||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
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 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.
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. 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.
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.
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 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 & 1970s
- Years represent year of release, not necessarily the chart peak year.
|Year||Song||US 100||CB||US AC||UK
|1962||"I'll Walk the Rest of the Way"||-||-||-||-||-||single|
|"He's a Rebel"||115||102||-||-||5||single|
|1963||"The Rose and Butterfly"||-||-||-||-||-||single|
|"San Francisco"||-||-||-||-||-||Color Her Great!|
|1964||"Forget You"||-||-||-||-||-||It Must Be Him|
|1965||"The Color of Love"||-||-||-||-||-||Unforgettable|
|"Busca Ese Camino"||-||-||-||-||-||single|
|"Tell Her of Our Love"||-||-||-||-||-||single|
|"None But the Lonely Heart"||-||-||-||-||-||Anatomy of Love|
|"Heartaches"||-||-||-||-||-||Anatomy of Love|
|"My Heart Reminds Me"||-||127||31||-||-||The Way of Today!|
|"Summer Samba (So Nice)"||-||-||32||-||-||Unforgettable|
|"Now I Know the Feeling"||-||-||28||-||-||Unforgettable|
|"There I Go"||-||-||-||50||-||Vikki!|
|"It Must Be Him"||3||5||1||2||2||It Must Be Him|
|1968||"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|
|"Don't Break My Pretty Balloon"||114||103||7||-||-||Don't Break My Pretty Balloon|
|"A Dissatisfied Man"||-||-||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|
|1970||"Singing My Song"||-||-||30||-||-||Nashville by Carr|
|"Everybody's Talkin'"||-||-||-||-||-||Nashville by Carr|
|"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"||-||-||-||-||-||Vikki Carr's Love Story|
|"For Once in My Life"||-||-||-||-||-||For Once in My Life|
|"I'll Be Home"||96||117||7||-||-||Vikki Carr's Love Story|
|1971||"Six Weeks Every Summer (Christmas Every Other Year)"||-||-||28||-||-||Vikki Carr's Love Story|
|"I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel for You"||-||103||-||-||-||Superstar|
|"Que Sea El"||-||-||-||-||-||Que Sea El|
|"I'd Do It All Again"||-||102||39||-||-||Superstar|
|1972||"The Big Hurt"||108||-||31||-||-||single|
|"Grande, Grande, Grande"||-||-||-||-||-||En Español|
|"Let the Band Play On"||-||-||-||-||-||single|
|1973||"Ms. America"||-||-||-||-||-||Ms. America|
|"Leave a Little Room"||-||-||-||-||-||Live at the Greek Theatre|
|1974||"Sleeping Between Two People"||-||-||-||-||-||One Hell of a Woman|
|"One Hell of a Woman"||-||-||-||-||-||One Hell of a Woman|
|"Wind Me Up"||-||-||45||-||-||One Hell of a Woman|
|"It Came upon a Midnight Clear"||-||-||-||-||-||single|
|"Puttin' Myself in Your Hands"||-||-||-||-||-||single|
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 "Whither Canada?", the first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, there is a running gag about pigs being killed, usually by being accidentally sat upon. During the final credits for the episode, an announcer (John Cleese) says, "And here is the final score: Pigs 9, British bipeds 4. The Pigs go on to meet Vikki Carr in the final."
- In "The Nanny" episode "Strange Bedfellows", Fran (Fran Drescher) celebrates the retirement of a fellow nanny, played by Tyne Daly, by giving her the newest CD from Vikki Carr, who happens to be the retiring nanny's favorite singer.
- In "Moonstruck", starring Cher and Nicolas Cage, when Loretta Castorini comes home to tell her father (Vincent Gardenia) that she is engaged to Johnny Cammerieri, Cher's character and her father go up to tell her mother the news. The family has a heated exchange over who shall pay for the wedding. Loretta's father ends the fight by putting on a Vikki Carr record. The mother, Mrs. Castorini (Olympia Dukakis) alleges that "Now he's going to listen to that Vikki Carr record and when he comes to bed he won't touch me."
- 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.
- 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.
- grammy.com searchable database
- http://geraldrfordfoundation.org/centennial/oralhistory/don-penny/ Retrieved Sept 29, 2015.
|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" 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.