Blanca Rosa Gil
This Cuban torch-singer has one of those rare voices that's at once tremendously seductive and frightening. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, Blanca Rosa Gil sings romantic boleros with quiet, quivering passion. She also lets loose half-screams of spurned outrage, depending on which is appropriate for the song. Making her mark in Cuban cabarets in the '50s, Gil performed with a Mambo orchestra that played melodramatic songs with great horn arrangements. Before the Cuban revolution she relocated to Mexico and never returned to her homeland. Her recordings stand as a testament to the musical integrity of a bygone age, while her assertiveness stands in contrast to the nostalgic image of the obsequious female singer. Although some of her contemporaries had long, visible careers, much of Blanca Rosa Gil's later life remains a mystery.