Te quiero dijiste (María Grever) — aka “Muñequita linda” (cute little doll), from the lyric
IMDb dates the composition 1929. In 1944, the song was used with the original Spanish lyric in the Esther Williams film Bathing Beauty, performed by Carlos Ramírez with the Xavier Cugat Orchestra. With an English lyric written by Charles Pasquale, the song acquired the second title, “Magic is the Moonlight.” According to IMDb, in addition to the Cugat and Ramírez performance, the song was played during the opening credits, whistled by Red Skelton, and appeared often in the score. It’s not clear to me whether the English lyric was used in the film at all, though the sheet music cover below suggests that the English lyric was published or republished around the time the film was released.
Selected recordings and live performances:
Alfonso Ortiz Tirado — 1930
Rosita Serrano — The “Chilean Nightingale” — 1938
Excepts from the Wikipedia profile,
Rosita Serrano…was a Chilean singer who had her biggest success in Nazi Germany between the 1930s and the early 1940s. Because of her bell-like voice and pitch-perfect whistling she received the nickname Chilenische Nachtigall (Chilean Nightingale).
Her voice style was mainly operatic coloratura soprano with a deep, fast vibrato. She added frequent embellishments such as soaring arpeggiation and melisma. Some songs were recorded with a few words whispered or spoken, and she occasionally emphasized words with a gritty, growling jazz style reminiscent of African-American blues singer Ethel Waters. She was a pitch-perfect whistler in the manner of Bing Crosby. The songs she recorded in German and Spanish varied from folk to pop, including flamenco, rumba, tango and mambo. [read more]
Carlos Ramírez with The Xavier Cugat Orchestra — in the film Bathing Beauty (1944)
Jane Powell — “Magic is the Moonlight” (m. María Grever, w. Charles Pasquale) — from the musical comedy film Nancy Goes to Rio (1950)
Los Panchos with Raúl Shaw Moreno — c. 1951
Adapted from the Wikipedia article on Los Panchos (aka Trío Los Panchos):
Los Panchos first met in 1944 in New York City. The three original members were Alfredo Gil and Chucho Navarro, both from Mexico, and Hernándo Avilés from Puerto Rico. All three played guitar and contributed vocally. Los Panchos reached fame with their romantic songs, especially in Latin America where they are still regarded as one of the top trios of all time. They also appeared in around fifty movies mostly during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema.
From the Wikipedia (Spanish) profile of Raúl Shaw Moreno, poorly translated:
In 1951, in Santiago de Chile, Hernando Aviles, first voice of Trio Los Panchos left the band in full continental tour due to his frequent disputes with Alfredo Gil.In these circumstances, Alfredo Gil and Chucho Navarro travel to Bolivia, with the urgency of finding a replacement for Avilés, in order to continue the tour. It is in these circumstances that, in the month of November 1952, Raúl Shaw Moreno auditioned for the two remaining members of Los Panchos , Chucho Navarro and Alfredo Gil . In a room of Sucre Palace Hotel, Magaly singing for them, being accepted to [immediately] replace Hernando Aviles . His debut as lead vocalist of Los Panchos comes at a recital A broadcast, as used in those years, in the Auditorium of Radio Minería in Santiago de Chile.
Józefa Mazurkiewicza — 1955 instrumental, under the title “Mucho…Mucho…”
The introductory verse section, which is so integral to the early recordings by Tirado (1930), and Serrano (1938) that it is repeated once in each case, before the chorus begins, is entirely omitted here. The verse section is also absent from Nat King Cole’s 1958 recording, and the versions by Gloria Lasso (1960), and Martin Denny (1961).
Recording presently unavailable
Nat King Cole — originally released on the 1958 LP Cole Español. According to AllMusic.com, nine of the album’s eleven backing tracks, including this one, were recorded by conductor Armando Romeu, Jr., in Havana, Cuba, in February 1958, with Cole adding his vocals in Hollywood in June of that year. He learned the lyrics phonetically.
Javier Solís – from the Columbia label 1960 LP En New York (ES 1728)
Gloria Lasso accomp. Orquesta Dir. Paul Fersen — from the EP Baile Con Gloria Lasso — Aquellos Ojos Verdes (Spain), 1960
Martin Denny — by the “Father of Exotica” — from his 1961 LP Romantica
Los Índios Tabajaras — from their 1964 album Always in My Heart
Xiomara Alfaro — date unknown
Fernando de la Mora — recorded c. 1990 — De la Mora is Mexican operatic tenor who began his music education in the National Conservatory of Mexico and studied with Leticia Velázquez and Rosa Rimoch. He made his debut in Jalapa with Madama Butterfly in 1986 (Wikipedia).
The Three Tenors — Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti in concert at Dodger Stadium, 16 July 1994; available on The Three Tenors in Concert 1994 DVD
Adapted from the product description at cduniverse.com:
A reunion of tenors Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, and Plácido Domingo, at Soccer’s World Cup. The three great opera stars…come back for a glorious reunion at Dodger Stadium on July 16, 1994, accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus.
Coro de Niños Cantores del Centro Histórico — arrangement and direction: Agustín Carmona Galván, piano: Linda Caudillo — XXVI Festival de México (Ciudad de México), Marzo 2010