Band leader Edmundo Ros dies, 100

 
Edmundo Ros in 1949 Edmundo Ros introduced Latin beats to UK audiences

Band leader Edmundo Ros, the man credited with popularising Latin American music in the UK, has died at the age of 100.

His death was confirmed by showbusiness charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.

Secretary John Adrian said: "He died last night peacefully at his home in Spain, two months short of his 101st birthday".

Ros received an OBE for services to entertainment in the New Year Honours of 2000.

Royal rumba success

According to the Official Edmundo Ros Website, he was born in Trinidad in December 1910.

The family moved to Caracas, Venezuela, and he became the tympanist in the Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

By 1937 he had moved to London to continue his classical studies, but instead became involved in popular music, forming his own five-piece Rumba Band in 1940 and making his first recording, for Parlophone, in 1941.

His performances at the Bagatelle Restaurant in London attracted the Royal Family and celebrities of the day, sealing his success.

Start Quote

He was a major figure, one of the biggest names.”

End Quote John Adrian Grand Order of Wat Rats

The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, danced her first dance in public to his music. In later years he and his orchestra were often invited to play at Buckingham Palace.

In 1951 he bought the Coconut Grove and named it the Edmundo Ros Dinner and Supper Club. Only those mentioned in Who's Who were allowed club membership, the website claims.

The band grew and was renamed Edmundo Ros and his Orchestra, selling millions of records.

Among his most popular songs were Yellow Bird and The Coffee Song, containing the lyric: "They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil."

During the 1950s and 1960s the Ros orchestra appeared frequently on BBC Radio, but in 1975 he disbanded the orchestra, destroying most of its arrangement sheets.

Albums with his band and orchestra included Chocolate Whiskey & Vanilla Gin, and Broadway goes Latin and Hollywood Cha Cha Cha.

In his retirement, he lived with his wife Susan in Alicante, Spain.

"He was a major figure, one of the biggest names", Mr Adrian said.

"When you get to 100 you stop working. He retired in 1975, but between '39 and '75 he was a big, big name, had his own club in London and played around the world.

"His discography is massive. He was the one who really popularised Latin American music in this country."

 

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 49.

    I grew up with Ros, and collected his records for many years. His sig tune "Cancion Cubana", dates from around 1945, and that output on Decca, from about 1944 till 1954, was the most popular, and best remembered, of his work. "Good good good" and "Come closer to me" were other favourites.("Wedding Samba" is actually adapted from an old Yiddish folk tune, but he made it his own.).

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 48.

    Edmundo Ros lead one of the many Latin Bands of that era. As a young man I listened to him often on the radio. In 1962 there was also a TV series of his orchestra and dancers.
    For so many people "The Wedding Samba" was probably the most well known, I personally also liked "What do you do on a rainy night in Rio"
    A legend in his own right, and will be remembered by many for years to come.
    RIP.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 47.

    I'm humming Yellow bird as I type, it was a favourite song as a child as my gran had a canary and I was convinced the song was about that. Thankyou for happy memories

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 46.

    Apart from some wonderful radio programmes I remember watching Edmundo on black and white late night television in the 1960's. He was a truly great performer who obviously loved his music - as I recall he was always smiling. I am so glad he had a peaceful end to his life. Thank you Edmundo for making life that little bit more enjoyable. God Bless.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 45.

    He was very much part of my childhood radio listening in the 1950s - I remember his greeting, 'Hello, hello!' And, yes, rscrit is right: Edmundo Ros never had any connection with the Goon Show - this was Ray Ellington. The other Goon Show regular musician was the Dutch harmonica player Max 'Conks' Geldray.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 44.

    FleetJackHobbs I think this was Ray Ellington not Edmundo Ros

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 43.

    I've skipped through all the posts, albeit quickly, but find no reference to the part he played in "The Goon Show," where he not only entertained with his music group, but often joined in the goonery to wonderful comic effect. - Who could forget Ned Seagoon crying, "Gladys!" - to which Edmundo, in an impossibly low voice, simply replied, "Yes?" - and brought the house down!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 42.

    I watched Edmundo on the box. A true entertainer who brought that special Latin -American flavour into so many peoples lives. RiP

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 41.

    I danced to his orchestra and music 1949 at London and if I recall correctly it was at the Hammersmith Pally (I think that was what the place was called). Interestingly, I still dance today but, sadly, no longer to those large strict-tempo bands; those were the days! Fond memories. Have a good spiritual journey Ros.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 40.

    I am only familiar with one Ros track - a camp latino / easy listening version of The Doors' "Light My Fire". And very good it is too.

    RIP Edmundo.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 39.

    I well remember Edmundo Ross's music on the radio. He introduced me to latin rhythms and still today I love them. He was a great entertainer too. I also remember a joke about him being Irish, his real name being Edmund O'Ross.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 38.

    Sad but to be fair not a bad innings for a talented and greatly missed bandleader.
    Bon voyage !

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 37.

    He spent most of his last years in the old peoples home in the village where I live here in Spain. I last saw him a sitting outside in the shade, at peace with the world.
    I remember him well from the radio of my youth, being one of my father's favourites.
    Normally when someone dies in the village, the bell tolls, but I haven't heard them. Not exactly his rhythm.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 36.

    Another who grew up listening to Edmundo Ros - one of the only 'LP's in our family collection. A round of 'Everyone loves Saturday night' or 'take a trip to the Virgin Islands' still gets me through the washing-up. I can't remember all the words but Edmundo's rhythm and zest made the tunes stick! Wonderful to know that his energy lasted into his one hundred and first year!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 35.

    Lovely man, credit to his home country, always optimistic and happy. It's a shame he's no longer with us. I bet God's doing a Samba right now

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 34.

    What a wonderful man he was.And to live to nearly 101. His music was always happy, full of excitement, rhythmic, fun and GOOD. I remember the 1950s with him on the Light Programme. Sad day.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 33.

    Edmundo Ross's music is great, still have it; fancy Steve Butten having those memories (below where I am typing) - great, great bandleader - my thoughts are with his family. I will keep his music til I am no longer on this earth.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 32.

    I always remember him signing on: "Edmunnnndo Ross." A vivd 50's memory alongside Billy Cotton, Ted Heath and Victor Sylvester. Pre-TV and pre-Beatles radio days.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 31.

    I grew up listerning to Edmundo Ros in 40's & 50's. Loved his music, always so happy and he was so popular. Will surely be missed.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 30.

    A great character..........
    Listening to him on the wireless in the old days, I remember his "count ins" to his orchestra...... " A Threeeee a Four"!

 

Page 1 of 3

 

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.