Saturday, September 08, 2007

La Lupe: Our own Judy Garland

I missed this documentary when it was first shown on the PBS "Independent Lens" series but it's back on their schedule this week so I'll finally have a chance to see it.

"La Lupe: Queen of Latin Soul" uses archival footage and interviews to take a look back at the life of the legendary Cuban-born singer Lupe Yoli, lesser known than Celia Cruz, but perhaps just as magnetic a performer- and certainly a lot more expressive: During some of her shows she'd end up taking off her scarves, her wigs, her high-heel shoes and even her fake eyelashes, throwing them at the public in fits of insanity even as she sang her lungs out.

With as dramatic a figure and tragic a life, it's no surprise that the gay Latino community, at least in the Eastern coast, has embraced her as an idol (much as I assume Selena has become a Latino gay idol in the South) and I'd be willing to say that her following is such that she can probably be described as our own Judy Garland.

Unfortunately, by the time of her death in 1992, she had faded into obscurity. But her legacy certainly lives on.

In the New York metropolitan area, the documentary will be shown on Channel 13 this Monday, September 10 at 10pm and also on Sunday, September 16 at 3:15am. For local listings elsewhere check here. There's also an elaborate and perhaps over-crowded MySpace fan page that has much more on the singer here.

Below is a Youtube video from a rare 1971 appearance on American television ("The Mike Douglas Show") in which she puts her own spin on that old Frank Sinatra classic "I Did It My Way."


Some Other Guy said...

that was great! thanks!

Oso Raro said...

Ah, La Lupe! So fabby! So tragic! So us! Altho I only came to love her after Mr. Gordo's affection (he has the notion that her downfall was predicated on her refutation of the orishas, after she became an evangelical Christian, which strikes me as perfectly reasonable), she is most definitely a particular icon of latin(o) ambiente. Let's just say, I know a Queen in Caracas who can do her down to the hair pins and tossed shoes.

Unknown said...

thanx for the heads up on the documentary. i'll look for it in my area. I absolutely am insane about la lupe. there some quality to her voice and her delivery that does have that "been through it" flavor or guarantee.

: said...

Thanx! I totally almost forgot this was coming...but was looking out for it. Thanx for the heads up!

Kenyon Farrow said...

I had heard her name before, but did not know her. I happen to see an ad for this on PBS, and watched it last night. It was amazing--she was a phenomenon, and I am happy to now be familiar with her work.


Anonymous said...

Im glad that this Documentary of La Lupe aired
im a big Fan I have the most coplete collection of her music
a friend and I have a page on Myspase in her Honor.