Bobby Capó

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 68587 10-in. 1/17/1941 Desesperadamente Bobby Capó vocalist  
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 68590 10-in. 1/17/1941 Alma 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 68618 10-in. 1/17/1941 Castigo 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  
(Results 1-25 of 55 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Capó, Bobby," accessed December 3, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107334.

Capó, Bobby. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 3, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107334.

"Capó, Bobby." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 3 December 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107334

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