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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vikki Carr
Vikki Carr in 1974.
Vikki Carr in 1974.
Background information
Birth nameFlorencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona
Born (1940-07-19) July 19, 1940 (age 80)[1]
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
GenresLatin pop, pop, traditional pop, Mariachi
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar
Years active1962–present
LabelsLiberty, Columbia, UMG

Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona[2] (born July 19, 1940), known by her stage name Vikki Carr, is an American vocalist. She has a singing career that spans more than four decades. Born in El Paso, Texas to parents of Mexican ancestry, she has performed in a variety of musical genres, including pop, jazz and country, while her greatest success has come from singing in Spanish. She established the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation in 1971. Vikki Carr has won three Grammys and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Latin Grammys in 2008 at the 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards.[3]


Cardona was born in El Paso, Texas. She graduated from Rosemead High School in 1958 in a class that included famed fashion designer Bob Mackie. Under the stage name "Vikki Carr" she signed with Liberty Records in 1962. Her first single to achieve success was "He's a Rebel", which in 1962 reached No. 3 in Australia and No. 115 in the United States. Producer Phil Spector heard Carr cutting the song in the studio and immediately recorded a cover version which reached No. 1 in the United States, billed to the Crystals, although this was in fact incorrect as the actual recording artists were The Blossoms. In 1966, Carr toured South Vietnam with actor/comedian Danny Kaye to entertain American troops. The following year her album It Must Be Him was nominated for three Grammy Awards. The title track reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in 1967, sold more than 1 million copies and received a gold disc.[4] Carr had two other songs make the US Top 40: 1968's "The Lesson" and 1969's "With Pen in Hand". Around this time, Dean Martin called her "the best girl singer in the business". Carr had 10 singles that made the US pop charts and 13 albums that made the US pop-album charts.

Vikki Carr in 1968
Vikki Carr in 1968

In 1968, Carr taped six specials for London Weekend TV. She appeared on various television programs, such as ABC's The Bing Crosby Show in the 1964–1965 season. In 1970, she was named "Woman of the Year" by the Los Angeles Times. She guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1973, With hit records like "With Pen in Hand" and "It Must Be Him." There were frequent television appearances. A favorite of Johnny Carson's, she appeared more than 30 times on "The Tonight Show," even hosting on occasion. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981. Carr also achieved the rare feat of singing for five presidents during her career: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Carr had enormous success in the Latin music world, winning Grammy Awards for Best Mexican-American Performance in 1986 for her album Simplemente Mujer, Best Latin Pop Album in 1992 for Cosas del Amor and Best Mexican-American Performance in 1995 for Recuerdo a Javier Solís.[5] She also received Grammy nominations for the discs Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti (1993) and Emociones (1996). Her numerous Spanish-language hit singles include "Total", "Discúlpame", "Déjame", "Hay Otro en Tu Lugar", "Esos Hombres", "Mala Suerte" and "Cosas del Amor". "Cosas del Amor" spent more than two months at No. 1 on the US Latin charts in 1991, her biggest Spanish-language US hit. Her Spanish-language albums have been certified gold and platinum in Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador. She also voiced Georgette in the Latin American dub of Disney's Oliver & Company.

In 1999, Carr taped a PBS TV special, Vikki Carr: Memories, Memorias, in which she performed popular bilingual tunes from the 1940s and 1950s. Her guests were Pepe Aguilar, Arturo Sandoval and Jack Jones. In 2001, she released a bilingual holiday album, The Vikki Carr Christmas Album.

Carr appeared to great acclaim in a 2002 Los Angeles production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Follies, which also featured Hal Linden, Patty Duke and Harry Groener. In 2006, Carr made a cameo appearance in a straight-to-video thriller called Puerto Vallarta Squeeze. Carr hosted a PBS TV special in 2008, Fiesta Mexicana, which celebrated the music and dance of Mexico. Later that year she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy. Carr marked the occasion with an appearance on the Latin Grammy telecast in which she performed "Cosas del Amor" with Olga Tañón and Jenni Rivera.

In 2014, Vikki was invited by producer Gerry Gallagher to record with Latin rock legends El Chicano, Alphonse Mouzon, Brian Auger, Alex Ligertwood, Salvador Santana, Ray Parker Jr., Lenny Castro, Siedah Garrett, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Pete Escovedo, Peter Michael Escovedo, Jessy J, Marcos J. Reyes and David Paich, and is featured on a remake of the Latin classic "Sabor A Mi" from a 2019 Gallagher studio album. In August, she headlined a benefit in El Paso for the Walmart shooting victims of the 2019 El Paso shooting.[6]

Personal life

Carr married paint-company executive Michael Nilsson on August 20, 1979.[7] The bicultural nature of her fame has meant that she has recorded with Vicente Fernandez and Pepe Aguilar while the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were friends.[8]

Charitable work

Carr devotes time to charities including the United Way, the American Lung Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and St. Jude's Hospital. For 22 years she hosted benefit concerts to support Holy Cross of San Antonio Middle and High School in San Antonio, Texas. In 1971, she established the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation dedicated to offering college scholarships to Hispanic students in California and Texas. The foundation has awarded more than 280 scholarships totaling more than $250,000.



Year Album US 200 US Latin UK
1963 Color Her Great! - - -
1964 Discovery! 114 - -
Discovery Vol. II - - -
1965 Anatomy of Love - - - liner notes by Ethel Merman
1966 The Way of Today! - - 31
1967 Intimate Excitement - - -
It Must Be Him 12 - 12 UK release differs from US release
1968 Vikki! 63 - -
Don't Break My Pretty Balloon - - -
1969 For Once in My Life 29 - - live
1970 Nashville By Carr 111 - - recorded in Nashville
1971 The Ways to Love a Man - - -
Que Sea El - - -
Vikki Carr's Love Story 60 - -
Superstar 118 - -
1972 The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face) 146 - - Song Sung Blue in UK
En Español 106 - -
1973 Ms. America 142 - -
Live at the Greek Theatre 172 - -
1974 One Hell of a Woman 155 - -
1975 Hoy 203 - -
1976 The Story of a Woman - - - live from Japan (JP release only)
1980 Y El Amor - - -
1981 El Retrato Del Amor - - -
1982 Vikki Carr - - -
1984 A Todos - - -
1985 Simplemente Mujer - - - No. 3 US Regional MX / No. 15 US Latin Pop
1986 Promesas - - -
Esta Noche Vendras - - -
OK Mr. Tango - - - with Mariano Mores
1987 Dos Corazones (with Vicente Fernández) - - - No. 2 US Regional MX
Me Enloqueces - - -
1988 Esos Hombres - - - No. 4 US Latin Pop
1990 Set Me Free - - - several songs from Esos Hombres sung in English
1991 Cosas del Amor - - - No. 1 US Latin Pop
1992 It Must Be Him – The Best of Vikki Carr - - -
1993 Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti - - -
1994 Recuerdo a Javier Solís - 35 - No. 10 US Latin Pop
1996 Emociones - - -
1998 Con el Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán - - -
1999 Memories, Memorias - - - from the PBS TV Special
2001 The Vikki Carr Christmas Album - - -
2012 Viva La Vida - 49 - No. 16 US Latin Pop
2014 The First time ever + 9 Bonus track
Love again: The Lost Columbia Masters


1960s and 1970s

  • Years represent year of release, not necessarily the chart peak year.
Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
AUS Original Source
1962 "I'll Walk the Rest Of The Way"
b/w "Beside A Bridge (Along The River Tiber)"
- - - - - Non-album tracks
"He's A Rebel"
b/w "Be My Love"
115 102 - - 3
1963 "The Rose and Butterfly"
b/w "From Nine To Five"
- - - - -
"San Francisco"
b/w "Look Again"
- - - - - Color Her Great
"Medley: Poor Butterfly/Stay"
b/w "The Right Kind Of Man" (Non-album track)
- - - - - Discovery!
1964 "Forget You"
b/w "Her Little Heart Went To Loveland"
- - - - - It Must Be Him
1965 "Busca Ese Camino"
b/w "No Seas Asi"
- - - - - Non-album tracks
"The Color Of Love"
b/w "There Goes My Heart"
- - - - - Unforgettable
b/w "Theme From Peyton Place"
- - - - -
"I Only Have Eyes For You"
b/w "None But The Lonely Heart"
- - - - - Anatomy Of Love
1966 "The Silencers"
b/w "Santiago" (from Unforgettable)
- - - - - Non-album track
b/w "True Love's A Blessing" (Non-album track)
- - - - - Anatomy Of Love
"My Heart Reminds Me"
b/w "Can I Trust You"
- 127 31 - - The Way Of Today!
"Summer Samba (So Nice)"
b/w "It Must Be Him" (from It Must Be Him)
- - 32 - - Unforgettable
"Until Today" / - - 39 - - Non-album track
"Now I Know The Feeling" - - 28 - - Unforgettable
1967 "Sunshine"
b/w "Fly Away" (Non-album track)
- - - - - The Very Best Of Vikki Carr
"There I Go"
b/w "One More Mountain" (from It Must Be Him)
UK release only
- - - 50 - Vikki!
"It Must Be Him"
b/w "That's All" (from That's All)
3 5 1 2 1 It Must Be Him
1968 "The Lesson"
b/w "One More Mountain" (from It Must Be Him)
34 35 1 - - Vikki!
"She'll Be There" / 99 92 13 - - Don't Break My Pretty Balloon
"Your Heart is Free Just Like the Wind" 91 - 32 - -
"Don't Break My Pretty Balloon"
b/w "Nothing To Lose"
114 103 7 - -
"A Dissatisfied Man"
b/w "Happy Together" (from For Once In My Life)
- - 18 - - The Ways To Love A Man
"With Pen In Hand" 35 42 6 39 - For Once In My Life
1969 "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" - - - - - It Must Be Him
b/w "I Will Wait For Love" (Non-album track)
79 69 5 - - The Best Of Vikki Carr
1970 "Singing My Song"
b/w "Make It Rain"
- - 30 - - Nashville by Carr
"I'll Be Home"
b/w "Call My Heart Your Home"
96 117 7 - - Vikki Carr's Love Story
1971 "Six Weeks Every Summer (Christmas Every Other Year)"
b/w "If You Could Read My Mind"
- - 28 - -
"I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel for You"
b/w "I've Never Been A Woman Before" (from Vikki Carr's Love Story)
- 103 - - - Superstar
"I'd Do It All Again"
b/w "I'm Gonna Love You"
- 102 39 - -
1972 "The Big Hurt"
b/w "Cabaret" (from The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face))
108 - 31 - - Non-album track
"Grande, Grande, Grande"
b/w "Y Volvere"
- - - - - Los Exitos De Hoy Y De Siempre
"Let the Band Play On"
b/w "Reflections"
- - - - - Non-album tracks
1973 "Ms. America"
b/w "We Didn't Know The Time Of Day"
- - - - - Ms. America
"Leave A Little Room"
b/w "Have You Heard The News"
- - - - - Live At The Greek Theatre
1974 "Sleeping Between Two People"
b/w "Borrowed Time" (Non-album track)
- - - - - One Hell Of A Woman
"Wind Me Up"
b/w "One Hell of a Woman"
- - 45 - -
1975 "Hoy"
b/w "El Pajaro Herido"
- - - - - Hoy (Today)
"Puttin' Myself In Your Hands"
b/w "I Don't Want A Sometimes Man"
- - - - - Non-album tracks

1980s to the present

Year Song US Latin Original Source
1980 "Disculpame" - Y El Amor
"Abrazame" - Y El Amor
1981 "Total" - El Retrato del Amor
1982 "Todo Me Gusta de Ti" - Vikki Carr
1983 "Ya" - Vikki Carr
"Prefiero Amar un Extraño" - El Retrato del Amor
"Eso No" - El Retrato del Amor
1984 "Comprendeme" - A Todos
1985 "Ni Princesa Ni Esclava" - Simplemente Mujer
"Atrapame" - Simplemente Mujer
"Ni Me Viene Ni Me Va" - Simplemente Mujer
"Cantare, Cantaras" - Hermanos
1986 "Promesas" - Promesas
"Yo Creo en un Mundo de Amor" - OK Mr. Tango
"Esta Noche Vendras" 33 Esta Noche Vendras
"Tu Dicha, Tu Calma" - Esta Noche Vendras
"Asi es la Vida" - Esta Noche Vendras
1987 "Que No Que No" - Me Enloqueces
"Fallaste Corazon" - Me Enloqueces
"Me Parece Perfecto" - Me Enloqueces
"Dos Corazones" (duet with Vicente Fernández) 10 Dos Corazones
"Juntos los Dos" - Dos Corazones
1988 "Mala Suerte" 3 Esos Hombres
"Hay Otro en Tu Lugar" 14 Esos Hombres
"Esos Hombres" 37 Esos Hombres
1991 "Cosas del Amor" (duet with Ana Gabriel) 1 Cosas del Amor
"Me Estoy Volviendo Loca" - Cosas del Amor
"Con los Brazos Abiertos" - Cosas del Amor
1993 "Dejame" 30 Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti
"Nadie" - Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti
"Una Mujer" - Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti
1994 "Amaneci en Tus Brazos" - Recuerdo a Javier Solis
"Sombras" - Recuerdo a Javier Solis
"En Mi Viejo San Juan" - Recuerdo a Javier Solis
1996 "Emociones" - Emociones
"Que No Se Rompa la Noche" - Emociones
1998 "No Soy de Piedra" - Con El Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitan

Cultural references

  • In the Family Guy episode "Total Recall", Peter remarks, "So what? She can name a kind of car. Big whoop, I can do that, too. Vikki. Vikki Carr".
  • At a November 12, 1974 state dinner, Don Penny was dancing with Betty Ford while President Gerald Ford was dancing with Vikki Carr. Carr ask the president “what’s your favorite Mexican dish” to which he said, “you are.” Betty Ford was not amused.[9]
  • In the 1987 film Moonstruck, Cosmo is a fan of the singer, and Rose remarks "Now he's going to play that damn Vikki Carr record and when he comes to bed he won't touch me."[10]
  • In The Nanny season 2 episode "Strange Bedfellows", several nannies celebrate the retirement of Mona, played by Tyne Daly. Bemoaning how little she received after devoting her life to raising the children of other people, Mona says "you give somebody's kids the best years of your life and what do you get? A pat on the back and a couple of stinking Vikki Carr CDs."[11]
  • During the first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the credits include John Cleese saying "The final score, Pigs 9, British Bipeds 4. The Pigs go on to face Vikki Carr in the finals."[12]


  1. ^ "Famous birthdays for July 19: Brian May, Anthony Edwardsl". United Press International. July 19, 2019. Archived from the original on July 19, 2019. Retrieved August 7, 2019. Singer Vikki Carr in 1941 (age 78)
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 95. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ "How Vikki Carr's life changed after her husband's dementia diagnosis". October 12, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 217. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "How Vikki Carr's life changed after her husband's dementia diagnosis". October 12, 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  7. ^ "Marriages". Billboard. September 1, 1979. p. 72. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "How Vikki Carr's life changed after her husband's dementia diagnosis". October 12, 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  9. ^ "Don Penny - Gerald R. Ford Foundation". May 28, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Quotes from "Moonstruck"". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "YouTube". YouTube.
  12. ^ "Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)". Retrieved November 11, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 August 2020, at 09:27
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