Yma Sumac

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About Yma Sumac

One of the most flamboyant singers of the '50s and an original proponent of exotica, Yma Sumac was the subject of a series of publicity campaigns designed to add to her mystique: was she an Inca princess, or a Brooklyn housewife named Amy Camus (Yma Sumac spelt backwards)? What was undeniably genuine was Sumac’s remarkable four-octave range. After performing with the Compania Peruana de Arte, in her native Peru, Sumac travelled to New York in 1947 with her husband, composer Moises Vivanco. Her first album for Capitol Records, VOICE OF THE XTABAY, with songs by Vivanco and arranged by Hollywood session leader Les Baxter, was released in 1950. With minimum publicity (at first), the 10-inch album sold half a million copies, and it was followed by an enormously successful concert appearance at the Hollywood Bowl as well as a series of releases for Capitol, all in the same kitsch Latin style. She retired in the early-'60s, but made a comeback in 1987 at New York’s Ballroom.

Callao, Peru
September 13, 1922
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