Raquel Meller: The Embodiment of Old Spain

Raquel Meller 2[1]

Today is the birthday of Raquel Meller (1888-1962). Born Francisca Romana Marques Lopez, she became a star of Spanish cabaret and music hall when still a teenager. In 1919, she began to conquer the rest of Europe, with appearances in Paris, then London, and starring roles in European silent films (the most famous of these would be Carmen in 1926). In 1926, she embarked on a highly successful tour of American vaudeville and starred in two Fox Movietone talking shorts. Critics were transported by her singing; she seemed to be a sort of embodiment of the spirit of Old Spain. Bernhardt, Chaplin and George Jean Nathan were among her influential fans. Civil War in Span and the Second World War resulted in many displacements for her. She retired from performing in 1946.

Here she is singing Jose Padilla’s “La Violetera”, a piece of music Chaplin loved so much he essentially plundered it for his soundtrack to City Lights

To find out more about the variety arts past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

safe_image

And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc

chain%20of%20fools%20cvr%20front%20only-500x500

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.