Who is Vikki Carr?
Vikki Carr is a Texan-born American singer, who achieved her only Top 10 hit single “It Must Be Him” in 1967. But she has been most successful with her Spanish-language songs among Latin audiences, with her albums such as Simplemente Mujer, Cossa del Amor, Recuerdo a Javier Solis, Brindo A la Vida, Al Bolera, A Ti, Emociones becoming Grammy-winning best sellers. Her only Billboard Latin #1 hit is 1991’s “Cosas Del Amor”, a duet with Mexican signer Ana Gabriel (its album, also of the same title, was Carr’s most successful Spanish-language album, reaching #1 on the Latin pop album chart). Carr is also actively engaged in charitable and humanitarian work, devoting herself to such foundations as the American Lung Association. She’s been lending her talents for charitable causes, having held benefit performances for the Holy Cross High School in San Antonio, Texas for more than two decades.
Vikki Carr was born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona in El Paso, Texas on July 19, 1941. Carr followed her path and passion in music early in her life by playing in different school events and local bands. She also became a member of Pepe Callahan’s band. In terms of Carr’s recording career, she got her first recording contract with Liberty Records in 1962. That same year she achieved her first single “He’s a Rebel” that was just a very, very minor chart placer in her home country, but in Australia it peaked as high as #5 on its national charts. This led her to a scattering of TV appearances including a short-lived stint as a regular on trumpeter/bandleader Ray Anthony’s variety show.
In the following years Carr managed to place several Top 40 hits on the easy listening chart including “My Heart Reminds Me,” “Now I Know the Feeling,” “So Nice (Summer Samba)” and “Until Today” — all of them occurring in 1966.
Biggest hit with “It Must Be Him”
Carr at last finally achieved the near-top of the Billboard Hot 100 via her single “It Must Be Him,” written by Gilbert Becaud and Mack David. It also appeared on her seventh LP of the same title. “It Must Be Him” reached #3 on pop charts, and #1 on the adult contemporary singles chart in 1967. The single was a big hit in the United Kingdom a well, almost topping the national chart at #2. The single’s album It Must Be Him peaked at #12 on both US and UK singles charts.
Later in 1967 Carr managed to scrape another hit with “The Lesson” (from her album Vikki!) which placed at #34 on the Hot 100 and #1 again on the easy listening chart. In 1969 she achieved her last Top 40 hit to date via the single “With Pen in Hand” (from the album For Once in My Life) which peaked at #42. It also went to #6 on the easy listening chart.
Carr’s success with Spanish-language recordings for the Latino audience
In the beginning of the 1970s Vikki Carr’s impact on the American sales began to ebb. However, there was another shining light that would resurrect her singing career — the Latin American market. Carr began to record and release some Spanish-language songs sometime in the 1970s. But it was in the 1980s where Carr’s Latino music career really began to flourish steadily, and since that era she has been recording purely Spanish-language albums and singles.
Carr placed many hits on the US Billboard Latin charts including “Dos Corazones” (a duet with Mexican singer Vicente Fernande; a #10 hit there), “Mala Suerte” (at #3), and her chart-topping single “Cosas del Amor,” a duet with Mexican singer Ana Gabriel. It was Carr’s only #1 hit on any charts. “Cosas del Amor” was also the title track of Carr’s 1991 album, which also went to #1 on the Latin album charts and eventually won a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album.
Her last album to date was 2012’s Viva La Vida which peaked at #49 on the US Latin pop album chart.
Activities outside music
Vikki Carr has become a respected figure not only in the music industry but also in the world of charitable and humanitarian works. She has devoted her time, resources and energies into various charitable organizations such as the United Way, the American Lung Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Organization and many others. She also established her own foundation that offers college scholarships to Hispanic students in particular.