Say That We Will Never Part

The song ‘Maria Elena’ was written by Lorenzo Barcelata Castro and the English lyrics are by Bob Russell.  Barcelata’s most famous song is ‘María Elena’ which was written in 1936.  It was originally written for the First Lady of Mexico María Elena Peralta, the wife of President Emilio Cándido Portes Gil.  Maria was sister of famous businessman Alejo Peralta and the aunt of Carlos Peralta, the son of Alejo.  Gil had been an early benefactor of Barcelata when he was governor of Tamaulipas.  I like this song and it sounds just as good in Spanish as it does in English.

The music was first heard in the U.S. as a background theme in the 1935 film Bordertown, starring Paul Muni and Bette Davis, a year before the Mexican film María Elena was released.  In 1941, Lawrence Welk introduced the tune in the United States on his radio program and it became one of the Great Love Songs Of The 40’s.  That was followed by a version recorded by Jimmy Dorsey orchestra with Bob Eberly doing the vocals.  Dorsey’s single topped the Billboard chart the week of June 14, 1941, and occupied pole position for two non-consecutive weeks.  The flip side of this record was ‘Green Eyes’ which was also a #1 hit.  The record stayed on the charts for 17 weeks. A competing version by Wayne King was No. 2 the week of June 14, runner-up only to the Dorsey version.  A vocal version by Tony Pastor also reached the top 10, peaking at No. 9 the week of June 28.

Lawrence Welk was a band leader whose folksy charm and bubbly brand of “Champagne music” shaped one of the longest-running shows in television history.  From 1955 to 1982 in the era of rock and roll this show was known as the “television show that time forgot.”  Welk completely retired from all public appearances in 1992 at the age of 89.  He died on May 17 succumbing to pneumonia in his Santa Monica apartment, surrounded by his family.

Jerry Vale an American singer was born as Gennaro Luigi Vitaliano on July 8, 1932, in the Bronx, New York.  Jerry Vale was a pop crooner known for his velvety voice and the classic love songs that he recorded in the 1950s and early 1960s.  He popularized Italian romantic songs and in 1963 Jerry Vale released ‘Maria Elena’ on his album The Language of Love.  Jerry Vale died of natural causes in his sleep on May 18, 2014, at his home in Palm Desert, CA, at the age of 83.

Maria Elena you’re the answer to a prayer,
Maria Elena can’t you see how much I care,
To me your voice is like the echo of a sigh,
And when you’re near my heart,
Can’t speak above a sigh,
Maria Elena say that we will never part,
Maria Elena take me to your heart,
A love like mine is great enough for two,
To share this love is really all,
I ask of you..
Maria Elena say that we will never part,
Maria Elena take me to your heart,
A love like mine is great enough for two,
To share this love is really all,
I ask of you.

4 thoughts on “Say That We Will Never Part

  1. I was going to say that was the first generation we observed living really long lives, so they had the influence to keep the show going. I decided to “look it up” — “In 1900, the life expectancy was just 46-48 years. Between 1980 and 2010, life expectancy at birth in the United States increased from 70 to 76 years for males and from 77 to 81 years for females, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” I found that at a Catholic website. Seems to me people were already living that long. I think the statistic must be for the whole world, and people in the U.S. have lived longer earlier. I don’t remember the songs you have here, but I enjoyed Italian love songs… as well as Italian styled singers singing in English. Incidentally, I gained an Italian uncle when I was maybe ten or so (while I had already liked the music before that). His favorite song was Ave Maria, not exactly Italian. He was not one of the people in my family who lived an exceptionally long life.

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