Yma Sumac dies at 86


Mesmerizing exotica singer Yma Sumac, whose voice was five octaves of fury, has ascended up that big Inca Trail in the sky. Sacrifices in her honour may be made at your local Temple of the Sun God.

Here's the L.A. Times obituary.

8 comments:

Cinebeats said...

She was amazing! I listened to her a lot last year and I was sad to see this.

Vanwall said...

She was like no other on this earth. My parents had one of her albums around the house, and she really sounded unearthly. I really like her in "Secret of Incas", the ur-Indiana Jones film with Charlton Heston - a hard film to find. If you get a chance, and the Lucas/Spielberg monster seems to have made it awful hard to see, check that film out, Yma has a spooky little time there.

swac said...

I started picking up "exotica" discs in the '80s, and never missed a chance to snap up an Yma record, often winding up with multiple copies just because I was never sure which ones I had. Those albums sound so warm and crazy, the products of some truly fevered imaginations (I'm lookin' at you Les Baxter).

Still need a copy of her '71 psychedelic album Miracles, though. I guess it came out briefly on CD as "Yma Rocks". Any leads?

swac said...

Yay, found a download of Miracles. Should be interesting...

estiv said...

Of course, her real name was Amy Camus and she was from Brooklyn. To get her stage name she just spelled her real name backward. At least, that's what my dad used to tell me. But my dad could be kind of sly sometimes.

swac said...

According to Wikipedia, there was also a rumour she was actually from Canada (part of the whole "Amy Camus" myth). I'm surprised no one ever suggested she was Yvonne DeCarlo's sister or something.

Supposedly her real name was Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo. I have no idea why she changed it.

Mika said...

She was peruvian, living in L.A.; swac was right. Last year she had a hommage in Lima, Peru, where she was received by (surprisingly younger) fans just like the popstar she was. Even the local president gave her an award.

Mika said...

errata: the hommage was held at 2006.

http://www.yma-sumac.com/PERU/peru06.htm