Entrevista con el representante de la Columbia en México (1913)

La entrevista que otorga el empresario Rafael Cabañas a la revista especializada Talking Machine World no difiere mucho de lo que hoy expresan los representantes de las cúpulas empresariales. Sin ser un empresario totalmente imbuido en la industria cinematográfica, ser presidente de una compañía de fonógrafos le da certidumbre a lo que expresa en relacion a la industria a la que pertenece y es muy probable que los empresarios del cine no fueran muy ajenos sus ideas.

Según Cabañas, el negocio ha crecido y la revolución se circunscribe a solo ciertas regiones; su percepción de la publicidad es muy moderna; termina por alabar a Huerta y justificar su gobierno. (Detesto que en inglés no exista la letra ñ; por fonética cambié todas las enes por eñes).

The Talking Machine World (Vol. IX, No. 10, Oct. 15, 1913, p. 82
The Talking Machine World (Vol. IX, No. 10, Oct. 15, 1913, p. 82)

The Talking Machine Trade in Mexico

Reviewed by Rafael Cabañas, President of the Mexican Phonograph Co., Which Handles the Columbia Line—Says Disturbances Are Confined to Few Districts and Have Been Greatly Magnified—Displays Faith In Future by Advertising “Talkers” Heavily.

Rafael Cabañas, president and general manager of the Mexican Phonograph Co., Mexico City, Mex., was a visitor for several weeks recently at the headquarters of the Columbia Gramophone Co., Woolworth building, New York. Mr. Cabañas enjoyed a ten days’ vacation at the summer home of Vice-President Burns, of the Columbia Co., at the Thousand Islands, and the rest of his time he spent in conference with the officials of the Columbia. Co. on plans and outlines for the ensuing year’s business.

The Mexican Phonograph Co., which represents Columbia products exclusively, occupies an unique position in the talking machine realm by reason of the wonderful extent of its business. Some idea of its magnitude may be gleaned from the statement of Mr. Cabanas, that it does from 65 to 70 per cent, of the entire talking machine business closed in Mexico, and the Mexican public is recognized as one of the foremost exponent of the musical qualities of the talking machine.

Rafael Cabañas, Talking Machine World, vol. IX, no. 10, Oct. 15, 1913, p. 82

Rafael Cabañas has been connected with the talking machine industry for more than twelve years, and possesses a detailed knowledge of the business. His views on conditions in Mexico arc therefore interesting.

“Our business this year has naturally suffered considerably from the ill effects of the Mexican revolutions.” stated Mr. Cabañas in a chat with The World. “At the same time, however, there is an exaggerated idea apparent in this country regarding the extent of the business losses sustained by the merchants of Mexico, and the actual loss is not nearly as great as the average American business man believes.

“The one redeeming feature of the serious Mexican revolutions is the fact that the fighting and disturbances are confined to certain parts of the country districts, and arc not by any means universal. In the sections of Mexico where the disturbances have made their presence most strongly felt we naturally do not expect to close any business! which is, of course, at a standstill. The heavy losses in these districts arc more than offset, however, by the satisfactory status of business in the sections under Government control, and when our fiscal year closed the first of July we showed a gain over the business consummated the previous year. This gain was not, of course, what we expected, nor what it would have been with normal conditions, but it affords evidence that business is not at an absolute standstill throughout Mexico.

Rafael Cabañas, Columbia Records, Talking Machine World, vol. IX, no. 10, Oct. 15, 1913, p. 82 - copia - copia
Novedoso método para anunciar la Columbia en México

“The revolutionary disturbances have, of course, retarded the expansion of our business, as the matter of credits must be carefully watched and considered during these periods of uncertainty. This is particularly true in the country districts where the troubles have been most pronounced, but we are all hoping that normal conditions will soon be enjoyed.

“Our company showed its faith in the ultimate settlement of all disturbances by continuing to advertise throughout the entire period of revolution and trouble. We have always been liberal advertisers in the Mexican newspapers, and advertising is one of my hobbies. There are three or four leading newspapers in Mexico in which our advertising can be found year in and year out, and this advertising is producing gratifying results. We also advertise regularly in a few Mexican weeklies, and in addition utilize billboards and other means of publicity which we have found of considerable value in maintaining and increasing our prestige and business. One of these publicity “stunts’ is the installation of an immense sign advertising our products in the official bull fight arena, and I may add that this sign is one of our best advertising novelties.

“From July 1 to date we have done about 60 per cent, of the business we closed during the similar period of 1912, and we have no cause to complain at this record, considering the severe handicaps to Mexican industry. Our branch offices throughout Mexico are inclined to be optimistic in their reports and the future is promising.

“The popularity of the Columbia products in Mexico is growing by leaps and bounds, and they have far out-distanced all competitors in point of sales. The Mexican records issued by the Columbia Co. have experienced a phenomenal sale, and as each new list is issued our clients’ enthusiasm regarding the prefect reproduction increases in proportion. The cheaper class of machines are at present at the height of their popularity in Mexico, but the more expensive types are gaming ground fast.

“The subject of politics is, of course, the question of the day in Mexico just now, and there are many variances of opinion. Personally I believe that President Wilson of this country is making a serious mistake in failing to suitably recognize the Huerta administration. Those acquainted with the -true conditions in Mexico fully understand that the Huerta Government has the situation in hand as well as can be possibly done under the handicaps it is proceeding under. What the Huerta Government needs most is money, and this can only be secured when the Government is recognized by the foreign countries.

“The election of President Huerta, contrary to newspaper reports, was absolutely legal. The fixed succession of officers to the Mexican Presidency was faithfully carried out and there is no question but that Huerta’s election was every bit as legal as that of Madero. This country should recognize Huerta, as by doing so it will confer a blessing on the entire populace of Mexico.”

Texto y fotos de Talking Machine World, Vol. IX, No. 10, Oct. 15, 1913, p. 82.

El cinematógrafo en el Corrido de la Cucaracha (1915)

En el cartel que reproduce la letra del Corrido de la Cucaracha existe una estrofa que menciona al cinematógrafo:

“Pero vá al Cinematógrafo,

es donde dan más barato

y allí está la Cucaracha

hasta arriba como gato.”

Corrido de La Cucaracha fue impreso por Antonio Vanegas Arroyo en 1915 en su taller de la segunda calle de Santa Teresa, número 40.

Corrido de la Cucaracha (mención del cinematógrafo)

Under the Stars and Stripes (1912)

Sobre esta cinta no mencionan nada Emilio García Riera ni Juan Felipe Leal. El primero en su obra México visto por el cine extranjero y el segundo con su lista de Películas estadounidenes de ficción de la Revolución mexicana, filmografía 1911-1921.

La sinopsis y la fotografía están en The Cinema News and Property Gazette (Vol. II, No. 16, enero 29, 1913, p. 82.)

Under the Stars and Stripes (A. K.)

Scene form Under the Stars and Stripes
Scene from Under the Stars and Stripes

On the Mexican frontier, a young American officer, Lieutenant Thompesone, makes the acquaintance of Mercedes, a Mexican girl, whose brother Paolo cordially detests him. This, however, does not prevent him from continuing his friendship with the girl, which eventually ripens into love. War puts an end to love-making at the end of some few months, and the lovers are forced to part for a time. Thompesone is called into active service, whilst Mercedes, naturally partisan with her own people, but fearful at the same time for her lover’s safety, watches for the issue of the rebellion with daily increasing anxiety. Thompesone is, as it happens, entrusted with duties requiring unusual bravery and resourcefulness. He is ordered to obtain particulars of the disposition of the forces around the Mexican base. Upon this errand the young officer departs, but, as luck has it, he is actually seen by a small number of Mexicans, amongst whom is Paolo, who decoy him to a sunken road. An attack is here made upon him, but he escapes, and takes to his heels. He is pursued, but manages to gain Mercedes’ house. He bursts in breathlessly upon the gil, who at the moment is embroidering the Mexican eagle on a large silken flag, and begs her to aid him in escaping. The girl, true to her love, conceals him beneath the folds of the flag, and when her brother and the Mexicans enter, gives them to understand that they are on the wrong track. After they have gone, she helps Thompesone to rejoin his camp, and ultimately adopts his country as her own when she becomes his wife.

La estación de radio CYL (1925)

Si bien este es un blog dedicado al cine silente, me pareció de elemental cortesías hacia los historiadores de la radio en México, subir este artículo publicado en el Radio Digest del 14 de noviembre de 1925. La estación se localizaba en Av. Juárez. Como dato curioso aparece el simpático locutar y anunciante “George Marron” quien no es otro que Jorge Marrón que con el tiempo se convertiría en Dr. IQ. Se nota la deferencia con que se refieren a Plutarco Elías Calles quien a la postre usaría la radio para fines electorales y políticos. Los comentarios sobre su bien modulada y grave voz permiten entender que la relación entre los dos países había comenzado un nuevo rumbo después del desaguisado revolucionario. La relación entre medios de comunicación y gobiernos en turno se remonta a la gestación. El nombre está bien: Raúl Azcárraga, quien fue el propietario de la estación de radio CYL. El artículo se titula Viaje pagado a los Estudios CYL de la ciudad de México

Artículo publicado en Radio Digest, Vol. XV, No. 6, pp. 7 y 12 del sábado 14 de noviembre de 1925.
Artículo publicado en Radio Digest, Vol. XV, No. 6, pp. 7 y 12 del sábado 14 de noviembre de 1925.

A Junket to the Mexico City Studios of CYL

Susan Haymes

When one dials CYL of “El Universal” and “La Casa del Radio” (The House of Radio), Mexico City, Mexico, a thrill is experienced akin to that of visiting on foreign shores; one feels, too, a keen desire for becoming better acquainted with the station that sheer nerve built on the other side of the silvery Rio Grande.

For it was in November, 1923, that CYL went on the air as the first broadcaster in  Mexico with its initial concert; this, despite a law prohibiting Radio broadcasting and reception except for governmental purposes, on account of the revolution in Mexico. Later on, ironical as it may appear, General Calles himself made his campaign for the presidency of the Republic, via CYL.

Incidentally, the voice of Calles has a rare and extraordinary quality in it; a depth and cadence that can only belong to a powerful man. The part CYL played in carrying to the people the voice of this man, his subsequent election and eminently successful reign is too well known for further elaboration on these pages.

This station was the idea of the late President Porfirio Diaz. It was designed by Raul Azcarraga, who owns and directs the station, and was built by Sandal Hodges. George Marron is the gracious and popular announcer. The cost to the Mexican government was eight million pesos. That’s something else for you to consult your banker about; ascertain just how many good American eagles that represents.

CYL is ideally situated from the standpoint of transmission, in the center of the city, facing the Garage Alameda directly in front of the famed National theater. Wonderful records have been obtained from points in North America, Central America and South America. During the transcontinental tests, this was the only station that reached Buenos Aires, London and the Berring Strait. High altitude, clarity of atmosphere, the unusually fine antenna system and standard 500-watt equipment are attributes to its success.

Acoustically perfect, the studio is artistically draped in heavy folds of rich red silk; with the dim lights of decorative floor lamps and antique candelabra, a most alluring roseate hue is lent to the surroundings. Both a piano and an organ are in evidence. Quite an interesting history is woven around this beautiful handmade organ.

The organ originally belonged to the magnificent old church, Basil de Guadalupe ; this mecca of tourists and haven of worshippers was established by the Spaniards over a century ago. But queer things happened to churches back in the fourteen stormy years of revolution and destruction, and this hand-carved, seventy-five year old instrument, with its unique engraved marquetrie of solid ebony, passed eventually into the hands of CYL. Its tone is as rich as of old, yet one idly fingers its yellowed keys with mingled emotions and thoughts of God, of love, of human sacrifices, and of man’s inhumanity to man.

The programs over CYL are varied and recipients of much praise. The Cathedral of Mexico sends a priest each Sunday at 10:30 a. m. to conduct very impressive church services. Music is broadcast each Tuesday from the Hotel Regis and from Abel’s Cabaret. On Friday nights, two-hour concerts are given. The first part consists of Mexican typical music and folk songs by well-known charro singers and senoritas, and the charro typical band. The most popular selections, beloved alike by Americans and natives. are: “La Paloma” (the Dove) and “La Golondrina,” known as the Mexican Home Sweet Home song. A real treat for the Radio fan, accustomed to box-office prices, Is the last half of the program which is given by real opera finger.

Emphasis Is placed on the better type of music always, for the Mexican is easily a musician and a lover of good music, from the president in the national palace at Chapultepec to the humble peon his little hut. And we might say right here that King Jazz doesn’t hold the sway over their hearts—and feet—as it does in the States.

CYL has played no small part in teaching students of the Spanish and Mexican languages the correct pronunciation of their softly spoken tongues. Spanish throughout the country listen regularly.

Many telegrams and cables of appreciation are received by CYL. An Innovation for confirmation to the listeners in, instead of the Ekko stamp, is their decorative genuine zarape. This blanket, in miniature, is beautifully designed in a combination of many colored yarn; often two or three days are required for the native Aztec  Indians to weave one by hand. A charge of one dollar for a size 8×14 inches is made; a smaller size may be had for fifty cents. These may be used as souvenir mats, as a decoration or framed for use as a tray. The charge is necessary on account of postage, wrapping and payment to the Indians, many of whom obtain their meager livelihood by handweaving. Those desirous of obtaining these original zarapes may send remittance to Radio CYL, Juarez No. 62, Mexico City, Mexico.

Through arrangements made with stations in the United States, it is expected to increase the number of listeners to CYL during the coming winter season.

Radio Digest, Vol. XV, No. 6, Nov. 14, 1925, p. 7 & 12.

El gobierno mexicano prohíbe película

Tomado de The Motion Picture News, vol. IX, no. 1, enero 10, 1914, p. 46:

Mexican government bans film. Motion Picture News. Jan. 10, 1914, p. 46El gobierno mexicano prohíbe película

La oficina de la Mutual Film Corporation en Dallas, Texas, ha estado reflexionando por algún tiempo la razón por la cual hay tanta demanda por rentar The Battle of Gettysburg (La batalla de Gettysburg) en un México agobiado por la guerra. La respuesta se filtró cuando la oficina de Nueva York de la New York Motion Picture Corporation recibió una notificación oficial del gobierno mexicano donde éste tomaría acciones para apoderarse y confiscar los cinco rollos del “drama cinematográfico”, como ellos lo llamaron, The Battle of Gettysburg, la siguiente vez que entrara el país.

Parece ser que los agentes de Carranza estaban rentando el filme y cada vez que lo hacían, contrabandeaban a México dos ametralladoras y doce rifles. Embaucaban a los oficiales de los Estados Unidos en la frontera declarando que eran para exponerlas en los vestíbulos de los teatros.

 &    &    &    &    &    &    &     &    & 

Recordemos que para enero de 1914, el gobierno está en manos de Victoriano Huerta y Venustiano Carranza lo enfrenta desde el norte del país. Más que censurar la cinta el gobierno huertista pretende evitar el contrabando de armas.