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Tide Was Always HighThe Music of Latin America in Los Angeles$
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Josh Kun

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520294394

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520294394.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Voice of the Xtabay and Bullocks Wilshire

Voice of the Xtabay and Bullocks Wilshire

Hearing Yma Sumac from Southern California

(p.130) 6 Voice of the Xtabay and Bullocks Wilshire
Tide Was Always High

Carolina A. Miranda

University of California Press

This chapter presents the author's account of Peruvian songstress Yma Sumac. Sumac is known for her four-octave voice and for launching the musical category known as exotica, a cinematic fusion of international styles that allowed mid-twentieth-century American audiences a taste of the mysterious and the remote. For the author, a Peruvian kid who grew up in Southern California, Sumac was a rare representation of the Andean in US popular culture. Xtabay, the hit album from 1950 that introduced Sumac to international audiences, seemed like otherworldly evidence of her power. In 2017, eight years after her death at the age of eighty-six, Sumac remains the subject of fan sites, Pinterest pages, and Facebook groups, and she has inspired a veritable rabbit hole of lip sync videos on YouTube.

Keywords:   Yma Sumac, Peruvian singers, Latin American music, exotica

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