Lorenzo Barcelata

Lorenzo Barcelata (July 24, 1898 – July 13, 1943) was a Mexican composer and actor born in Tlalixcoyan, Veracruz. He died in Mexico City from cholera, shortly before his 45th birthday.

Barcelata came from a musically oriented family. He wrote his first song, "Arroyito", at the age of 14. He later moved to Tampico where he formed the quartet "Cuarteto Tamaulipeco", with composer Ernesto Cortázar. Their fame quickly spread throughout the region and they received international fame when the Mexican government sent them on a tour of Cuba. While there, they were signed to perform a 52-week tour of the United States. After two of the members were fatally injured in an automobile accident, Barcelata returned to Mexico. He reformed the quartet as his fame continued to grow. Beginning in 1932, he entered the Mexican film industry and became a prominent film composer until his death. He also achieved fame as an actor as he played roles in several films.

His most famous song is "María Elena", which was originally written for the First Lady of Mexico, the wife of president Emilio Portes Gil. Maria Elena was featured in the Mexican film by the same name. A version of it was also included on the soundtrack to the American film Bordertown. It was later translated into English and performed by the Lawrence Welk orchestra. Another English version was recorded by Jimmy Dorsey. Dorsey's version topped the charts in 1941. Wayne King also recorded an English version which reached the No.2 position during the week of June 14, runner-up only to the Dorsey version. A vocal version by Tony Pastor also reached the Top 10 during that month. Maria Elena has since been recorded internationally by several different musicians. In 1958, the Brazilian group Los Indios Tabajaras recorded a version that became popular throughout Latin America and later (in 1963) reached the No.6 position in the US charts & No.5 in the UK charts.

The popularity of Maria Elena in the US in the early-1940s resulted in Barcelata touring the country once again. He returned to Mexico in 1943 where he was scheduled to produce several radio programs. However, he died on July 13, before recording could begin. In total, he left behind a catalog of 214 songs, including Por ti aprendí a querer, and El Cascabel, among others.

A recording of "El Cascabel" was one of the pieces of music on the Voyager Golden Record. This version was a mariachi interpretation performed by Antonio Maciel y Las Aguilillas with El Mariachi México de Pepe Villa. The 12 inch album (complete with stylus, cartridge and instructions for use) which was launched into deep space aboard the Voyager space probes in the late 1970s.

Birth and Death Data: Born July 24th, 1898 (Tlalixcoyan), Died Mexico City

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1928 - 1949

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, vocalist, songwriter, lyricist, arranger, leader

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 123 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-48366 10-in. 2/14/1929 Coconito Trío Garnica-Ascencio Female vocal trio, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor BVE-50803 10-in. 4/10/1929 Virgencita Manuel García ; Ramón Peraza Male vocal duet, with guitar composer  
Victor BVE-50804 10-in. 4/10/1929 Una canción de mi vida Manuel García ; Ramón Peraza Male vocal duet, with guitar composer  
Victor XVE-64783 10-in. 12/22/1930 El cascabel Los Trovadores Tamaulipecos Male vocal quartet, with violin and 2 guitars arranger  
Victor XVE-67010 10-in. 12/30/1930 Flor de fuego Los Trovadores Tamaulipecos Male vocal quartet composer  
Victor XVE-67091 10-in. 1/15/1931 La zandunga óaxaqueña Los Trovadores Tamaulipecos Male vocal quartet, with guitar and marimba arranger  
Victor PBS-68430 10-in. 2/9/1933 La cachimba de San Juan Carlos Molina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal duet; with male vocal solo composer  
Victor PBS-68657 10-in. 11/27/1933 Maria Elena Cuates Castilla Male vocal duet, with 2 violins and 2 guitars composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-78249 10-in. 10/19/1933 Maria Elena Alfredo Cibelli ; Orchestra Symphonica Victor de Baile Orchestra composer  
Victor BS-81626 10-in. 2/7/1934 Por ti aprendí a querer Juan Arvizu Tenor vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor BS-82382 10-in. 5/7/1934 María Elena Lester Rodríguez Accordion solo composer  
Victor BS-82384 10-in. 5/7/1934 Coconita Lester Rodríguez Accordion solo composer  
Victor BVE-82703 10-in. 3/29/1934 Maria Elena Ben Martínez ; Félix Tamez Male vocal duet, with 2 guitars composer, lyricist  
Victor MBS-90611 10-in. Feb. 1936 or earlier De mañana en adelante Mariachi Tapatío Instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor MBS-90612 10-in. Feb. 1936 or earlier La iguana Mariachi Tapatío Instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor MBS-90613 10-in. Feb. 1936 or earlier La madrugada Mariachi Tapatío Instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor MBS-90672 10-in. Mar. 1936 or earlier Bamba Rafael Hernández ; Orquesta del Grillon Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor MBS-90673 10-in. Mar. 1936 or earlier El chinchorro Rafael Hernández ; Orquesta del Grillon Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor MBS-90721 10-in. July 1936 or earlier Flor de fuego Las Dos Marías Female vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor MBVE-90769 10-in. Before 10/26/1936 La chata malora Las Dos Marías Female vocal duet, with guitars composer  
Victor MBS-90838 10-in. before 1/7/1937 Una canción de mi vida Las Dos Marías Female vocal duet composer  
Victor MBS-90858 10-in. before 3/25/1937 Errante Orquesta Alfonso Esparza Oteo ; Emilio Tuero Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor MBS-90882 10-in. before 2/9/1937 El caballo palomo Los Chinacos Male vocal ensemble composer  
Victor MBS-90964 10-in. before 8/23/1937 Presumida Los Chinacos Male vocal ensemble composer  
Victor BAVE-93158 10-in. Between 4/23/1936 and 5/7/1936 María Elena Juan Arvizu Male vocal solo, with violin and guitars composer  
(Results 1-25 of 123 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Barcelata, Lorenzo," accessed October 22, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106695.

Barcelata, Lorenzo. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106695.

"Barcelata, Lorenzo." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 22 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106695

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