“Sobre las Olas” (Southern Waltz #13)

by

Juventino Rosas

Over The Waves (Sobre Las Olas) is probably the best known waltz in the South and Southwest, and in tejano music. Though sometimes thought to be a Strauss waltz, “Over the Waves” was the best-known work of Juventino Rosas (1868-1894), a pure-blooded Otomi Indian from Mexico. Rosas grew up playing violin in his father’s wandering string band in Mexico City, and by the time he was 15 he was good enough to take a job with a touring opera company. After a miserable stint in the army, he returned to Mexico City to try to eke out a living writing drawing room pieces for a local publishing company.

One of these was “Sobre Las Olas,” published in 1891; though it quickly became popular and was picked up by fiddlers all along the border, Rosas himself received little tangible rewards for it. In desperation, he joined a traveling road show, and wound up in Havana, where he caught a fever and died. He was only 26. His song lived on, though; soon it was being played by early jazzmen in New Orleans and even by Italian accordion players in New York.   (from http://www.pbs.org)


Tony Russell’s Country Music Records lists 19 old time recordings of “Over the Waves” between 1921-1942.  This one has not been surpassed:

 “Over the Waves,” by the Kessinger Bros.

Feb. 4, 1929, New York, NY

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