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  1. #1
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    ....died yesterday aged 84.



    Listen to this and tell me you don't have a smile on your face.



    [ame=http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fbuqH_Gkgq0]YouTube - Yma Sumac[/ame]



    BTW...that's Billy May's chart and his colossal 50's studio band.

    Conrad Gozzo is the lead trumpet.

    Amazing....

  2. #2
    Senior Member moonfleet's Avatar
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    name='Freddie Freeloader']....died yesterday aged 84.



    Listen to this and tell me you don't have a smile on your face.



    YouTube - Yma Sumac



    BTW...that's Billy May's chart and his colossal 50's studio band.

    Conrad Gozzo is the lead trumpet.

    Amazing....


    I got a record from her, very "kitsh" and wonderfull....



    Moon.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Scotland julian_craster's Avatar
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    From the Washington Post:

    Yma Sumac, 86; Postwar Sensation Had Unique Voice

    by Adam Bernstein



    Yma Sumac, a Peruvian folk entertainer (?) with an astonishing vocal range who surged to fame in the 1950s with an "Incan princess" mystique that

    captivated millions of record-buyers in search of exotic sounds, died of

    cancer Nov. 1 at an assisted living facility in the Silver Lake section of

    Los Angeles.

    She was believed to be 86, according to personal assistant Damon Devine, who said he had seen the birth certificate.

    Nearly every biographical aspect of Ms. Sumac's life was long in dispute,

    including her age, her town of birth and her ancestral claims
    that on her

    mother's side she was a descendant of the last Incan emperor, Atahualpa.

    Fueled by an intensive publicity machine, the rumors grew so thick at one

    point that she was jokingly rumored to be a "nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn" (!) who had merely reversed her name, Amy Camus.



    Ms. Sumac (pronounced EEE-maw SUE-mack) thrived during a postwar period of American music when the exotic was hip and the composer Eden Ahbez ("Nature Boy") was briefly in vogue.

    Los Angeles Times music critic Don Heckman once called Ms. Sumac "a living,

    breathing, Technicolor musical fantasy -- a kaleidoscopic illusion of MGM

    exotica come to life in an era of practicality."

    Onstage and off, Ms. Sumac adopted a regal poise and stretched back her

    raven hair to make her haughty cheekbones even more pronounced. She was fond

    of flamboyant clothing often laden with gold and silver jewelry, and she

    spoke of her musical influences among jungle animals.

    "At night in my bedroom I hear the whoo-whoo of the little birds and I hear

    the dogs barking very sad," she told People magazine. "That's what I put in

    my records. I don't bark bow-wow, but I bark whoo, and I sing like the

    birdies."

    As an interpreter of Andean folk-influenced songs, her voice sailed,

    growled, roared and yelped effortlessly across four octaves -- from bass to

    soprano to coloratura soprano. She was adept at mimicking animal calls, from

    toucans to jaguars, and one never knew where she would dot melody with

    quick, piercing high-D notes.

    "She's either got a whistle in her throat or three nightingales up her

    sleeve," said a bassist with whom she recorded early in her career.

    Composer Virgil Thomson found her voice "impeccable" and recommended her for "the great houses of opera."

    Ms. Sumac extended her heyday through the late 1950s with albums for Capitol Records, selling hundreds of thousands of copies.



    After headlining in Las Vegas and touring internationally, Ms. Sumac drifted

    into obscurity by the 1970s. Her older recordings popped up on film

    soundtracks, ensuring that her sound, if not her name, remained in the

    popular consciousness.

    Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavárri del Castillo was born Sept. 13, 1922,

    possibly in the Andean community of Ichocán. Ms. Sumac said she was

    self-taught and developed great discipline in breathing technique.

    She caught the attention of Moisés Vivanco, a musicologist and composer from

    Lima, and they married in 1942. She joined his 46-member troupe of Indian

    singers and dancers, became a presence on South American radio and began

    recording folk music under the name Imma Sumack.

    In 1946, Ms. Sumac and her husband started a folk trio that mostly played on

    the Borscht Belt circuit and the back room of a Greenwich Village

    delicatessen. Her breakthrough was a 1950 engagement at the Hollywood Bowl,

    which attracted record and film executives.

    Her subsequent album, "Voice of the Xtabay" (1950), sold more than 500,000

    copies. (The "Xtabay" of the album title was fabricated as an Incan word.)

    Other albums followed, including "Mambo!" (1954), with fiery arrangements by

    Billy May, and "Fuego del Ande" (1959). Many of the songs were composed by

    her husband and based on Andean folk themes, even if purists found them less than authentic.

    She played an Arab princess in a short-lived Broadway musical "Flahooley"

    (1951) and appeared in the Hollywood films "Secret of the Incas" (1954) with

    Charlton Heston and "Omar Khayyam" (1957) with Cornel Wilde.

    By the early 1960s, her popularity in the United States was waning, but she

    made a triumphant tour of the Soviet Union in 1961 -- Nikita Khrushchev

    reputedly was a fan -- and cultivated a small but devoted following in Asia,

    Europe and Latin America.

    A comeback album of rock music, "Miracles" (1971), had a limited release,

    and her appearance on David Letterman's late-night show in 1987 was greeted

    by sarcasm by the host, who asked "Who is this woman?" after her heartfelt

    rendition of one of her earliest hits, "Ataypura."

    Periodic concerts and the 2005 release "Queen of Exotica," a massive

    anthology of her work, kept her most-fervent fans happy and renewed her cult appeal. The magic-comedy team Penn & Teller used her music to score their

    stage routines.

    To some music writers, she was an inspiration to punk and rock performers.

    "All the big stars came to see Yma Sumac," Ms. Sumac told Newsday in 1989.

    "What is the name of that one, I think Madonna?"

    Ms. Sumac's personal life was troubled at times. Her marriage to Vivanco

    ended in divorce in 1957 after it was revealed that he had fathered twins

    with his wife's former secretary. She later told a reporter that Vivanco was

    "cuckoo," adding, "All men is cuckoo."

    Survivors include a son from her marriage, Charlie, and three sisters.

  4. #4
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    Er, No Freddy - I didn't!!



    Quote "Fueled by an intensive publicity machine, the rumors grew so thick at one

    point that she was jokingly rumored to be a "nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn" (!) who had merely reversed her name, Amy Camus". That sounds very plausible, especially reversing her name..

  5. #5
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    So she could be the brother of the great French existentialist writer, Albert Camus?



    Nick

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Scotland silverwhistle's Avatar
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    name='LukeAFB']Er, No Freddy - I didn't!!



    Quote "Fueled by an intensive publicity machine, the rumors grew so thick at one

    point that she was jokingly rumored to be a "nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn" (!) who had merely reversed her name, Amy Camus". That sounds very plausible, especially reversing her name..


    …Except for the fact she'd been broadcasting on Peruvian and Argentinean radio under a different spelling of her Quechua stage-name, as part of a folk trio!



    I first discovered her in childhood, as my grandmother had an old 78 rpm record of her. An amazing voice! She was also quite a stunner in her day: her official website has some lovely photos. The Spanish biography on the site gives more information than the English one about her early career.



    The site also includes coverage of her last visit to Lima in 2006. There's a brief YouTube film on it, too: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6TGHUHt4yA"]You Tube[/ame]

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Scotland silverwhistle's Avatar
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    I can recommend, if anyone wants an instant Yma collection, the double album: Yma Sumac: Queen of Exotica (BLUE102CD). It includes early recordings made in Argentina in 1943, with proper Andean instrumental backing, rather than the 'big band'/orchestral Hollywood treatment she got later. Lovely.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK kelp's Avatar
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    Anyone old enough to remember the late (and very talented) JOAN TURNER when she was treading the boards in the fifties? She had a beautiful voice with many octives and did a very good impression of "The Virgin Of The Sun God" by Yma Sumac, which was popular at the time. Brilliant trooper/sad loss. We know why she died (Joan Turner that is) so I do not need reminding here, I admired her talent and what a voice. I also have a Russian recording by Yma Sumac, which features the famous song with the eight octives, but it is not as good as the single she released.

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