The Diaz Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music

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Olga Guillot Biographical Notes

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Born in Santiago de Cuba, October 9, 1922 and died on July 12, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

She grows up in Havana and as an adolescent begins to sing tangos with her music teacher, the Cuban tenor, Mariano Meléndez. Later she sings duets with her sister Ana Luisa, "Duo Hermanitas Guillot", who had debuted in a radio program in 1938. In 1940, her sister retires to marry and Olga remains inactive until 1944 when she joins Siboney, the vocal quartet organized by the composer, Isolina Carrillo. Soon after, in 1945, she signs a contract to sing solo at the famous cabaret, Zombie with Facundo Rivero as accompanist. He is of great help in her professional singing debut. She starts recording for the Panart label in 1945 and 1946. In 1946, Miguelito Valdés invites her to New York where she performs in the Teatro Hispano and at the Havana-Madrid nightclub and makes recordings for the Coda label. On her return to Cuba she starts working in radio.

She travels to Mexico in 1948 where quickly she becomes a popular songstress. This in a country which had at that time excellent bolero singers. She stars in the Mexican film "La Venus de Fuego" (1948), and also records her second album. On her return to Cuba her career takes off as a star of radio, theater, cabaret and later, television. In 1954 she records for the Puchito label her greatest success: Miénteme("Lie to Me") by "Chamaco" Dominguez. Henceforth, her life is one of continuous travel: Mexico, South America and Europe. In 1958 on her tour of Europe, which includes stops in Italy, France, Spain and Germany, she sings alongside Édith Piaf in Cannes. She records albums, singing the best of the Latin American and Caribbean romantic repertoire, such as : Tú me acostumbraste, La noche de anoche, Contigo en la distancia, Campanitas de cristal, etc.

In 1961, she leaves Cuba for good, eventually settling in Mexico. She stars in a dozen films, mostly Mexican. She starts recording with the Mexican label, Musart, singing mostly Mexican composers such as Armando Manzanero and Luis Demetrio. For forty years still, she continues traveling across America, Europe and Asia.

In 1988 she celebrated her Golden Jubilee on a world tour that took her to sing as far away as Israel. Supposedly retired, she still occasionally reappears at the request of her fans as her voice and physical presence are intact. She has recorded more than fifty full-length albums with various labels. She has received numerous awards for album sales and other accolades in various countries and has sung in the best venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Tropicana in Cuba, Florida Park in Madrid, among others.

Widely known as "Queen of the Bolero", she really created a new way to say it like other major pop stars as Edith Piaf and Conchita Piquer. Olga Guillot endorses the song, while carefully mounted, is given. Can accept the sentence of his countryman "Snowball" who said "I am the song I sing." Has an absolute mastery of his voice caressing mezzo, suggest, offer, deny, plead. A total master scenic, histrionic, in gestures, in the management of the hands and body. Choose wisely also know his repertoire, mixing old and new songs.

Bibliography: Cristobal Diaz Ayala, "Cuban Music from the New Trova Areito, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ed Cubanacán 1981 pág.347-348.