The Clue

French Elvis Originals fan, Philippe Spard sent me the following email:

Hola David,

Un internaute anglais m'a envoyé cette info sur YT :

La mélodie de Tulips And Heather a été reprise en 1958 dans le film Les Bravados.

On peut écouter le début sur ce site. C'est le morceau 17.

 Je n'ai trouvé rien d'autre sur le net à propos de Carmela. La bande son est sortie 43 ans après le film !!!


So, the tune known as Tulips And Heather was used in the 1958 film, The Bravados, and could be heard at the given page. It's a beautiful guitar rendition of the tune, but Philippe was unable to discover anything about Carmela, the name given to the track.

Well, there really wasn't much information there, so I thought I'd search for Carmela and returned an All Music Guide page listing the same soundtrack, but attributing the tune to "Spanish traditional," but eventually I came across a link to an iTunes listing for the soundtrack album of Lost Worlds and there was Carmela listed as a "Mexican traditional," and sung with a new set of words. After a few more unsuccessful searches, I tried the search terms, "carmela mexican traditional song." At the top of the list was a YouTube number called Carmen Carmela, sung by Carmen Prietto. That was the same song, so now I had what looked like the full title. A quick YouTube search for Carmen Carmela revealed that it was not an obscure number at all: there were numerous interpretations of it! Perhaps the finest of these is by Rosa Ponselle.

Back in Google, use of the full search term "carmen carmela" eventually led me to the Edison Phonographic Monthly of 1907 and eventually even further back in time.

© David Neale 2020