Google Doodle is once again honoring an important Latinx figure. This time the unique and temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepages commemorates Mexican composer María Grever for her 1938 hit “Ti-Pi-Tin.” Born María Joaquina de la Portilla Torres in León, the most populous city and municipality in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, Grever discovered her passion for music at an early age.
According to The New York Times, she convinced her father to hire composers Claude Debussy and Franz Lehár as tutors after writing a holiday carol when she was only four years old.
Later, at the age of 18, she wrote her first song, “A Una Ola” (To a Wave), selling three million copies. In 1920 she started working as a film composer for Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox studios, becoming the first female Mexican composer to achieve international acclaim.
As informed by Google Doodle, “Grever spent a lifetime producing hundreds of songs that went on to be covered by some of the world’s most famous artists, like Placido Domingo, Aretha Franklin, and Frank Sinatra.”
Although Graver is best known for “What A Difference A Day Makes” (originally “Cuando vuelva a tu lado,”), a pop, vocal jazz song popularized by Dinah Washington, she wrote more than 1000 pieces, mostly boleros. Her first international hit was ”Júrame” (Promise, Me), a habanera-bolero interpreted by tenor José Mojica, among other hits such as “Volveré” (I Will Return); “Te quiero dijiste” (I love you, you said), “Cuando vuelva a tu lado,” and more.
“My family once insisted that I must rest,” she said to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, according to Newsweek. “I tried. I remained in bed. Then my blood pressure went up. The doctor said: ‘Let her get up and work, and she will be well again.’”
After living in Mexico and Spain, when she was 22-year-old, she married Leo A. Grever, an American oil company executive, and moved to New York City. “I had to leave my country, and now in New York, I am interested in Jazz and Modern Rhythms, but above all, in Mexican Music, which I long to present to the American people,” she said, according to the book, “María Grever: Poeta Y Compositora,” written by Maria Luisa Rodriguez-Lee.
“I am afraid they don’t know much about it. It is music worth spreading; there is such a cultural richness in Mexican Music (its Hispanic and indigenous origins and how they mix) where melody and rhythm merge. It is my wish and yearning to present the native rhythms and tunes (of Mexico) from a real perspective, but with the necessary flexibility to appeal to the universal audience,” she continued.
“Thanks for all the music María Grever; it continues to strike a chord with listeners around the world today!” Google Doodle said.