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Cuchi-Cuchi
April 26, 2010 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Her full name is María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Moquiere de les Esperades Santa Ana Romanguera y de la Najosa Rasten, but she's better known to the world as Charo. According to Wikipedia, "One of Charo's regrets is that because of her flamboyant stage presence, she has been overlooked as a serious guitar player." So here' some Charo on guitar: posted by Astro Zombie (40 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Acoustic guitar, if you think I play hard
Well you could have belonged to Steve Earle
Or Charo OR GWAR, I could sell you tomorrow

posted by anazgnos at 1:01 PM on April 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


She is a bad-ass guitar player and I used to have the biggest crush on her. Long live Charo!! Hootchie-Cootchie!
posted by Kskomsvold at 1:03 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Charo can friggin' play. Even with those fingernails, which have got to be an impediment to the flamenco style. It's sort of her own fault that she's not taken seriously as a guitarist, though. I mean, would she rather be a serious flamenco guitarist that no one's ever heard of, or a world-famous pop culture icon?
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:05 PM on April 26, 2010


There are plenty of great flamenco guitarists, but there is only one Charo.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:07 PM on April 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Also, if you play guitar but have never tried to play flamenco style on a nylon or gut stringed classical guitar, know that it's COMPLETELY different than the pop style most of us play and about a million times harder.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:08 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, she's an incredible guitarist. Ali G would say "Respeck"
posted by cell divide at 1:10 PM on April 26, 2010


I think it was her repeat appearances on The Love Boat that made it difficult to take her seriously as a guitar player.
posted by fatbird at 1:14 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was wondering if you were going to make a post after your comment in the Shakira thread.

My ex is a jazz guitarist and he has always maintained that Charo should be regarded as a premier flamenco player. I think she's amazing, both as a guitarist and as someone who has maintained control of her own persona. Plus, she married Xavier Cugat at [20|21|whatever age she really was], and if that isn't musical cred, I just don't know. [Or skeeze on Cugat's part, since a 1941 birthdate would have made her 13.]
posted by catlet at 1:18 PM on April 26, 2010


"[He] was my friend, and out of the blue he would send me jewelry." - Charo on Liberace.

Malagueña is such a fantastic song.
posted by boo_radley at 1:18 PM on April 26, 2010


but those same appearances on The Love Boat solidified her reputation as a dramatic actor, so it all evens out in the end.

Disclaimer: I am famous for nothing.
posted by mecran01 at 1:19 PM on April 26, 2010


Yeah, when I mentioned Charo in the Shakira thread, I started watching her videos on YouTube, and felt compelled to share. Maybe I should have included her performance from Pee Wee's Christmas Special.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:20 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks AZ. I remember watching her play the first time on TV in the 1970s and still recall being awestruck that it was Charo. Of course if ones familiarity with Charo was not first with the ditzy actress, the irony of this will be lost.

Including the one that was pinched last month, I've had three guitars stolen in two years. Maybe I should go for flamboyant stage presence. Much harder to steal. And even harder to pawn.
posted by three blind mice at 1:20 PM on April 26, 2010


Sadly, this is the only YTMND featuring Charo. Someone should go make a cuchi-cuchi version. Someone other than me, that is.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:21 PM on April 26, 2010


Wow, she's still alive?
posted by fixedgear at 1:27 PM on April 26, 2010


cuchi-cuchi

Ha! I already heard it as "hootchie-cootchie!" Wow. The 70s fade into oblivion for me.
posted by Kskomsvold at 1:27 PM on April 26, 2010


One of the youtube comments (under Alhambra) says that she was student of Andrés Segovia. That's hard core.
posted by jquinby at 1:33 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, there was a Shakira thread?
posted by Rumple at 1:37 PM on April 26, 2010


38DD+ and good looking = no respect even when you have genuine talent.
posted by stormpooper at 1:45 PM on April 26, 2010


Wow, I had *no idea* Charo was on The Love Boat.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:48 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


One, two, three, four, five, sex!
Oooooh, I say something bad??
posted by iconomy at 1:52 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Little hearts just exploded out of my baritone uke.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:58 PM on April 26, 2010


Her full name is María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Moquiere de les Esperades Santa Ana Romanguera y de la Najosa Rasten

At least it wasn't Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca the Third, or nobody would ever take her seriously!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:00 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


38DD+ and good looking = no respect even when you have genuine talent.

Well, there's also the public persona that she created, which seems a little bit at odds with the fact that she's also a hardcore flamenco guitarist.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:01 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel a little bad to admit this but I've always lumped Charo into the "famous for being famous" category. She seemed to do nothing BUT guest spots on Love Boat and appearances on Carson. Now I guess I know better.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 2:03 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Charo is such a walking party I don't think she could ever be happy as just a serious musician. She rocks it like a bad mofo. Thanks for the post!
posted by snsranch at 2:12 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


"de les Esperades"? Is she part Catalan?
posted by PsychoTherapist at 2:51 PM on April 26, 2010


because of her flamboyant stage presence

Dude, she literally has flames around her in this video (Picante)!
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:55 PM on April 26, 2010


My Dad would tune in to any show (talk show, variety special, etc) that featured Charo. He' d always say that it was because she was a noted flamenco guitarist. Hmmm.... On the other hand, it was only due to watching Charo's Tonight Show performances that I learned about Xavier Cugat, and which retroactively explained many of Desi Arnaz's jokes on I Love Lucy to me.
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:04 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


from the Jerrry Lewis intro "known for he phenomenal flamingo guitar"
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:10 PM on April 26, 2010


How does she manage to use her full name when signing checks?
posted by Postroad at 3:32 PM on April 26, 2010




She is a bad-ass guitar player and I used to have the biggest crush on her. Long live Charo!! Hootchie-Cootchie!

Used to?
posted by cmoj at 3:46 PM on April 26, 2010


Plus, she married Xavier Cugat at [20|21|whatever age she really was], and if that isn't musical cred, I just don't know. [Or skeeze on Cugat's part, since a 1941 birthdate would have made her 13.]

No one believed for a second that she actually slept with Xavier Cougat. It always seemed like some kind of show business arrangement.
posted by Faze at 3:52 PM on April 26, 2010


38DD+ and good looking = no respect even when you have genuine talent.

Oh c'mon. I didn't even know she could play really guitar until I came across these links. She truly is a fantastic flamenco guitarist, and I have an idea what a good flamenco guitarist sounds like. As she acknowledges in the first link, her celebrity persona has done more to obscure her talent than anything else.
posted by fatbird at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most of the serious guitar players I know regret that they don't make any money playing guitar. But none of them regret being serious guitar players.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:59 PM on April 26, 2010


Even with those fingernails, which have got to be an impediment to the flamenco style

All flamencos and flamencas play with nails. Nails are an essential component of the brightness of the tone.
posted by Wolof at 6:13 PM on April 26, 2010


she's still got her moves.

and what strikes me in that clip is that even if you think she's famous for being famous, girl can move and is far more useful than the paris hiltons, et al of today.
posted by nadawi at 7:10 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Charo ++
posted by leotrotsky at 9:06 PM on April 26, 2010


Wow, I never knew she plays guitar and kicks ass doing it. I love these little sorts of surprises the internet gives me at 6:30am. As a fellow guitar player, I bow to her superiority.
posted by Chocomog at 4:36 AM on April 27, 2010


As she acknowledges in the first link, her celebrity persona has done more to obscure her talent than anything else.

fatbird nailed it; Charo herself said it.

No one and no thing did more to prevent Charo from being taken seriously than Charo. Her on-stage persona is of a super-sexed, ditzy, stereotype-blonde with a thick accent (accentuated for comedic effect). By contrast, Desi Arnez was another Latino comedian/musician/sex symbol, but he chose not to make himself into such a caricature.

This picture from her website gallery exemplifies the problem: it's a publicity photo for a go-go dancer/sex kitten/hoochie mama, not a guitarist. Nothing wrong with that, unless you're expecting to be known for your guitar work first & foremost. Heck, with one exception* even in the photos where she's holding a guitar, it doesn't even rate a full-frame shot... on her own website.

* (and in that one full-guitar shot, it is obscured by... another Charo, lifting her miniskirt at the crotch).

I'm not saying that every video she does has to include a loving, slow pan over her guitar's sleek curves... just that the prominence, or lack thereof, of the instrument on her website's photos says something about her intended message.

Regrets, she's had a few... but she chose her path.

Personally, I think she's fabulous.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:06 AM on April 27, 2010


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