Artist: Victor Silvester y su Orquesta de Cuerdas
LP: Latin-American Dance Parade [10" EP]
Song: "Sierra Madre"
[ listen ]
Wouldn't ya just know that my supposedly rare, vintage Columbia 10" EP (CL 6308) of "Latin-American Dance Parade" by Victor Silvester and his Orquesta de Cuerdas turns out to be nothing but a cheap 1953 re-issue of the original that was released in 1950 under catalog number FL 9516 with a nice yellow cover instead of blue. Oh well. Victor Silvester was born in England in the formerly quaint town of Wembley just after the turn of the last century. He served in WWI after lying about his age, and then after the war he turned his attention to dancing. He was one of the first post-war dancers to feature the full natural turn in the slow waltz, which helped him snag the top prize (with partner Phyllis Clarke) at the first World Ballroom Dancing Championship in 1922. (He competed again in 1924, but lost to Maxwell Stewart, who had invented the double reverse spin. Clearly, poor Victor didn't stand a chance.) Silvester eventually developed a chain of dance studios where throngs of people, including Merle Oberon, were able to indulge their passion for ballroom dancing. Frustrated by the general lack of "strict-tempo" dance music being released on vinyl at the time, Victor assembled his own five-piece group of talented musicians and began recording under the name "Victor Silvester and His Ballroom Orchestra." Their first release, "You're Dancing on My Heart," (!) hit stores in 1935, sold over 17,000 copies, and launched a recording career that would last for decades. You can read all about that here, and my re-issued liner notes are included below.
[ Victor Silvester: February 25, 1900 — August 14, 1978 ]