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November 03, 2008



aw man, i was a fan, so i feel bad i thought she was already dead.
also, the conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe the Amy Camus bit for some reason.


In the summer of 1992, my roommate and I went to see Yma Sumac perform at Club Cafe in Boston. He brought flowers, and after passing them to her onstage, we were invited back to her dressing room to meet her. One thing I clearly remember was as she was holding court, signing autographs and such, her huge bra was draped over the back of her chair. I still have the signed program from that night and a great memory.


I first heard Yma Sumac on Greasy Kid Stuff.

Go figure.

st vincent

I am sad to hear that Yma has left. Another of the greats passes on.

"Legend of The Sun Virgin" and "Voice of the Xtabay" are both classic, two of my desert island picks. It's great to play Yma for my musician friends... her stunning range has lifted many an eyebrow. She's often served as essential listening for long road trips, especially at night.

I'd love to hear her psychedelic album! Has anyone done a re-issue on CD?


Very sad to see this. I saw her twice in NYC in the mid 1980s as she made a comeback. She was amazing and still could hit the high notes. Her music is brilliant and I still listen to it..


RIP Yma Sumac!

I own the "psych album. It's kinda really heavy rock with her vocals, a little on in years. It's a bit awkward honestly, and you could tell that people unfamiliar with rock as a genre were doing a cash-in album. More of an oddity. Of course this is still better than Top 40!

Also, Eisenhower didn't take office until 1953. I think you meant Truman.


I'd love to hear her psychedelic album also! didn't know there was one!? perhaps it will be re-issued in short order...


you can click on the link to 'the last recording she made in 71' and that will take you to a blog that features that recording, "Miracles". When I say 'Eisenhower America" it is a term often used to suggest the white bread, Ozzie and Harriet America that was often xenophobic and hostile to change. The enigma of exotica is that it became the soundtrack of many 1950's families.


NEVER to be forgotten! Phenomena of Her voice- shall remain! RIP, Divina!

Listener Dave Viking Lives!

1. She sounded like a theramin.

2. Fuck you, re: the Heston remark.

Leo Racicot

My friend, Joe, and I saw Yma Sumac at her farewell concert at Club Cafe in Boston. After the show, we went backstage where she was holding court. She was gracious and Joe made her laugh by telling her he once got a fortune in a fortune cookie that said: YOU ALONE KNOW THE WHEREABOUTS OF YMA SUMAC. FIND HER! Yma LOVED that and gave Joe permission to kiss her ring! What a riot. I remember the club served free mudslides that night which made us think we were hearing the voice of God when Yma sang! God and The Universe Bless Your Way Always, Yma!!!


Exotica is only an 'enigma' if you run on the assumption that people were xenophobic, and afterward draw your circle of evidence to exclude facts such as the popularity of exotica based upon that belief. I don't think this is how anthropolists work...

"The Wunga-Wunga people of Booga Island hate pineapple... which is what makes the annual Pineapple Festival such an enigma!"

It appears people were fairly open to what little they were exposed to. I credit most middle America with behaving decently when given the opportunity.


Did she come on the scene before Martin Denny or simultaneously? I always bought the "Camus" myth. Dave -- hurry, you only have a few months to stock up on assault rifles. Cheers.


Yma pre-dated Martin Denny. His Hawaiian club residencies started in 1954 and his most famous "Exotica" release came out in '57.

James Byrne

Pity you made that remark about Charlton Heston: it was entirely uncalled for. Shame on you. You should have been honouring the great gift that Yma Sumac has left us, not slandering the character of the recently deceased Mr. Heston.



First of all, great "Secret of the Incas" site. I learned a great deal and added the film to my Netflix.

I am a fan of many films starring Charlton Heston. He was a great actor and from what I read on your site, a very gracious man. However, as an American, it is hard for me to separate that great legacy from the parting image I have of Mr. Heston. When he was head of the NRA he made speeches filled with hateful and violent language. Mr. Heston brought a extremism to the issue that is not helpful for anyone. America has 30,000 deaths annually caused by guns. This has left me with very mixed feelings about him. If only our country was more civilized regarding guns like your fair island.

Thanks again for the site James.



Hey there. The '71 recording is amazing! But just check out the comments section on that blog post, there's the next Francis E. Dec there!

I have to find out who this is.

Sample from the site:

"There is one geographic clue I have not addressed in years:::Uranus, a planet tilted 90 degrees on its axis. I have stated in years past that I think this is yet another geographic clue offered by the gods, this one suggesting the fate of planet Earth, that tectonic plate subduction would be the method of disposal:::Earth’s axis will shift breaking continental plates free and initiating mass subduction.
Undesirables will either perish in the government marijuana erradication program "gone awry" or be the recipients of reparations granted by the US government because of it.
Or both.
I believe the New Testiment battle of the Anti-Christ and the Second Coming of Christ will ocurr in subsequent years SPECIFICALLY because these people will be distracted with the money during the event.
When the Earth's axis shifts people will be cast into outer space with gold cards in hand.
I think this was foreshadowed on an episode of the Simpsons where Homer and Bart are on the disfavored ship and eject, only to experience a sense of euphoria, expand then explode in the vacuum of space."

James Byrne

Thanks for your kind remarks about my SECRET OF THE INCAS website. We disagree about Heston ... but let's leave it at that. Nice talking with you my friend, and good luck to you.
James Byrne.

James Byrne

Many thanks for your kind words regarding my website. We don't agree about Heston, but it's been good talking to you. All the best, mate.
James Byrne.


I am of Peruvian descent and was proud of Yma Sumac vocal talent, may she rest in peace and her music live on for us to enjoy!

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