I've always loved the song, South of The Border (Jimmy Kennedy n Michael Carr) and learnt it as a child from radio broadcast. The Latin beat with its array of percussion sounds has always been the magnetic factor. The song from 1939 (I wasn't even born) became very popular early in the 1940's and remains a hit till today.
Strange that it is actually a Country and Western song from a movie, sung by our Hollywood cowboy, Gene Autry, one of the earliest silver screen wild-west stars. Because of its popularity the number has been recorded by dozens of artistes from the 50's.
These names include: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Guy Lombardo, Willie Nelson, Sim Whitman, Marty Robbins, Engelbert Humperdinck, Sam Cooke, Patsy Cline, Robbie Williams, Fats Domino, Slim Whitman, Chuck Berry, Don McLean, Frankie Laine, Chris Isaak and and many more. That's how popular the song was across countries.
The instrumental version has the 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett, orchestras of Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Nelson Riddle, Ray Coniff, Max Greger, Geoff Love, Country Minstrel and Bobby Ferres.
Then there's: Herb Alpert and His Tijuana Brass, Pablo Roterro and His Mexican Brass Boys (above) and other percussion bands. Even The Shadows and Jumping Jewels are in the game. For me I love The Jumping Jewels' version and Blue Diamonds rendition.
So depending on who sings the song and which band is playing the music, the tempo changes accordingly.
In Singapore night clubs and dance floors during the 50's, the song became a hit when patrons danced to its rousing Latin-American beat, usually a rhumba, sometimes a cha-cha and mostly a mambo.
But when a crooner goes to the microphone to sing it, the rhythm changes accordingly and dancers glide on the floor. Our boys and girls from the 60's guitar twanging time, love The Shadows version: 3 guitars and drums. Clean and neat. U.K. original.
How do you separate the United States of America from Latin-America? Even the songs the countries sing have the same roots. A strumming cowboy groovy guitar gravitates to a Mexican, mambo, maracas melody.
Evolution of song, South of The Border. Smooth and easy, without transition:
1. Country and Western
2. Latin beat
2. Jazz, Crooners
3. Guitar Instrumental
South of the Border is only one song from hundreds of Latino hits that had found its way across to Mexico from the US. And vice-versa. Now isn't that free trade where everybody wins?
Maybe time will tell. You know, like songs and its tempo, people evolve, change, transform and improve...
Thanks to video producers: Coldwink, trevycoley83, lenantais36 for the different versions of, South of The Border.