If Frankie Dante was president, there would be no armed forces, wars would end, and the kids would come back home, where they belong.
Taxes would be lowered, and that money would be used for the benefit of the community. And on top of that, a raise for the musicians who work so hard for so little money.
Frankie Dante for president!
Apologies go out to my fellow pelangueros for not posting. I offer these two tracks from a young Cuco Valoy and his brother Martín: in the 1950s they were the legendary Los Ahijados. Here’s “La lechuza” and “Al subir las escaleras”.
La Lechuza by Los Ahijados
Al Subir Las Escaleras by Los Ahijados
Al Subir Las Escaleras
During my recent trip to Puerto Rico my girl friend was just getting over the flu. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when I felt the early signs of a sore throat and congestion in my ears creeping in on me. That evening I went to the nearest bar and asked for the best rum they had. I was poured a very healthy glass of Trigo Reserva Aneja (a 12 year old aged rum). I’m no expert on rums, but that glass was super smooth and I made sure to take my time with it as it’s borinquen embrace coated my throat and ran down my chest working it’s magic. By the time I was walking back to my hotel room my sore throat and congestion were completely gone! And on that walk back, like the rum, Johnny Ventura‘s blazing rendition of El Ron Es Mi Medicina began to run through me and onto my lips.
I know nasty flu bugs are floating all around us these days so be sure to keep a quality bottle on hand and if you feel the early signs of el gripe try un trago de ron as your first remedy. Salud!
So what we have here is one Aramis Camilo y La Organizacion Secreta’s classic albums from the 80s. They seemed to have borrowed Willie Colon’s persona idea of being mobsters (on the back cover you’ll notice the guy in the car is actually holding a gun). By no means is this gangster merengue, in fact Aramis’s music embodies so much of what I love about merengue from this period. Unlike long self indulgent salsa intros, this music kicks into gear right from the start and packs more energy per note. This song El Motor was one of Aramis’s biggest hits. To be honest I preferred some of the other songs on the record UNTIL I saw this video of it performed live back on DR’s legendary TV show Medio Dia. I’ve probably watched this video at least a 100 times. Time to get on su motor and ride. More merengue videos to come. Enjoy!
As always, big shout-out to William—the only person at our parties that knows every merengue song we play.
In the big wide world of Latin American music it’s not uncommon for big time artists who have hit the heights of their genre to attempt a hybrid song where they blend their style of music with another in order to create something brand new and branch out a bit. Usually these attempts are the songs that get skipped over as they are too forced and just end up confusing the dance floor, but here we have an exciting exception by El Mayimbe, aka Fernandito Villalona. Cumbia Merenguera is actually miles ahead of everything else on this record and has become one my favorites of the original El Mayimbe. Enjoy.