Consuelo Velázquez, the composer of the song Bésame Mucho (Kiss Me A Lot)
The song "Bésame Mucho" by pianist, composer, and performer Consuelo Velázquez, has been one of the most popular Mexican songs of the 20th century and of all times around the world.
Bésame Mucho by pianist, composer, and performer Consuelo Velázquez, has been one of the most popular Mexican songs of the 20th century and of all times around the world; since its premiere, until today it has been translated into more than 20 languages and has thousands of versions.
Consuelo Velázquez Torres was born in Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, on August 21, 1916. Her first studies were directed towards music, since from a very early age she stood out for her innate talent on the piano, surprising all those who came to hear her first interpretations.
In 1938, when Consuelo was 22 years old, she took her professional exam at the Palace of Fine Arts, with the interpretation of Joseph Joachim Raff's La hilandera. From that moment on, the professionalization of her career began, with her participation in the course of Perfection of Works led by the Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau (1908-1991), who commented that he found extraordinary pianistic qualities in Consuelo.
Her entry into the bolero genre and world was discreet because as a professional pianist she was not expected to perform popular pieces, but rather to join the National Symphony Orchestra as a soloist. However, she was presented with the opportunity to participate in the radio station XEQ, to accompany soprano Irma González. As mentioned by historian and musician Ricardo Lugo Viñas "Life offered her those two paths and Consuelito took advantage of both".
It was precisely in the radio environment that Consuelo Velázquez found the opportunity to initiate herself in the world of popular music of that time. The scores that she had written in a self-taught way and for herself began to be interpreted, first for her friends on the radio and later for all radio listeners.
One of Consuelo's songs was Bésame mucho, written between 1938 and 1940, which was selected in 1941 to be performed during the program La hora azul by singer Emilio Tuero Cubillas. The overwhelming success of the song led Consuelo Velázquez to decide to record it, from that action Consuelo burst into this musical style not appropriate for a concert performer, much less for a woman since at that time the bolero was a genre strongly rooted in the image of men, who through this genre demanded requited love or sang for the spite of a woman. Likewise, with this song, Consuelo starts from the consideration of the woman not as an object in love, but as a free person to say and express what she wants in a relationship.
The song Bésame mucho was a great success in our country and went from the radio to the movies with the film of the same name. This same allowed it to migrate to the United States of America where Bésame mucho was placed and maintained in 1944, for about 23 weeks, as the number one song in the hit parade, reappearing in 1949 as one of the biggest hits worldwide. One of the reasons why the Americans came to accept this Mexican song and boost its popularity was due to the Second World War when it was used as a farewell hymn between couples when one of them was leaving for the war.
As time went by, this song by Consuelo Velázquez came to be interpreted by groups and artists of world-scale such as the English group The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, Luis Miguel, Thalía, among other artists, and in 1996 it was recognized as the most covered Spanish song in history.
On January 22, 2005, Consuelo Velázquez left this world, however, her legacy will remain preserved throughout history, thanks to the fact that several of her compositions are stored in different information centers such as the Archivo General de la Nación, where some of her first musical creations can be consulted, such as Déjame quererte; Aunque tengas razón; Pasional, and Será por eso, among other scores.