"María Elena" is a 1932 popular song written by Lorenzo Barcelata (Spanish words and music). It was published by Peer International Corporation of Mexico. The English words by Bob Russell.
The song was dedicated to María Elena, the wife of Mexican President Emilio Portes Gil.
An instrumental version of the song was used for the background theme of the film Bordertown, starring Paul Muni and Bette Davis, in 1935. The next year the words and music were used in the Mexican film María Elena.
An instrumental version was recorded in 1958 and released in the United States in 1962 by Natalicio and Antenor Lima, better known as Los Indios Tabajaras. This popular revival hit No.6 in the Billboard pop chart and No.3 on the Billboard easy listening chart in the USA in late 1963, as well as making No.5 on the UK singles chart at the same juncture. The Shadows performed an instrumental version of this song on their 1967 album Jigsaw. Ry Cooder performed an instrumental version of this song on his 1972 album Boomer's Story.
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