Luis Mendoza

Real name: Bottini, Luis Alberto Elías
Singer and composer
(20 July 1911 - 5 November 1997)
Place of birth:
Montevideo Uruguay
Abel Palermo

e was born in the neighborhood La Unión of the city of Montevideo, Uruguay. When he was a teenager he began to appear at festivals and musical reunions until he was member of several vocal duets. Vocal duos were much in vogue at that time in Uruguay.

He was part of the Marotta group and later he joined the consecrated Los Fitipaldi until he joined the Troupe Los Trovadores. They were a certain kind of shows that were performed during the carnival celebrations in Montevideo. Out of these troupes, even nowadays, important actors, singers, and musicians with an outstanding career on both banks of the River Plate appeared.

Thereafter he made his debut as soloist on Radio América of Uruguay in a program which featured the female singer Amanda Ledesma. The latter, after hearing him sing, invited him to appear in Buenos Aires.

And so it was and, by her recommendation, he made his performing debut on Radio Stentor, under the name Luis Botín and accompanied by a trio led by the pianist José Tinelli.

The following year he joined the outfit fronted by Francisco Lauro whose lead bandoneonist was the young Juan Sánchez Gorio. The latter, as from the 40s, would be much important in Luis’s show business career.

In 1938, a bit more famous, he was summoned by Tinelli whose vocalist Rodolfo Martínez had just quit. Luis shared the vocals with the excellent female singer Chola Bosh, the bandleader’s wife. Parallely he appeared as soloist on LS10 Radio Callao.

With this orchestra he made his debut on record, cutting the tango “El embrujo de tu violín”, a duet with Chola Bosh, and on the other side of the record, the milonga composed by Tinelli with lyrics by Carlos Marín, “Milonga nueva”. These numbers were included in the movie El Sobretodo de Céspedes in which Tinelli was in charge of the music.

In 1940, Sánchez Gorio took over the leadership of the Orchestra Los Mendocinos, made some changes of personnel and wrote the charts. This was his first orchestra. He sumonned Mario Landi and Luis as vocalists. The latter, since then, was known as Luis Mendoza.

Then a brilliant and successful period started with appearances on Radio Belgrano and Splendid, at night venues and, especially, at neighborhood clubs whose audience, mainly families, would be their following.

Regrettably, the recording companies ignored them. They were only requested as from the mid- 1944 and they committed to record “Oriente”, with music by Sánchez Gorio and words by Horacio Sanguinetti and, on the other side the successful zamba “Claveles mendocinos”.

In 1948, the singer Jorge Linares, who had been with Pedro Laurenz before, joined them and later Osvaldo Bazán did it. With the latter Luis began a stage of memorable duos which began with the recording of the waltz “Comodoro Rivadavia” composed by Mendoza himself with lyrics by Reinaldo Yiso.

In 1952, the definitive consecration of the orchestra took place and the singer would achieve a smash hit with the tango “Gitana rusa”.

Because of the successful record the recording company published a series of important releases, among which we highlight: the milonga written by the comic actor Ubaldo Martínez, “Cosas de borrachos”, the tango “Levantá la frente”, new renderings of “Oriente” and “Claveles mendocinos” and, as a duo with Bazán, the beautiful waltz by Hilario Cuadros “La monjita”.

In 1959, after 18 years of working together, Juan Sánchez Gorio and Luis Mendoza friendly broke up. The singer continued his career as soloist, touring extensively the interior of the country, Uruguay, and Central America until his performances were declining.

He was an important example of the Magaldian style, either for his repertory or for his style. He also is worth mentioning as composer. Besides the waltz abovementioned he wrote “El santo de la espada”, “Gran cantor”, “Otro disco en la fonola” and “Déjame que te bese” which were recorded by other singers.