Who was Bobby Capo in Puerto Rican music history?
- connieLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
Félix Manuel Rodríguez Capó (January 1, 1922–December 18, 1989), better known as Bobby Capó, was an internationally known singer and songwriter from Puerto Rico. He usually combined ballads with classical music, Puerto Rican folk elements and even Andalusian music, as to produce many memorable Latino pop songs which featured elaborate, dramatic lyrics.
Capó was born in Coamo, one of Puerto Rico's oldest settlements, located in the Island's south quadrant. After earning a strong reputation as a likable, versatile singer, he adopted his stage name (Rodriguez is one of Puerto Rico's most common surnames, and he opted to use his mother's less common one instead) and emigrated to the city of New York, early in the 1940s. He then joined Xavier Cugat's orchestra. From that moment on, he went on to become an idol all over Latin America.
Capó was a prolific song writer and wrote for many of his contemporaries. Many of the songs he wrote were smash hits in Puerto Rico, and occasionally in the rest of Latin America. One of his self-penned songs was El ***** Bembón ("The Big-Lipped Black Guy") a song not meant to be a derogatory song, since it half-humorously denounced the racial killing of an Afro-Puerto Rican (in a country whose racial relations, while sometimes acrimonious, are slightly more tolerant than the norm elsewhere). The song was a smash hit for Cortijo y su Combo in the mid-1950s. The song, with local circumstances and character name changed, became "El Gitano Antón,", a huge hit for Catalan rumba singer Peret in Spain around the mid 1960s. Another of Capó's songs is "Sin Fe" ("Without Faith"), sometimes known as "Poquita Fe" ("Little Faith"). It became a proper hit in Puerto Rico when recorded by Felipe Rodriguez in the mid-1950s, and a huge international hit for Jose Feliciano in the mid-1960s.
Capo's composition describing his homesickness for Puerto Rico, "Soñando con Puerto Rico" ("Dreaming of Puerto Rico"), is revered as an anthem by Puerto Ricans residing abroad. Another of his songs, "De Las Montañas Venimos" is a Christmas standard in Puerto Rico. His best known song, however, is Piel Canela (Cinnamon Skin). Capó recorded its most famous version in Havana at the request of Rogelio Martínez, the leader of the Sonora Matancera, who asked him to sing pieces of his recently composed songs, and who recognized the song's potential as a hit. The song was later covered by many artists, including fellow Puerto Rican Daniel Santos in an emblematic rendition, Linda Ronstadt, Tin Tan, José Feliciano, and Natalia LaFourcade. The song became the main theme for a Mexican movie of the same name in the late 1950s. So was "Luna de Miel en Puerto Rico" ("Puerto Rican Honeymoon"), a latter-day cha-cha-cha which was also the theme for an eponymous movie, co-produced by Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in the early 1960s. Bésame Mucho (Kiss me a Lot), a standard by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velazquez, was such a large hit that it can still be occasionally heard on television commercials and movies.
Capó had married Irma Nydia Vázquez, a former beauty pageant queen and the daughter of a wealthy Puerto Rican industrialist, in 1948. The marriage was frowned upon by her family, and he wrote "El Bardo" ("The Bard") inspired by this. "El Bardo" tells the story of a pauper who died heartbroken after his wealthy love prospect marries another man, and finishes up with her (also heartbroken) reaction about his passing. The song was a huge hit for Felipe Rodriguez in the early 1950s, and has been covered by many others (including a humorous parody by Jose Feliciano in which he replaces the romantic couple with a taxi and a bus)
Capó was later prone to extramarital affairs, and was candid enough to write and sing songs about his personal experiences, leaving very little to the imagination in his lyrics. During the early 1960s Capó lived in Mexico City, along with his family. The Mexican president at the time suggested that all local songwriters write an ode to John F. Kennedy prior to a state visit by the United States president. Capó decided to write a song about Jacqueline Kennedy instead ("Jack, Jack, Jackie").
During the 1970s, Capó divorced moving permanently to New York City. He had strong political beliefs and worked for the Puerto Rico Department of Labor's Division of Migration. Capó died at his New York City home of natural causes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Cap%C3%B3