Saturday, October 19, 2013

Elena Madera

 Artist: Elena Madera
LP: Elena Madera
Song: "Pepito"
[ listen ]
Song: "El Chipi Chipi"
[ listen ]

There was nothing "Chipi Chipi" about this old record I picked up last month; it cost more than 1,200 pennies! There isn't much info about Elena Madera on the web (she doesn't even have a page on Wikipedia!), but according to the LP liner notes, she was born in Havana, Cuba of a Cuban-born mother who was a professional dancer, and a father, born in the USA, who was a band-leader in the Philadelphia area. Elena came to the United States of America at age two, began singing at age three, and the rest, as they don't usually say, isn't history. Or at least it isn't history that anyone has posted on the internet so that it's easy to find. What we do know is that Elena sang with musicians like Tito Puente and Duke Ellington, that she had an international hit with the song "Pepito," and, after listening to her music, we know that she is amazing! We also know that "Elena Madera" (Decca #DL 8976) was probably released sometime around 1958 (Caterina Valente's 1957 "Olé Caterina" LP is Decca #DL 8436) and we know that Elena Madera did not become famous and seems to have faded into obscurity today. I wonder whatever happened to her. While wondering, we can read a little about her in Spanish here, where there's also a neat video of "Pepito" being performed by Los Machucambos, and you can go here to read a brief review of the "Elena Madera" LP by someone named Tony Wilds on

[ Elena Madera ]

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