(1953) Yolanda and Germán Samper – Songs from Colombia

Argo issue numbers: ARL 1009-10 (Jan 1953), re-released as TM 16 (Sep 1953)

Yolanda Samper – vocal
Germán Samper – vocal, (?guitar)


Side A
Por una varita de caña
Torbellino boyacense
Bajando de la Montaña
Así no papacito, así no
Pachito Eché
Cuando estemos juntos

Side B
Toño Miranda
¿Qué hay de Cuchipe?
El tigre mono
Agáchate el Sombrerito
Alumbra luna
Muchacha de mis amores

I’d sort of given up finding out anything about this album beyond one of those rather dodgy entries on the British Library’s Sound Archive website…

The only Germán Samper that ever came up on the internet was this architect who had studied with Le Corbusier, designed Medellin’s tallest (and coolest) building and spent a lifetime designing proper social housing in Colombia.

Late one night I came across a video about him – and there was this oldish guy singing what sounded like Colombian folk songs in the background on a piano. Samper was described in the blurb as “a revolutionary urbanist, a thinker and a designer of numerous working class projects”.

That’s sort of Argo, I thought. I wrote to him and it was.

He has promised me an account of how he wound up recording this album in late 1952 for Argo. In the meantime, all I know is that he was in Paris at the time, studying with Le Corbusier; that the album was recorded with the cooperation of the The Colombian Embassy in London; and that the extended Samper family, including Germán’s wife, Yolanda Martínez de Samper, appeared subsequently on a 3-LP set of Colombian popular music, the Cancionero Noble Colombiano.

Did Yolanda go on to become Secretary for Women’s Affairs in the National Front government of Misael Pastrana Borrero (who is remembered, inter alia, for his promotion of housing construction)? Maybe.

I haven’t heard or seen the album, but here’s Side B’s Agachate el Sombrerito (Lower Your hat), as performed by Regulo Ramirez. Uy! Uy! Colombianas bonitas! Ay, ay, ay!

And here’s Brigitte Bardot singing her version of Track 2, Side B – ¿Qué hay de Cuchipe?

(more when I get it)

~ by folkcatalogue on February 12, 2010.

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