When the Andean exotica singer Yma Sumac became famous in the United States for her supposed Inca heritage and five-octave voice, her fellow Peruvians called her a sellout. UC Davis professor Zoila Mendoza, however, knew Yma Sumac as her mother’s childhood friend.
She was the voice of exotica. Rumored to be a Brooklyn housewife named Amy Camus, she was, in fact, native Peruvian with a voice of three octaves, Yma Sumac's singing graced the exotic easy listening albums of Les Baxter and Billy May. Yma Sumac died today at age 86. (Via) [more inside]