Maria Grever: Google Doodle honours one of Mexico’s ‘greatest composers’

She reportedly possessed 'perfect pitch'

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Thursday 11 February 2021 12:19 GMT
Google honours Mexico’s ‘greatest composer’ Maria Grever
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Google is celebrating Mexican singer, songwriter and composer María Grever with a Doodle on the anniversary of the day she recorded one of her “biggest hits,” Ti-Pi-Tin.

Born in the city of León in central Mexico on 14 September 1894, before moving to Spain, María Joaquina de la Portilla Torres showed musical ability at a young age, reportedly composing a holiday carol when she was just four years old. 

To foster her talents, which allegedly included possessing “perfect pitch,” Grever’s father hired some of the best tutors of the time to teach his daughter, with the talented songwriter learning from composers Claude Debussy and Franz Lehár.

After finding success with her first record, A Una Ola, which sold millions of copies, according to the Doodle, Grever relocated to New York, where she continued to make a name for herself in the music industry.

Her lifetime accomplishments include producing hundreds of songs, which were covered by stars such as Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra and often played on the radio, and composing background music for film studios including Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox as well as Broadway shows.

In 1959, jazz singer Dinah Washington recorded Grever’s song Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado under the title What a Difference a Day Makes, with the recording winning a Grammy the same year.

Throughout her career, Grever also enjoyed performing live concerts of her songs, which “married folk rhythms with styles like tango” and appealed to listeners around the world. 

The singer, songwriter, composer and music teacher, who is recognised as one of “Mexico’s greatest composers,” died in 1951 after a lengthy illness at the age of 57.

The following year, Grever was named “Woman of the Americas” in 1952 by the Union of Women of the Americas (UWA) for her achievements.

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