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Jacinto Campillo

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
Death: December 12, 2011 (91)
Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, United States
Immediate Family:

Husband of Betty Clooney
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Private; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private; Private; Mandy Campo and Private

Managed by: Margaret Louise Rosenberger
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Private
      ex-spouse
    • Private
      child
    • Private
      child
    • Private
      child
    • Private
      child
    • Private
      sibling
    • Private
      sibling
    • brother
    • Private
      sibling

About Pupi Campo

Pupi Campo (born Jacinto Campillo) led a popular Latin orchestra in the post-war years.

During the late 1940s the band leaned towards more of a mainstream sound and featured a young Tito Puente. While dancing in a Havana nightclub in 1940, Campo was noticed by New York club owner, Irving Sussman. Sussman invited the young man to look him up “if he were ever in New York City.” Campo and his friend Armando Guin, began selling raffle tickets for a nickel the next day, and within a month, Campo took a boat called the “Floridita” to Miami, and was in New York and knocking on Mr. Sussman’s door at the “Eden Concert” nightclub. Sussman introduced Campo (then Campillo) to the headliner: a young Cuban man named Desi Arnaz. Though the two had never met, Arnaz introduced Campo that night as his “good friend from Havana.” Campo asked the band to play a mambo, and he began to dance for the crowd. Sussman signed him to a six-month contract for $50 per week. Sussman suggested the name change for Campo as well, and after working as a solo act for some time, he met broadway star Diosa Costello. Costello and Campo were married for eleven years, and performed together. One night, when visiting Costello’s good friend Carmen Miranda, columnist Walter Winchell—who was also visiting—suggested that Campo ‘front’ his own band.

Campo took the suggestion, and led his band for the next 40+ years. In that time, Campo’s band featured legends in Latin music, including such greats as Tito Puente (arranger for five years) ‘Cachao’ Lopez, Joe Loco, and Paquito Echevarria. In 1953, Campo was hired as bandleader for Jack Paar’s eponymous daytime variety show for CBS. On the show, Campo met girl singer Betty Clooney, who had split from sister Rosemary. The two soon fell in love, and Campo divorced Costello and he and Clooney were married at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in 1955. Paar was disdainful of the couple, perhaps stirred by his feelings for Clooney, and summarily dismissed them both from the show. When Paar commented that Campo has “no talent,” Campo sued and won. He went on to play the top clubs in New York and Miami, but the fall-out with Paar had lingering effects. Campo landed a long-term gig at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, and played there for 15 years. In 1970, when Las Vegas’s Caesars Palace opened their unusual lounge, Cleopatra’s Barge, then-owned Clifford Perlman announced that Campo’s band would open the lounge. Campo closed out his musical career n Las Vegas, retiring from music by 1980. He worked with his brother Mandy in the casino business for about 10 years, and still lives with his four children in Las Vegas.

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Pupi Campo's Timeline

1920
May 1, 1920
Havana, Cuba
2011
December 12, 2011
Age 91
Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, United States