Where to find Spanish popular music of the '20s and '30s?
April 7, 2013 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find recordings, be they on CD or downloadable, of popular music from Spain of the 1920 and '30s. I'm hampered by the fact that I don't really know much about Spanish popular music--were there the equivalent of the dance bands recording in the U.S. and U.K., for example?

There is a "Blue Moon Serie Lírica" CD series that compiles revue recordings of that era, and I have one of those discs, but was there a Spanish Mistinguett or Jean Sablon? an Iberian Al Bowlly or Russ Columbo?

My sense is that the regional musics, led by flamenco, comprised part of the popular music scene, but, as I said, I'm guessing at a lot of this. Any help in finding music or history would be appreciated.
posted by the sobsister to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
a lot of the really popular stuff (as opposed to Opera and Classical) was musica de raza , and / or emanated from South America & Cuba. I'd start with the Argentine Tango Meister Carlos Gardel, there's a lot of his stuff available

also extremely popular was the traditional Spanish Operetta style Zarzuela

But for me this is the period when Cuban music really exploded onto the scene. here are some of the musical styleS, followed by the major artists (bands tended to form around an individual) names to start you off:-

sones, boleros, guajiras, guarachas, pregones, sones montunos, guaguancós, cha, cha, chás, mambos, rumbas, congas y tangos congos. De Jorge Ankermann (1877-1941), María Cervantes (1885-1981), Manuel Corona (1880-1950), Osvaldo Farrés (1902-1985), Sindo Garay (1887-1968), Eliseo y Emilio Grenet (1893-1950 y 1901-1941, respectivamente), Miguel Matamoros (1894-1971), Benny Moré (1920-1963), Dámaso Pérez Prado (nacido en 1922), Rodrigo Pratts (1910-1980), Antonio María Romeu (1876-1955), Moisés Simons (1844-1944) y René Touzet (nacido en 1916) a Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, Paquito D'Rivera, Chano Pozo
posted by kairab at 10:46 AM on April 7, 2013

Best answer: I have found the CDs, as promised in my MeMail!

Alan Lomax went wandering around Europe in the Fifties, recording folk music. There are a huge number of recordings on amazon for each region, or you can start with the overview recording.

The sound quality on some of them is not thrilling, but it is a good place to start - my favorite of the individual region CDs is Catalonia, but for some reason amazon doesn't have that one. Usually what I do when I'm exploring new music like that is to google the names of the songs I like best and download various interpretations, reading about the artist as I go. If you use last.fm, you can then plug the name of the artists you liked into the radio to pull up more names. At some point I buy a formal music history of the region in which I'm interested, but I'm a nerd like that.
posted by winna at 1:46 PM on April 7, 2013

Judging by this amazon list, I think your sense of flamenco + regional music looks likely.
posted by fings at 5:14 PM on April 7, 2013

the record alan lomax captured in the early fifties in Spain, that winna mentions, can be streamed here.
posted by MrMisterio at 9:16 AM on April 8, 2013

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