Songwriter Tomas Mendez is best known for penning the Mexican standards "Cucurrucucu Paloma" and "Paloma Negra." Working primarily in a mariachi vein, Mendez was a fairly prolific composer, but achieved his greatest success with 1954's "Cucurrucucu Paloma," which was a smash hit for Lola Beltran and later recorded by countless others, including Julio Iglesias. (In the wake of the song's success, Beltran also starred in a film of the same name.) Beltran recorded numerous Mendez songs -- including his other all-time classic, "Paloma Negra" -- and was arguably his most sympathetic interpreter, but his compositions found favor with many; among his most prominent devotees were Pedro Infante, Vicente Fernández, Amalia Mendoza, and Javier Solís. Mendez also made recordings as a singer, but was always more noted for his writing abilities. Historia Musical de Tomas Mendez, a CD retrospective of some of the best interpretations of his material, was released in the mid-'90s.
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