Xavier Cugat

In Person: 1940-1942 Radio Broadcasts

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Nobody has produced more Xavier Cugat compilations than Harlequin, a label that specializes in the fine art of unearthing terrifically rare jazz, hot dance, and Latin American recordings. This installment contains 29 tracks -- all but two are less than three minutes in length -- derived from old radio aircheck acetates made between 1940 and 1942. Featured vocalists were Carmen Castillo, Miguelito Valdés, Catalino Rolón, and Nico López. Even while most of the songs on this collection were drawn from the authentic South American repertoire rather than U.S. pop culture, everything was neatly tailored to please North American audiences. This was Xavier Cugat's recipe for success during a career that lasted longer than many other musicians' lifespans.

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