Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Cortes, Pepe. Pepe Cortes was created by the Cuban creators Aramís del Real and Vicente Morin and appeared in the radio show Pepe Cortes (1939-1940).
Modeled on the historical Diego Corrientes, Pepe Cortes is a romantic peasant in Cuba who robs from the rich and gives to the poor. Cortes acts as the protector of the dispossessed and oppressor of the rich. He is a singing cowboy, always on the back of his horse Lightning, always carrying his guns, and always smarter than those who pursue him.
* I'm including Pepe Cortes in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of his historical importance. There's not a lot of English-language material on the radio programs broadcast in Cuba before Castro's takeover; there's likely decades' worth of radio shows, of a variety of genres, that would interest us, if only we spoke Spanish and had access to the station records and the time to read them. But what we do know is that Pepe Cortes, Singing Cowboy, was both representative of pre-WW2 radio and influential on radio program writers and listeners. Pepe Cortes didn't last very long--we don't know whether or not that was the norm for radio shows in Cuba back then. But we do know that the show influenced other writers to copy it, even into the 1950s. Perhaps Pepe Cortes was only the latest version of the heroic singing cowboy character type, and there were predecessors in the 1930s or even 1920s who lasted longer and were more influential. We just don't know. We do know that Pepe Cortes was influential, though, and we'll stick with that for now.
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