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The name game
Hello, and congratulations on the Yma Sumac site. Nice job!

I first discovered Yma Sumac on vinyl in a used record bin in Montreal, and was soon "informed" about the Amy Camus story. In Canada, this story has a different twist. Jewish housewife from Brooklyn? Since when is Camus a Jewish name! It's French, for heaven's sake!

Anyway, we Canucks are partial to the legend that Yma Sumac is Amy Camus, daughter of the great French existentialist writer Albert Camus (author of L'etranger, La Peste, etc.) After her father's death, Amy is supposed to have come to Montreal, which, for a Francophone, is a good idea. The Peruvian business was a publicity gimmick, as the story goes, and obviously, a successful one, as the story goes.

Canadians are so used to having our famous exports go unrecognised as Canadians (see Niel Young, Joni Mitchell, Dan Ackroyd, Sarah McLachlan, etc etc) that we have become fanatical about claiming ownership- to the point, perhaps, where we are taking credit for a little too much!

Anyway, this version of events goes a long way toward explaining Yma Sumac's special popularity in Montreal, and of course, her recent performances at the Jazz Festival there only add fuel to the rumours.

Keep up the good work!
posted by Archive Entry on Thursday, December 3rd, 1998 at 7:46:00 AM

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The name game
I've heard just about every Amy Camus twist there is including the "Montreal Connection." There are so many that I could probably make a good-size document of them alone! Yma Sumac is from Peru without question. We have Walter Winchell to thank for propagating the "rumor" that started as an innocent joke, on his radio show where he stated it as though it were fact. It's funny how people, even intellegent ones, prefer to believe jokes and rumors over the truth. It explains a lot.
response posted by Archive Entry on Monday, December 7th, 1998 at 2:26:00 AM
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