Chanson Du Jour: “It Must Be Him”

Chanson Du Jour 10/17/206 Vikki Carr: “Que sea él” (It Must Be Him)

I’ve always loved the hilariously desperate song “It Must Be Him” performed by Vikki Carr. The song sold over 1 million copies in 1967 and millions more since.

Vikki Carr remains a very under-appreciated vocalist, one who gets unfairly lumped-in with her white bread contemporaries dominating that woeful/golden era of 1960s MOR (Middle of the Road) radio. rambler_wlkw

On trips in the Stevenson family station wagon, my dad would play this musical spam on the car radio, punching in the dreaded WLKW button, while we kids in the back seat begged for DJ Joe Thomas playing Beatles, Beach Boys and Motown on WICE. But alas – this was elevator music without doors that open and let you out.

It was in the back seat of the Pontiac Tempest, that I learned Vicki Carr sang ‘grown-up” music that I actually liked. Eventually I saw her perform on TV with Merv, Johnny and Mike, where she was always beautiful, charming, and singing brilliantly. Still later, I became the odd used record customer who purchased both Vikki’s Greatest Hits album AND Moby Grape’s groovy debut (sans “flipping the bird”) while shopping at In Your Ear. Has anyone else ever purchased these two records together? No? Hooray for me.

Born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona before opting for the anglicized stage name, Vikki Carr eventually enjoyed great success in the Latin music world, winning Grammy Awards for Best Mexican-American Performance in 1986.

This version of her hit song “It Must Be Him” is performed in Spanish, but the original song was sung in neither English nor Spanish, but in French – a reworking of Gilbert Becaud’s “Seul Sur Son Etoile.”

In 1971, she established the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation, dedicated to offering college scholarships to Hispanic students in California and Texas. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than 280 scholarships totaling over a quarter of a million dollars.

Such a lovely woman.

Though the lyrics to this song are quite dated (“Hello? Hello?…my dear God!”) when this tune is performed, let it not be sung by Jerry Vale, Jack Jones or Edie Gorme. Let it please be Vikki Carr!

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