Apr 29, 2018
Come Learn A Whole Bunch Of New Things About Charo On Her 63rd Birthday Today
Happy Birthday Charo! About ten years ago, I had a roommate who was a classically trained pianist who did not listen to modern pop music. He’d fly anywhere to hear Renee Fleming sing opera, but that was it. One day, he came home and told me he was going to go see Charo. This confused me deeply. Why on earth was the classically trained opera loving guy going to go see the “cuchi-cuchi” lady whose career peaked in the 1970s and now did television ads that, while they were delightfully self-deprecating, were just television ads of Charo playing Charo?
I wondered if it was some sort of ironic retro thing and that’s why he was going to go see her, because let’s be honest, back in the day, Charo was in everything. Literally everything. There wasn’t a talk show or skit show or “Love Boat” that didn’t have Charo in it at some point. She was on “The Carol Burnett Show.”
Trust me when I say that if you only watch one of these videos, make it this one and just wait for Burnett’s appearance.
She was on the Dean Martin Show to confuse and delight both Dino and Danny Thomas:
Television was so great when your dick jokes had to be really subtle to get past the censors.
Did I mention she was on “Love Boat”? She was always on “Love Boat,” sometimes as a performer that entertained the other guests by singing a disco-y version Love Boat Theme in fractured English.
She did a disco record — of course! — with Philadelphia’s incomparable Salsoul Orchestra, and people remix this track, “Dance A Little Bit Closer” to this day.
But for real, Charo is actually a really great musician, as my high-minded friend explained. Like a legit talented trained Spanish flamenco guitarist.
That bedazzled sparkly gold tuxedo outfit she is rocking is my new everything.
Let’s watch another one to prove that’s not a fluke, hmmmm?
Is the staging still a bit overwrought and cheesy? Yep! Would I pay a lot of money to see that in Vegas? Hell to the yep! Happy 63rd birthday, Charo aka María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza. You’re a goddamn national treasure and I never knew.