The War of Independence – Spanish American War:
In 1898, with the aid of the U.S., Cuba and Puerto Rico both gained their independence from Spain. The islands called this their ‘War of Independence’; in the U.S. we called it the Spanish-American War. But at the end of the war, there was a difference between what happened on these two islands. Finally rid of Spanish rule, Cuba was free to follow its own direction. Puerto Rico, however, was quickly occupied by the U.S.
Post World War I:
Between WWI and the 1950s, many Latin musicians headed to New York and Broadway, wanting to ride the wave of their music’s popularity. As famous names from Cuba, Mexico, Colombia and other Latin American countries came to perform at the now celebrated N.Y. Latin nightclubs, they often didn’t (or couldn’t afford) to bring their entire orchestras with them. But that was no problem, as they found many talented Puerto Rican musicians already stateside and willing to stand in for the originals.
Tito Puente and the Mambo Kings:
The 1950s were not only the era of the Mambo Kings, but the years that signified the birth of salsa. Puerto Ricans Tito Rodriguez, Ismael Rivera and Rafael Cortijo all played major roles and garnered plenty of the limelight, but the name everyone identifies with this era is Tito Puente.
Puerto Rican Salsa:
Tito Puente is often credited with setting the stage for the 1960s and salsa (although he would often say there was no such thing as salsa). But the 'Latin Motown' record label, Fania Records, is usually associated with early salsa and the 1960s and 1970s were the golden age of salsa. There is no point in talking about that time and Fania records without bringing up Willie Colon.
Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe:
New York born Willie Colon was a pivotal player at Fania Records. A trombonist who emulated Puente by placing the trombone center stage, Colon found and brought to Fania some of the most talented voices of the day. His two most notable collaborations were with Hector Lavoe, and later with Ruben Blades.
Lavoe went on to form his own group as well as performing with the Puerto Rican All-Stars. His first solo album, La Voz, was a hit, giving him new confidence as a solo artist. Lavoe, known as “El Cantante” and considered one of the great voices of his time, went on to form his own group along with performing with the Fania All-Stars.
- Tito Puente: The Complete RCA Recordings, Vol. 1 ( )
Listen |Compare Prices
- Tito Puente: The Complete 78s (2008)
Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe