w "Look Again"
|-||-||-||-||-||Color Her Great|
|"Medley: Poor Butterfly/Stay"
b/w "The Right Kind Of Man" (Non-album track)
b/w "Her Little Heart Went To Loveland"
|-||-||-||-||-||It Must Be Him|
|1965||"Busca Ese Camino"
b/w "No Seas Asi"
|"The Color Of Love"
b/w "There Goes My Heart"
b/w "Theme From Peyton Place"
|"I Only Have Eyes For You"
b/w "None But The Lonely Heart"
|-||-||-||-||-||Anatomy Of Love|
b/w "Santiago" (from Unforgettable)
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)
|"Until Today" /||-||-||39||-||-||Non-album track|
|"Now I Know The Feeling"||-||-||28||-||-||Unforgettable|
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
|"It Must Be Him"
b/w "That's All" (from That's All)
|3||5||1||2||2||It Must Be Him|
b/w "One More Mountain" (from It Must Be Him)
|"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"
|"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|
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"
|"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)
|"I'd Do It All Again"
b/w "I'm Gonna Love You"
|1972||"The Big Hurt"
b/w "Cabaret" (from The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face))
|"Grande, Grande, Grande"
b/w "Y Volvere"
|-||-||-||-||-||Los Exitos De Hoy Y De Siempre|
|"Let the Band Play On"
b/w "We Didn't Know The Time Of Day"
|"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"
b/w "El Pajaro Herido"
|"Puttin' Myself In Your Hands"
b/w "I Don't Want A Sometimes Man"
1980s to the present
|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|
|"Prefiero Amar un Extraño"||-||El Retrato del Amor|
|"Eso No"||-||El Retrato del Amor|
|1985||"Ni Princesa Ni Esclava"||-||Simplemente Mujer|
|"Ni Me Viene Ni Me Va"||-||Simplemente Mujer|
|"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|
|"Que No Se Rompa la Noche"||-||Emociones|
|1998||"No Soy de Piedra"||-||Con El Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitan|
- 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 Betty 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.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 95. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 217. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- "Marriages". Billboard. September 1, 1979. p. 72. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
- "Don Penny - Gerald R. Ford Foundation". Geraldrfordfoundation.org. May 28, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vikki Carr.|
- Vikki Carr official site
- Vikki Carr official fan club (fan site)
- Vikki Carr Exclusive Booking Agents ~ Paradise Artists
- Vikki Carr at the Internet Movie Database
- Vikki Carr at Billboard.com
- "In the Spotlight with Vikki Carr" hosted by Ron Roberts. A one-hour monthly internet radio program streaming worldwide, devoted to the music of Vikki Carr: 3:00 – 4:00pm NYT, with rebroadcasts as per the program schedule.