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Archive for the ‘Latin’ Category

Died On This Date (August 5, 2012) Chavela Vargas / Beloved Ranchera Singer

Posted by themusicsover on August 30, 2012

Chavela Vargas (Born Isabel Lizano)
April 17, 1919 – August 5, 2012

Chavela Vargas was a Costa Rico-born singer who grew up to be one of the most respected singer of Mexican Rancheras the world has ever known.  When she was just 14, Vargas moved to Mexico to pursue her dream of singing, but it wasn’t until 1961 that she recorded her first album, Noche de Bohemia.  She spent the next 50 years making up for lost time with the release of more than 80 albums.  She was immensely popular during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, keeping company with the likes of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Augustin Lara.  Vargas more or less retired during the late ’70s, but came back to the stage strong in 1991.  In 2003 – at the age of 83 – Vargas made her Carnegie Hall debut.  Chavela Vargas was 93 when she passed away on August 5, 2012.

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Died On This Date (June 30, 2012) Yomo Toro / Popular Puerto Rican Musician

Posted by themusicsover on June 30, 2012

Yomo Toro (Born Victor Touro)
July 26, 1933 – June 30, 2012

Yomo Toro was a beloved Puerto Rican musician whose prowess with the cuatro – a mandolin-type of stringed instrument – helped define the New York City Latin music scene of the ’50s and ’60s.  Toro was just six when he picked up the instrument, and by 15 he was already fronting his own band.  He commuted between Puerto Rico and New York City beginning in 1953, and ultimately moved there in 1957.  During the ’70s, he recorded with and traveled the world as part of the legendary Salsa group, the Fania All-Stars. Fania Records is considered the finest Salsa label the world has ever known.  During the ’60s and ’70s, Toro hosted his own local television program, The Yomo Toro Show. Over the course of his career, he released over 20 albums and appeared on more than 150 others.  He recorded with the likes of Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, David Byrne, Paul Simon, Harry Belafonte, and Linda Ronstadt.   Yomo Toro was 78 when he died of kidney failure on June 30, 2012.

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Died On This Date (February 8. 2012) Jimmy Sabater Sr. / Latin Music Great

Posted by themusicsover on February 8, 2012

Jimmy Sabater
April 11, 1936 – February 8, 2012

Photo by Victoria Will

Born and raised in Spanish Harlem area of New York City, Jimmy Sabater, Sr. took a liking to the Latin music he constantly heard in and around the neighborhood.  As a teenager, he was particularly moved by the what he heard coming from Tito Puente, Machito, and Willie Bobo, so he took up the timbales.  He was also possessed one of the smoothest voices Latin music has ever known.  By the mid ’50s, Sabater was part of a collective called the Joe Cuba Sextet who quickly found appreciative fans throughout the clubs of Harlem as well at resorts in upstate New York.  The group recorded several landmark albums over the next three decades including 1966’s Wanted Dead or Alive (Bang! Bang! Push Push Push) which was the first boogaloo album to sell over 1 million copies.  Sabater left Cuba’s band in 1977 and went on to sing and play for  Al Levy and Eddie Palmieri, among others.  He also released a handful of his own albums on the legendary Fania Records.   Jimmy Sabater Sr. was 75 when he died of natural causes on February 8, 2012.

Thanks to Eric Foss at Secret Stash Records for the assist.

What You Should Own

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Wanted Dead or Alive - Bang! Bang! Push, Push, Push - Joe Cuba

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Died On This Date (February 8, 2012) Wando / Brazilian Singer-songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on February 8, 2012

Wando (Born Wanderley Alves dos Reis)
October 2, 1945 – February 8, 2012

Wando was a popular Brazilian singer-songwriter who launched his career in 1969.  A classically trained guitarist, he went on to release numerous albums over the next three decades.  Throughout his career, his songs were recorded by several other Brazilian singers, and one even appeared in a popular Brazilian soap opera.  His last album, Fêmeas was released in early 2012.  On February 8, 2012, Wando died in a local hospital of heart related issues.  He was 66.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin from 2+ Printing for the assist.

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Died On This Date (January 9, 2012) Ruth Fernandez / Pioneering Puerto Rican Singer

Posted by themusicsover on January 9, 2012

Ruth Fernandez Cortada
May 23, 1919 – January 9, 2012

Once called “The Soul of Puerto Rican Song,” Ruth Fernandez was a popular singer who broke both racial and gender barriers during the 1940s.  After learning to play the piano as a child, Fernandez began performing around her neighborhood in Ponce, and by the time she was 14, she had already formed her first group and was performing for 50 cents a day at local radio stations.  She went on to perform at area nightclubs and casinos with Mingo, a popular bandleader.  In 1941, Fernandez received a recording contract from Columbia Records who released her first hit single, 1941’s “Cuando Vuelvas.”  Before she knew it, she was performing in clubs as far north as New York City.  Fernandez also became a popular performer for soldiers stationed overseas as she traveled to entertain troops of Hispanic descent during WWII and the Korean War.  In 1954, she performed on El Show Libby’s, Puerto Rico’s first-ever televised music program.  Over the course of her career, Fernandez toured the world, and in many places was  the first Latina to do so.  She also appeared in several Spanish-language films.   In 1973, Fernandez was elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico where she served until 1981.  During her tenure, she worked to better conditions for the artistic class.  After retiring during the 2000s, it was revealed that Fernandez was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  Ruth Fernandez passed away at the age of 92 on January 9, 2012.


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