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Happy Birthday Caterina

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Album Review

Uninhibited and at times irreverent, Arriba more than makes up for the dreariness of the previous Olé effort. Again joined by her brother Silvio Francesco on guitar and some vocals, Valente sings more clearly and happily. Of particular note, perhaps only for their corniness, are "El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor)," "Casa da Lolo," and "Somebody Bad Stole de Wedding Bell." The last is a calypso recorded earlier by Eartha Kitt, perhaps Valente's nearest rival for language versatility, if not international stardom. Valente and Francesco eschew Kitt's sweetness in favor of a more call-and-response treatment reminiscent of "Mockingbird" or the Coasters. "Cha-cha-cha Flamenco" and "La Mucura" also do much to thwart a dry flamenco mood.


Genre: Pop

Caterina Valente (b. January 14, 1931, Paris, France) was born into an Italian circus family. Her mother was a clown and her father was an accordion player; as a child she worked in the circus as well. She performed in Europe as a singer for several years, but her career as an internationally known vocalist began in 1953 when she joined Kurt Edelhagen's band in Germany. She was soon signed to Polydor and made her recording debut for the label the same year. Her first big hits came soon after that....
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Happy Birthday Caterina, Caterina Valente
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