Thursday, December 26, 2013

X is for a musical cartoonist

Xavier Cugat
the Latin lover
I'm pretty sure Roger has used Xavier Cugat, the Catalan-Spanish-born Cuban-American bandleader on ABC Wednesday before, but here's my take on him, just in case Roger somehow missed him.
Xavier was a real 20th-century man, who was born January 1, 1900, and who lived until he was 90. He often performed with his band while holding a chihuahua in one hand and his baton in the other.
Charo, aka
Mrs. Xavier Cugat

One of the many remarkable things he did in his lifetime was marrying his fifth and final wife, the flamboyant Spanish-born American actress-comedienne and flamenco guitarist, Charo, when he was 66 and she was 21 or probably younger, depending when and where the question is asked. When she divorced Xavier after 12 years of marriage, and applied to become an American citizen, her "official" birth year was taken as 1951. Taking that as true means she was 15, or 16 at the most, when they married.

Xavier Cugat recorded on many different record labels, and many of his signature tunes were popular for years, but none of them more than Perfidia which he recorded in 1940, and which has since been performed by many singers and countless orchestras.
Wikipedia photo

Another of Xavier Cugat's claims to fame is his career as a syndicated cartoonist. At right he is drawing one of his famous self-portrait cartoons, many of which appeared on the covers of his long-play recordings or LPs.


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Hmmmmm don't know him or his music - but Perfidia is certainly easy on the ears - thanks for the intro!! YAM xx

kaykuala said...

Heard XCugat as a band leader but never as a celebrated cartoonist. A talented person comes in a package of any talents. Thanks for sharing Kay!


Roger Owen Green said...

Actually, I've NEVER done Xavier Cugat, although I certainly knew who he was. Great idea!
ROG, ABC Wednesday

Friko said...

Golly, there’s a blast from the past.
He was well-known in Germany too and his music was often played on the radio.

Powell River Books said...

I remember the name. And thanks for the comments over at the Tiny House Blog. That was a big surprise for me today. - Margy

TALON said...

My mom had some of his albums...didn't know that he drew the cover art. That's cool, Kay!

Leslie: said...

Oh gosh! I remember seeing him and Charo on The Ed Sullivan Show (I think) when I was a kid. Hope you had a great Xmas.

abcw team

Tammy said...

I had no idea. You are ever the multi-talented font of knowledge, and I love that I never know exactly what I'll learn about when I get here. Happy 2014, Kay!

Vagabonde said...

I think I had a 33 Long Playing album of him but I did not know he was a cartoonist – a good one too. Have a great New Year!

Kay said...

Wow! I remember Charo! What a surprise about that first marriage. That would be a scandal today.

Lily Hydrangea said...

wow - such a gifted, talented man! I love that he married Charo (& they both clearly loved animals, which makes them even more endearing).
I hope your new year is filled with health and happiness dear Kay, for you as well as Richard and Lindy too.
: )