Sofia Alvarez – Chiclets Program – 1949 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Sofia Alvarez in sadly only one number, but part of a Latin Variety program that runs the gamut from Ranchero to Swing. All done as a 15 radio commercial for Chiclets, which was an enormously popular gum in Mexico and throughout Latin America.
I realize Cinco de Mayo is a much more celebrated holiday in America (particularly Southwest America) than it is in Mexico proper, but I thought it was a good excuse to run this excellent program, which offers a stellar example of what was going on musically in Mexico in the 1940s.
A little bit about Sofia Alvarez, who I suspect may not be as well known on this side of the border as the other side.
Sofia Alvarez was born and raised in Colombia, she moved with her family to Mexico in 1928. Her film debut was a small part, in the role of a prostitute in Santa (1930), the first talkie of Mexican cinema. Popularly known as the lady of the long braids, she enjoyed popularity during the 1930s and 1940s as an actress and singer. Subsequently she performed with Mario Moreno Cantinflas in the popular film Ahí está el detalle (1940). In the 1940s, Álvarez is characterized by her interpretation of elegant ladies in films like El sombrero de tres picos and México de mis recuerdos (1943). She performed with the popular Pedro Infante in three films: Si me han de matar mañana (1946), La barca de oro (1947) and Soy charro de Rancho Grande (1947). One of her most celebrated films was La Reina de la Opereta (1945). In 1950 she left the cinema to continue as a radio singer. She returned to the cinema between 1957 and 1966, when she retired from the scenes. Her last film was El Gángster (1965), with Arturo de Córdova. She was noted for her excellent voice also that delicate features that printed her characters.
Here’s a sample of what we were missing on this side of the border in the 1940s.
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