Félix Manuel "Bobby" Rodríguez Capó (January 1, 1922 – December 18, 1989) was an internationally known Puerto Rican singer and songwriter. He usually combined ballads with classical music and was deeply involved in Puerto Rican folk elements and even Andalusian music, as to produce many memorable Latino pop songs which featured elaborate, dramatic lyrics.
Félix Manuel Rodríguez Capó was born in Coamo, Puerto Rico to Celso Quiterio Rodríguez Rivera and Arsenia Capó Canevaro. He adopted "Bobby" as his first name and, as Rodríguez is a common Hispanic surname, he reportedly opted to use his mother's less common one, Capó, instead. He then migrated to New York City early in the 1940s. Initially, he replaced Pedro Ortiz Dávila, "Davilita", in a quartet, the Cuarteto Victoria of Rafael Hernández Marín. He then joined Xavier Cugat's orchestra.
Apart from singing, he was also a television host, as well as technical and musical director, and prolific songwriter. He wrote songs for many of his contemporaries. Many of these became hits in Puerto Rico, and occasionally in the rest of Latin America. One of his self-penned songs was "El Negro Bembón", a hit for Cortijo y su Combo in the mid-1950s. The song, with local circumstances and character name changed, became "El Gitano Antón", a huge hit for Catalan rumba singer Peret in Spain around the mid-1960s. Also, Bobby Capo wrote the score and songs for the movie "MARUJA" that was filmed at the end of the 1950s in Puerto Rico.
Capó's "Sin Fe" ("Without Faith"), sometimes known as "Poquita Fe" ("Little Faith"), became a proper hit in Puerto Rico when recorded by Felipe Rodríguez in the mid-1950s, and a huge international hit for José Feliciano in the mid-1960s. Capó's composition describing his homesickness for Puerto Rico, "Soñando con Puerto Rico" (Dreaming of Puerto Rico), is revered as an anthem by Puerto Ricans residing abroad. Another of his songs, "De Las Montañas Venimos" is a Christmas standard in Puerto Rico.
His best-known song is "Piel Canela" (whose title literally translates to "Cinnamon Skin"). He wrote and recorded an English-language version, "You, Too", which he most notably recorded in Havana at the request of Rogelio Martínez of Sonora Matancera, who asked him to sing pieces of his recently composed songs with his band. Josephine Baker recorded a version in French. The song became the main theme for a Mexican movie of the same name in the late 1950s. So was "Luna de Miel en Puerto Rico" ("Puerto Rican Honeymoon"), a latter-day chachachá which was the theme for an eponymous movie, co-produced by Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in the early 1960s.
Birth and Death Data: Born January 1st, 1921 (Coamo), Died December 18th, 1989 (New York City)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1940 - 1950
Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, composer, lyricist
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 55 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-056407||10-in.||9/28/1940||Cuatro personas||Bobby Capó ; Xavier Cugat Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||vocalist|
|Victor||BS-056408||10-in.||9/28/1940||Sueña la conga||Bobby Capó ; Xavier Cugat Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||vocalist|
|Victor||BS-056411||10-in.||9/28/1940||Bilongo||Bobby Capó ; Xavier Cugat Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and male vocal ensemble||vocalist|
|Victor||MBS-092163||10-in.||before 6/27/1950||Junto a ti||Avelino Muñoz ; Orquesta Chamaco Domínguez ; Toña, la Negra||Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||MBS-092164||10-in.||before 6/5/1950||Antipática||Avelino Muñoz ; Orquesta Chamaco Domínguez ; Toña, la Negra||Female vocal solo, with piano and instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||MBS-092166||10-in.||before 6/27/1950||Después, que seas tú||Avelino Muñoz ; Orquesta Chamaco Domínguez ; Toña, la Negra||Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||MBS-092167||10-in.||before 7/19/1950||Cariño||Avelino Muñoz ; Orquesta Chamaco Domínguez ; Toña, la Negra||Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||MBS-092214||10-in.||before 9/5/1950||Locura de amor||Fernando Fernández ; Orquesta Avelino Muñoz||Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||MBS-092215||10-in.||before 9/5/1950||Qué falta tú me haces||Fernando Fernández ; Orquesta Avelino Muñoz||Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||MBS-092298||10-in.||before 1/9/1951||Mambo en Veracruz||Cuarteto Manuel Jiménez||Male vocal quartet, with instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||MBS-092302||10-in.||before 10/19/1950||Suplica||Cuarteto Manuel Jiménez||Male vocal quartet, with instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Decca||68588||10-in.||1/17/1941||Cuando nace el amor||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||68589||10-in.||1/17/1941||Dejame ser tu yo||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||68612||1/17/1941||Amorosa guajira||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||68613||1/17/1941||La carta a mi madre||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||68614||10-in.||1/17/1941||Permita dios||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||68615||10-in.||1/17/1941||El diablo||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||68617||10-in.||1/17/1941||Lamento tropical||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||68619||10-in.||1/17/1941||Dame de tus rosas||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||68620||10-in.||1/17/1941||Noche en flor||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||69290||10-in.||6/4/1941||El silbido||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
|Decca||69291||10-in.||6/4/1941||Si quieres, volvere||Bobby Capó||vocalist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Capó, Bobby," accessed July 28, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107334.
Capó, Bobby. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 28, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107334.
"Capó, Bobby." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 28 July 2021.
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