Skip to main content

Louis J. Boeri and Minín Bujones Boeri Collection of Cuban-American Radionovelas

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Manuscripts-Collection 171

Abstract

1963-1970. Large collection of audio masters on reel-to-reel polyester tape of radionovela (radio soap opera) programs produced by the America's Production Inc. in Miami, Florida during the late 1960s. The company was created by Louis J. Boeri who saw an opportunity to fill the void in Spanish-language radio programming after the collapse of the industry in post-revolutionary Cuba. The programs were produced, written, and performed by a group consisting primarily of professionals, writers, technicians, and performing artists who left Cuba during or just after the 1959 Revolution and Mexican writers as well. In addition to the tapes, there is a small amount of marketing print material that describes the production process and provides program catalogs with synopses of many of the radionovelas produced by API that were licensed to radio stations across Latin America, the United States, and Europe. A small selection of titles and episodes have been dubbed onto compact discs and are available for consultation. There is also a small amount of video and film related to the production of a telenovela (television soap opera).

Dates

  • c. 1963-1970

Creator

Conditions Governing Use

Access to the original audio tapes and VHS tapes is restricted because of the condition and fragility of the tapes. Under no circumstances are users allowed access to the originals, nor to attempt to load the tapes into playback equipment.

Biographical / Historical

Louis J. Boeri, president of America's Production, Inc. was an Italian-American who operated a public relations agency in Havana and served as director for U.S. public relations for the Cuban Tourist Commission. He left Cuba in 1959 and settled in Miami, Florida. He formed America's Production Inc. (API) in 1961 employing 36 exiled Cuban actors and actresses, along with 20 extras, writers, directors, and technicians. Prior to the 1959 Revolution, Cuba was a major producer of radio and TV programming and supplied perhaps as much as 75% of all canned radio programs for distribution throughout Latin America. The industry collapsed following the 1959 Revolution. No other country was able to fill the void in program production. Additionally, Miami soon had a large community of highly talented Cuban exiles who could not work. Thus, Boeri was able to capitalize on the moment and from there came the inspiration to create America’s Production, Inc. or API. API began supplying radio programming not only to stations across Latin America, but also to a ready market for Spanish-language programming in the United States and Spain. Boeri highlighted the fact that his Cuban soap operas were very popular in part because the actors and actresses use a “neutral accent” that would appeal to Spanish-speakers regardless of national origin or socio-economic status. About the history of the company, Boeri explained that API began by producing very pointed anti-Communist programs for the US Government including some commissioned by Voice of America. However, such programming was not viable for distribution to commercial radio stations, so the company turned to producing entertainment programming with subtler, more covert messaging designed to inspire hope, self-motivation, democracy, and to encourage free enterprise among its listeners, particularly in Latin America. Entertainment programming produced by API included radionovelas/dramas, comedies, advice programs, biblical dramas, mysteries, spy stories, and variety shows. America's Production Inc. created and distributed radio programs through 1970.

Extent

630 Linear Feet (8,961 7-inch audio reel-to-reel tapes housed in their individual tape boxes, 1 Hollinger records storage box, 1 legal-size document storage box, and 1 Hollinger upright audio-visuals storage box)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian

Arrangement

The collection materials are arranged into two series:

Series 1 - Print material

Box 1: Folders 1 - 12

Series 2 - Audio-visual materials

Box 2: Three binder albums of dubbed radionovela masters on compact discs

Box 3 - Un hombre y una mujer con suerte, pilot program, 3 VHS tapes

Series 3 - Audio recording masters

Existence and Location of Originals

The 8,961 reel to reel audio tape masters are housed in their original boxes at the LAL's offsite facility.

Related Materials

See the Small Photograph Collections 38, Folder 44 for a set of 18 gelatin silver prints containing portraits of the founder of America's Production Inc., Louis J. Boeri, and individual and group portraits of the artists, writers, and technical staff of API as well.

Creator

Title
Louis J. Boeri and Minín Bujones Boeri Collection of Cuban-American Radionovelas
Subtitle
Manuscript Collection 171, Manuscripts, The Latin American Library, Tulane University
Status
In Progress
Author
Christine Hernandez
Date
December 16, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the The Latin American Library at Tulane Repository

Contact:
7001 Freret Street
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, 4th floor
Tulane University
New Orleans Louisiana 70118 US
(504) 865-5681