YMA SUMAC DEAD

Published on: November 3, 2008
YMA SUMAC DEAD

Yma Sumac, singing sensation of 1950s and actress gone at 86.

Yma, who hailed from Peru claimed to be descendant of an Incan emperor and hyped her exotic South American beauty.

Dubbed the Nightingale of the Andes and The Peruvian Songbird, Sumac's warbling spanned three octaves.  Her flamboyant outfits, as befitting an Incan princess, out-dazzled even the glitter of Liberace.

Her debut album Voice of the Xtabay sold over a half million for Capitol, launching her onto Carnegie Hall stages and into the movies such as Secret of the Incas with Charlton Heston and Omar Khayyam

Her American fame would fade during the 1969s but remained an international favorite among cult, lounge and alternative devotees. One of her songs is on the soundtrack of The Big Lebowski.

"She is five singers in one," Yma's first husband Moises Vivanco told press in 1951.

"Never in 2,000 years has there been another voice like hers."