The dashing Rudolph Valentino certainly had the right look for silent films. The problem was, he had the right singing voice for them as well.

One of the biggest stars of the silent film era, Valentino made only two vocal recordings, both in a 1923 session. He probably would have made more…if he’d gotten better results. Legend has it that upon hearing them, Valentino quipped “Well, there goes my opera career”.  Seems the folks from Brunswick Records agreed…the records were shelved, and weren’t commercially released until 1930, 4 years after his death. And they sold very little even then. Here is Rudolph Valentino singing the spanish song El Relicario (in an unapologetically-Italian accent).

El Relicario is a love at first sight story between a bullfighter and a dark-haired maiden. Hear the complete song, and learn it’s tragic ending, at sound beat dot org. We’ve even got a translation, if your Spanish-Italian’s a little rusty.

Watch a video of El Relicario with translation.