I got this record mainly because of the cover. I was fascinated by the fairly unpleasant looking Yolanda del Rio. I apologize if I have offended any Yolanda del Rio fans out there, but I want to be honest. I was fascinated because I thought obviously this lady's singing career doesn't rest on her looks, so it must be based on the music. Maybe she was a great singer. Maybe she sang famous folk songs. I didn't know.
When I put on the record I was taken back. Here was this lady singing in Spanish and sounding like she was crying through every song. I didn't know what to make of it. I had never heard anything like it. I kind of wanted to laugh, but I was also caught up in the emotion and passion in her voice even if I didn't understand a word of what she was saying.
Then by some chance I played the record for a friend who has spent some time in Mexico and he immediately identified the music. He said it was a very common genre. If you asked me what the genre was that he told me, I'd have to say that I forgot. However in doing research for this blog I would think that he told me that it was ranchera.
As it turns out Yolanda del Rio was and is one of the most successful Ranchera singers of all time. She was part of a second wave of ranchera singers in the 70's and she sold over 20 million records. Yolanda is still around today. She has continued to record. She has a web site. You can find the here. You can read more about her on Allmusic or on Wikipedia. And I even found some clips of her on Youtube. Actually there are a lot of them. There are even people lip syncing to her songs.
The weird sort of irony of all this is that I bought the record because I thought she was ugly. Little did I know that I would look her up on the internet some day and find that she has just gotten worse. It seems that with all her success and money she has tried to correct her looks with plastic surgery and the result is that she looks like a complete freak of nature. I'm talking Joan Rivers territory. Anyways you can see for yourself on the Youtube clip of from the photos on her website.
After you've had your fun looking at her, erase that image from your mind and go back to the music. That is after all why she is famous. It is why I liked the record the first time I listened to it, not knowing any of this context. She sings with gut wrenching emotion that strikes a deep chord even through language barriers.
01 Si Me Olvido Otra Vez.m4a
02 No Me Olvides Amor.m4a
03 Cuando Todo Se Acabe.m4a
04 Nos Vemos Manana.m4a
05 Ya No Me Vuelvo A Enamorar.m4a
06 Por Orgullo.m4a
07 El Cantar Del Pastor.m4a
08 Llorar, Llorar, Llorar.m4a
09 Si Dios Me Ayuda.m4a
10 Esta Noche Voy a Verlo.m4a
Yolanda del Rio.zip
Here's a slide show set to the opening track.