5 years ago247 views
Although I rarely post waltzes, I could not resist this exquisite one, which at the same time was the perfect occasion for uploading a little Raquel Meller tribute. Reisman, originally a classical violinist, was one of the greatest bandleaders, popular from the end of the 1910's till the early 1940's (photograph was taken around 1920). During his 1929-1933 Victor period, Reisman recorded many lesser-known period Broadway songs, some of which were recorded by no other band. He also had the habit of featuring composers and Broadway performers as band vocalists, including Harold Arlen, Fred Astaire, Clifton Webb, and Arthur Schwartz. He also featured Lee Wiley in 1931-32 for her first 3 recordings. More often than not, his vocalists were Frank Luther, Dick Robertson and later Sally Singer and George Beuler. A notable recording from this era was "Happy Days Are Here Again" in November 1929, with vocals by Lou Levin. Among his more popular hits were his #1 recordings of Cole Porter's "Night and Day” (1932) and Con Conrad's “The Continental" (1934). Eddy Duchin was a member of Leo Reisman's orchestra; it was Reisman who gave Duchin his big break. This delicate song was recorded in 1927; the uncredited vocal might be by Lew Conrad. It should be noted this song was not dedicated to Raquel Meller, the title being a mere coincidence. Raquel Meller (1888-1962, née Francisca Marqués López, was a Spanish cuplé and tonadilla singer, and diseuse. She was an international star in the 1920s and 1930s, appearing in several films and touring Europe and the Americas. A vaudeville performer, she sang the original versions of well known songs such as La Violetera and El relicario, both written by José Padilla Sánchez. On 16 September 1911 she made her grand debut at the Teatro Arnau in Barcelona. In 1917, Meller held her first concerts in Paris (Olympia), Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. In 1919, Meller appeared in her first film, Los arlequines de seda y oro. In the next few years, she would star in her most successful and silent films Violettes impériales (1923) and Carmen (1926). She quickly became popular throughout the Western world and was a darling of the media. On her 1926 tour to the US, she visited New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Los Angeles. In 1932 Meller shot a second version of Violettes impériales for the talkies, and in 1936 began shooting Lola Triana, whose production was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. In the 1930s Meller lived in France. In 1937 Meller traveled to Argentina where she remained until 1939. After the Civil War she moved to Barcelona and again achieved popularity with the play of José Padilla's Violetera. Meller faded from public view after the late 1930s. Her legend was rekindled with the films El último cuplé (1957) and La Violetera (1958) starring Sara Montiel, who sang songs popularized by Meller.