Songs By Ruben Tagalog
Ruben Tagalog Songs By Ruben Tagalog 10" (Villar, 195?)
Here is another record from the Philippines, one that is much earlier and way different musically than "Anak" by Freddie Aguilar. This one is by Ruben Tagalog, a movie star and singer. He started his career as an entertainer in 1934 at the age of twelve when he and his two sisters set down in Manila as the Wanderers Trio. Occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese during World War II broke up the group, but Ruben kept singing, building a fine career making records and movies.
One of Ruben's groups is called the Mabuhay Singers, which might be a name familiar to those of you who scour thrift stores. Mabuhay Singers records surface from time to time and they are always cheap. Most record fiends have bought at least one, only to be disappointed. I've been burned on enough of them (and other Filipino records) that I swore off anything that originated from those islands (something I am reconsidering since scoring the Aguilar and then this).
Aside from the language, there is nothing remotely Filipino about this Ruben Tagalog record. It sounds like a very nice lounge record with a very nice baritone and a hint of exotica. It has a sound that is dated enough to be romantic. Close your eyes and imagine people dancing to this and then realize that they'd be dead by now. It is really music from a different world.