Guide to the Charles Rojo collecion CEMA 91

Finding aid prepared by Callie Bowdish and CEMA staff
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California, 93106-9010
Phone: (805) 893-3062
Email:; URL:

Title: Charles Rojo collection
Identifier/Call Number: CEMA 91
Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.3 linear feet (1 oversize flat box)
Date (inclusive): 1925-1963
Abstract: The Charles Rojo collection consists of a scrapbook reproduction that chronicles the life of his father Leo Rojo (1907-1963). Leo Rojo was a Mexican American singer songwriter who sang, played or appeared in motion pictures. In the 1941 movie "I'll Sell My life" he sings his composition "Misterio" with the Eddie Durant Orchestra. He was referred to in the press as a Mexican Bing Crosby and sang in night clubs in Los Angeles and Palm Springs.
Physical Location: CEMA office area, oversize stacks
Language of Materials: The collection is in English and Spanish.

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Charles Rojo collection, CEMA 91. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Scope and Content

This is a reproduced scrapbook that covers the life of Mexican American singer songwriter Leo Rojo from 1925 to 1963.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Charles Rojo.

Related Material

Adelina Garcia collection (CEMA 23)

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Mexican American Composer
Mexican American musicians


Scrapbook 1920-1960


Page 1-2, Views of Cuidad Juarez across from El Paso, Texas where Leo Rojo grew up 1920-1930


Page 3, Studio photos from about 1925 when he began his professional career


Page 4, Earliest known photo as a member of a musical group (in middle of back row) 1925/1926; Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1929 (standing, second from left)


Page 5, The Castle Orchestra 1930 (fourth from right)


Page 6, Staff(s) of radio stations XEJ, XEFV and XEPN where he sang from 1930 to 1937


Page 7, Staff and musicians of radio station (NK) 1937


Page 8, (Left) Ad: "Leo Rojo soon to leave for Hollywood so enjoy his voice the few weeks he remains here." (Below) Lobby Cafe No. 2 Orchestra, Leo Rojo standing at piano; he sang regularly over XEJ for 6 years.


Page 9, This Week; Los Angeles, CA 1937


Page 10, Eddie Durant Orchestra at Club Zarape


Page 11, Club Zarape; Los Angeles, CA 1937


Page 12, Las Hermanas Barraza and the Decca Recordings they made with Leo Rojo of his songs on October 20, 1938


Page 13, News article from a Ciuidad Mexico, Juarez newspaper (circa 1939) when he returned for a brief visit.


Page 14, May 1941 press release of Adelina Garcia’s recording of "Misterio" (by Leo Rojo)


Page 15, Still photo from the 1941 movie "I'll Sell My Life" where Leo Rojo sings his composition “Misterio” with the Eddie Durant Orchestra


Page 16, Publicity photo; early 1940’s


Page 17, Labels from radio broadcast transcription disk of a performance by Aaron Gonzalez Tango Orchestra with vocals by Leo Rojo (Los Angeles 1940’s)


Page 18, Tarde Nublada (Cloudy Day)


Page 19, Apasionadamente (Bolero-Canción)


Page 20, Golden Date Latin Series; Verde Mar


Page 21, Leo Rojo and Felix Martinque (played together in Palm Springs clubs)


Page 22, Palm Springs (around 1943-45)


Page 23, Leo Rojo, Felix Martinique and Sue Stanley (Palm Springs, 1940's)


Page 24, During World War II (1943-1945), played regularly at Torney General Hospital for wounded GI’s with Ginny Simms and other Hollywood singers and musicians.


Page 25, Newspaper clipping: "Local Musician To Appear Weekly at Torney Hospital"


Page 26, Chicago, December 1949, where he was appearing at the ambassador with Felix and Sue


Page 27, Balboa, California (early 1950's)


Page 28, Last known professional portrait of Leo Rojo (1907-1963)


Page 29, List (incomplete) of songs for which Leo Rojo wrote either the music and/or lyrics