Music has been a way of life for Danny Rivera since he began singing in the Santurce neighborhood where he was born on 27 Febuary, 1945. He honed his musical talents by singing in a church choir during his youth. His humble surroundings and beginnings framed his character for life, in terms of his personal character and support for charitable causes. He realized the start of the singing career he dreamed of when he was offered a job in a San Juan, Puerto Rico hotel with the popular orchestra led by César Concepción. He subsequently honored as best new singer of 1968 in the Popularity Festival which led in turn to several radio and television contracts.To date, Danny’s records have gone gold three times, and silver four times with songs like "Mi Pueblo es Tu Pueblo" that show his power, grace and style. He has received three Grammy nominations and has won numerous prizes and honors throughout Latin America. In Spain, where he lived for three years, he made four albums. In the USA, he has worked with stars such as Whitney Houston and Lionel Richie, and made his “Danny” album. Reference: http://www.musicofpuertorico.com/index.php/artists/danny_rivera/
Born in Puerto Rico, in Bayamón, a suburb of San Juan, the island's capital, she quickly rose to fame at an early age, and at 17, she was part of a group of artists that were collectively known as "El Club del Clán" (The members of the Club). During the 70's a musical era locally known s "La Nueva Ola" (The New Wave), came to be in Puerto Rico, and with it surged an extraordinary vocalist that captivated the local audiences with her strong musical interpretations and a pert and cute disposition. Her name was Luz Esther Benítez, but soon she became everyone's "Lucecita".
ISMAEL (MAELO) RIVERA Y
RAFAEL CORTIJO Y SU COMBO
The bomba and plena traditions of Puerto Rico's slums were given respectability through the music of Rafael Cortijo (born Rafel Cortijo Verdejo). Inheriting his band, which he renamed Cortijo y su Combo, when bandleader Mario Roman retired in 1954, Cortijo went on to become one of the Caribbean's most successful artists of the 1950s and '60s. His many hits include "El Bombon de Elena," "Quitate de la Via," Pedro," "Maquinolandera," "El Negrito Bembon," "En un Solo Pie," "Tuntuneco," "Con la Punta del Pie," "Yo No Quiero Piedras en Mi Camino," and "Saoco." Cortijo's involvement with music began at the age of nine, when he played a set of bongos a cousin had made of milk tins. A master percussionist, by his teens, he accompanied the Matamoros Trio on shows broadcast by radio station WNEL. A professional musician since 1942, Cortijo served his musical apprenticeship in bands led by Monchito Miranda, Coricua Sonant, Miguelito Miranda, Frank Wood, and the Sustache Sisters. He accompanied vocalists Myrta Silva and Miguelito Valdés on the radio. Under Cortijo's guidance, the band rose to the upper echelon of Puerto Rican music. In addition to performing at dances and festivals, they appeared daily on a popular radio show and in a number of films including the Harry Belafonte-starring Calypso. Cortijo was at his peak in 1962 when he was arrested for drugs. While he was imprisoned, several members of his band defected to form their own group, El Gran Combo.
Reference: photo provided by Aurye
Tavín Pumarejo is a Puerto Rican singer and comedian. While better known for his work as a comedy actor on Puerto Rican television Pumarejo has released 16 Puerto Rican music CD's, of which one actually became a major hit in Puerto Rico. Pumarejo was born in the San Juan "Rio Cañas" barrio, which is actually much closer to downtown Caguas than it is from downtown San Juan. Having grow up in the mountains that surround the valley of Caguas, Pumarejo identifies himself with the Puerto Rican country people more than with the metropolitan people that are always associated with San Juan. Pumarejo started to work on Puerto Rican television when Paquito Cordero began his "Show de las 12" at Telemundo Puerto Rico then popularly known as "Canal dos". Much like José Miguel Agrelot's "Don Cholito" character, and like Machuchal, Pumarejo donned a "pava" (a hat that is typical of Puerto Rican mountain workers) for each of his television appearances. The pava became a staple on Pumarejo's life, as he began using it in almost every personal appearances, and on interviews with newspapers and magazines such as El Nuevo Día, Vea, El Vocero, Teve Guía and others. Pumarejo's nickname, "El Higado de Ganso" ("The Duck's Liver"), basically matches his dress style, as ducks are commonly seen in Puerto Rican farms, and animal liver is a common food among Puerto Rico's mountain residents. Pumarejo is well known for his self deprecating sense of humor as well. Asked by Luisito Vigoreaux during a live interview on national television in 2003 about his latest musical production, he answered "it can be found at some large stores, as well as in kiosks alongside (Puerto Rico's) highway #2, where they will give it for free if (you) buy a plate of fried pork". Puerto Rico's highway #2 is an area filled with kiosks that sell fried pork and other, typical Puerto Rican foods, and it happens to be located very close to Pumarejo's native "Rio Cañas" area, so the comedian has made hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of television jokes connecting him with that highway.
ANTONIO CABAN VALE
Caban is best know as a singer and composer of Puerto Rican folklore themes. He was born and raised in the town of Moca which is located in the western part of Puerto Rico. There he received his primary and secondary educations; he later moved to San Juan and in 1961, enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico. He wrote poems as a student which were published in the university's publication "Guajara"; it was during his time at university that he was nicknamed "El Topo", a name which has stuck with him. In 1966, Caban earned his Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Social Sciences and soon after his graduation, he became a public school teacher, a job which he held for two years. In the 1970's, he formed a group called "Taone" and added music to his poems - he was the lead singer of the group. Amongst the songs which Caban recorded and that made him famous in Puerto Rico are: "Flor de Amapola" (Amapola Flower / Poppy); "Que Bonita Luna" (What a Beautiful Moon); "Donde vas Maria" (Where are you going Maria?); "Canciones de Amantes" (Songs for Lovers) and "Verde Luz" (Green Light), which has also been sung by the Argentine singer Ginamaría Hidalgo. Caban has published two books with his poems; the first is entitled "Un Lugar Fuera de Tiempo" (A Place from Another Time) and is based on his experiences as a young man in his hometown Moca and the second "Penultima Salida" (The exit before the Last), deals with his personal quest in search for the "truth". Caban is currently touring and promoting his latest recording. His musical style includes the use of those musical instruments which are typically Puerto Rican such as the "Cuatro" (A Puerto Rican Guitar) and the "Guiro".
HECTOR JUAN PEREZ MARTINEZ
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Héctor Lavoe (born Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez, September 30, 1946 in Ponce, Puerto Rico - died June 29, 1993 in New York City) was a Puerto Rican salsa singer. He has performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls featuring Salsa, as well as Jazz events like the Newport Jazz Festival. His recordings have also garnered him many awards and gold albums. His success is attributed to his musical expression of his unique jibaro salsa flavor and his love for Puerto Rico. He was inspired early in life by his musically talented family. His grandfather Don Juan Martínez was a singer of controversial songs, which often went from vocal conflict to physical confrontations. His uncle was a well known tres player in Ponce. His mother Pachita was well known among her family and townspeople for her beautiful singing voice. His father Luis supported his wife and eight children by singing and playing guitar with trios and big bands. Héctor would also be influenced by Puerto Rican singers such as Jesús Sánchez Erazo -also known as "Chuíto el de Bayamón"- one of the island's most successful folk singers, and Daniel Santos. Later in his life, would have the honor of recording songs with both artists. became severely addicted to narcotic and prescription drugs. His addiction resulted in him showing up late for gigs, and eventually did not even show up to some appointments at all. Although Willie fired him, he tried to help Lavoe seek assistance to try to quit his habit. In 1973, Willie Colón departed the band. Lavoe was giving the option of keeping the band together by becoming leader of his own band, which he did. Lavoe formed his own band and traveled around the world with them as well as with the Fania All Stars.
RUTH FERNANDEZ Cortada
(May 23, 1919 - January 9, 2012)
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Ruth's mother died when she was three years old and she was raised along with her four other siblings by her grandmother. She received her primary and secondary education in her hometown. As a child she learned to play the piano and was very active in her school and community's activities. In high school she organized her own musical group. She became a professional singer at the age of 14 when she would go to the local radio stations, WPRP and WPAB, and sing for 50 cents a day. In 1935, when she was 16 years old, she was heard by Mingo, a bandleader of a locally popular band and was hired. She then performed in nightclubs dances and casinos. Ruth started to gain popularity and in 1941, was signed by Columbia Records with whom she recorded her first hit song, "Cuando Vuelvas" (When you return) a theme written by Myrta Silva. Her first appearance in New York was in
ERNESTO ANTONIO PUENTE, JR.
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Ernesto Antonio Puente Jr., more commonly known as Tito Puente was an influential Latin Jazz and "Mambo" musician. The Puerto Rican native of Spanish Harlem in New York City is often credited as "El Rey (The King) of the "timbales", "The Mambo King", and "The King of Latin Music". He is best known for dance-oriented "mambo" and latin jazz compositions that helped keep his career going for some fifty years. He and his music appear in many films such as "The Mambo Kings". He guest starred on several television shows including "The Cosby Show" and "The Simpsons". Puente served in the Navy for three years during World War II after being drafted in 1942. He was discharged with a Presidential Commendation for serving in nine battles. The GI Bill allowed him to study music at Julliard School of Music, where he completed a formal education in conducting, orchestration and theory. In 1969, he received the key to the City of New York from former Mayor John Lindsay, In 1992 he was inducted into the National Congressional Record, and in 1993 he received the Smithsonian Medal. During the 1950's, Puente was at the height of his mass popularity, and helped to bring Afro-Cuban and Caribbean sounds, like "mambo", son, and chachacha, to mainstream audiences (he was so successful playing popular Afro-Cuban rhythms that many people mistakenly identify him as Cuban).
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Gilberto Monroig born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, a singer of "boleros". Gilberto's parents moved from the countryside to the city in search of a better way of life and settled in the Villa Palmera sector of Santurce, a section of San Juan where the musical sounds of the "bomba y plena" and of the "tango" filled the air. Gilberto received his primary and secondary education in Puerto Rico and later on earn his high school equivalent diploma in New York City . When he was ten years old, he would imitate his favorite singer, the famed Argentine singer of tangos, Carlos Gardel. His father once gave his brother, Luis a guitar which Gilberto learned to play better than his brother - often resulting in a fight over the instrument. Finally, Gilberto's father decided that it would be best if he bought him one also. In 1943, at age 13, he joined a group called "Taone" and a year later joined another band by the name of "Maravilla". However, it was when the "Super Orchestra Tropicana" hired him that he received his first big break as a professional singer. In the early 1950's Gilberto joined Tito Puente's Orchestra and recorded various songs. Among them was "Malcriada" which became a "hit". In 1955, he returned to Puerto Rico and went "solo'. He had instant "hits" with the songs "Mujer" (Women) and "Duerme, Margarita" (Sleep, Margarita). He also recorded some songs by composers Pedro Flores and Rafael Hernández. He won his first Gold Record Award in 1959, with "Egoismo". Gilberto returned to New York and in 1964, he won his second Gold Record Award with "Simplemente Una Illusion" (Simply an Illusion). He sang for various bands including Tito Puente's and traveled throughout the United States and Latin-America.
EL GRAN COMBO DE PUERTO RICO
El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico is a
Salsa music orchestra. It is
Puerto Rico's most successful musical group, and one of Salsa's most famous groups across
Latin America. Since many of the genre's legendary singers have been members of the orchestra, the band has been given the moniker La Universidad de la Salsa (The University of Salsa). El Gran Combo was founded by
Rafael Ithier in May of
1962. Ithier is still, as of
2006, the orchestra's pianist and musical director. Ithier had been a member of
Rafael Cortijo's "Combo" orchestra, travelling to the eastern
United States before forming El Gran Combo. For their first gig, the orchestra was signed by the legendary
Cuban comedian, writer and businessman
Alvarez Guedes, who hired El Gran Combo to support
Joseito Mateo on one of his
May 21, 1962, El Gran Combo was heard for the first time on Puerto Rican
radio. Later on, they became the on-studio musicians of the live
television show, "La Taberna India", sponsored by
India Beer. El Gran Combo by then was already associated with some of
Puerto Rico's better known Salsa personalities:
Sammy Ayala, who had also played with the Cortijo orchestra, kept his friendship with Ithier; he would be instrumental in the hiring of
Pellin Rodriguez and
Chiqui Garcia, two of the most famous Salsa singers of the era, were already singing for El Gran Combo.
Felipe Rodriguez, another legendary Salsa singer, also followed the group's career closely, sometimes even making suggestions to Ithier. El Gran Combo released their first album, "Acangana", with Rodriguez and Montanez as leading voices. The album became a number one hit in
Puerto Rico. Other members of El Gran Combo included, at the time, dancer & percussionist
Roberto Roena and musician
Elias Lopez. These two members caused a void in the group when they left the band to pursue their own professional interests, soon after the orchestra had been let go by Alvarez Guedes' recording company,
Gema Records. Regardless of the problems these events caused, the orchestra continued experiencing success in Latin America through the
1960s and into the
ARMANDO HIPOLITO AVELLANET GONZALEZ
Armando Hipolito Avellanet Gonzalez (born 13 August, 194), nicknamed "Chucho" (from the Basque Txutxo) is a Puerto Rican singer and comedic actor. Avellanet is a native of Mayaguez (actually born in the same house that is now occupied by the local clubhouse of the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico in town). Before becoming famous, he had been performing across Puerto Rico's western coast with various musical trios, particularly with the Trio Los Duendes group. He was regarded as having a powerful voice, but was too shy to occupy a solo spot in any of the groups he performed with. He was discovered by a Cuban television promoter, Gaspar Pumarejo, who immediately introduced him to the Puerto Rican television world. His career formally started during the week of 23 May - 28 May, 1961, when he was featured daily in Pumarejo's show. His first formal live performance was opening for Myrta Silva at a Puerto Rican music review regularly staged at the Tropicoro Room of El San Juan Hotel in Carolina, Puerto Rico now the Wyndham El San Juan Hotel & Casino. He took voice lessons from Puerto Rican soprano Rina de Toledo. Avellanet reached teen-idol status in Puerto Rico during the 1960s, as a member of the nueva ola music movement. Helped by Alfred D. Herger, was a member of a group of teen sensations that included Lissette Alvarez (to whom Avellanet got married), Lucecita Benitez, Yolandita Monge, Ednita Nazario and Charlie Robles, among others. With la nueva ola, he recorded his first album, named Fugitiva. 1972 was a very eventful year for Avellanet, who finished in fourth place at that year's Festival OTI in Spain. Then, Avellanet made history by becoming the first Hispanic to perform at the Miss Universe contest, held that year in the Puerto Rican beach town of Dorado.
PEDRO ORTIZ DAVILA
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Davilita was born in Puerto Rico but, his parents immigrated to New York when he was only a child. They settled down in East Harlem which is also known as "Spanish Harlem" or "El Barrio". Davilita learned to play the guitar at a young age and entertained his family with his voice. One of the places which Davilita frequented was Hernandez Record Store in "El Barrio". It was a common gathering place for young Latin musicians at the time.
In 1929, 17 year old Davilita met by chance the renowned Puerto Rican composer, Rafael Hernandez. Davilita got along with Hernandez and was able to see the unfinished version of Hernandez's composition "Lamento Borincano". Davilita became very popular in the New York Latin scene and was soon working with many Latin artists. It wasn't long before he met Pedro Flores, a fellow Puerto Rican and composer. He was asked by Flores to join his "Sexteto Flores" along with Myrta Silva and Daniel Santos.
In 1954, Davilita had returned to Puerto Rico where he joined Felipe "La Voz" Rodriguez and together formed a duo. The duo was successful in Puerto Rico, the United States and Latin-America. In the 1960s, they together with Rafael Cortijo and El Gran Combo were able to successfully confronted the wave of rock music invading the island. In 1973, Davilita and Felipe recorded "Canciones de Pedro Flores" (The Songs of Pedro Flores) and in 1974, they recorded "Canciones de Rafael Hernandez" (The Songs of Rafael Hernandez).
Davilita was also a strong supporter of the cause for Puerto Rican independence. In many occasions, he stated, he was discriminated against for this reason, to the point of endangering his livelihood when the singing contracts trickled down during the late 1950's and early 1960's. He recorded an album of Puerto Rican patriotic standards with Daniel Santos (another strong pro-independence supporter) in the early 1970's, including "El Bambú" and "El Yunque y El Cordero". Pedro Ortiz "Davilita" Davila had recorded over 3,000 songs before his death in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on July 8, 1986. He is buried in the Braulio Dueño Colon cemetery in Bayamon.
Formed around a cast of lovable teenage Puerto Ricans (each of whom were forced out once they reached the age of 16), Menudo was the first Latin group to gain success around the world. The initial lineup formed in 1977 around brothers Carlos, Oscar and Ricky Melendez plus Nefty and Fernando Sallaberry, but the first replacements were installed before the end of the 1970s. Menudo made a medium-sized splash in America during the mid-'80s -- though all of the original members had long since passed -- with the 1984 LP Reaching Out, which included English-language versions of their biggest hits.
Menudo's brand of disposable synthesizer-pop dated and faded quickly
in America, the group continued to rule much of Central and South
America, and ousted member Ricky Martin made a successful solo
career. By the late '90s, there were over thirty ex-members of
Menudo, and the then-current version of the group -- known as MDO
and including Alexis Grullon, Abel Talamántez, Didier Hernández,
Anthony Galindo and Daniel Weider -- included no native Puerto
Ricans and none under the age of 16.
He was born June 29, 1968, best known under the stage name Chayanne, is a Puerto Rican Latin pop singer. Elmer Figueroa Arce, widely known as Chayanne, was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico on the 29th of June 1968, the third child among five siblings. Although it is widely believed that his date of birth is on the 28th of June. In an interview, he said his mother entered the hospital on the 28th and gave birth at daybreak of the 29th. The doctor, however, still registered his birth on the 28th. Elmer Figueroa became Chayanne while still a child; a nickname that was given to him by his mother after a favorite television series of the 60’s entitled "Cheyenne".
In the late 70s, he auditioned for Menudo, but he was told at the time that he was too young to be in the group. He became part of another groupFollowing the album's release, Chayanne began an international tour to promote Mi Tiempo. Among the places visited early in the tour were Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and the United States. Los Chicos who made several #4 hits, including "Puerto Rico Son Los Chicos" and Ave María.
On November 3,
Chayanne released a new single titled "Me Enamoré de Ti", serving
as the theme song for the 2009 soap opera "Corazon Salvaje". This
single is featured in Chayanne's 2010 release, No Hay Imposibles.
Reference: Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org
RAMON "MON" RIVERA
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Mon Rivera is the common name given to two distinct Puertno Rican musicians (both born in Mayagüez), namely Monserrate Rivera Alers (originally nickamed Rate, later referred to as "Don Mon", or Mon The Elder, and sometimes credited as Ramón in songwriting credits) and his oldest son, Efraín Rivera Castillo (referred to early in his career as "Moncito", or Little Mon, and later known by his father's moniker).
Don Mon was born in Mayagüez (at the Rio Cañas Arriba "barrio" in the outskirts of the city, close to the place Eugenio María de Hostos was born) in 1899, and lived in the working class Barcelona barrio of the city proper. He was a janitor and handyman at the nearby University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez for more than 40 years, and was well loved by the campus community. Known as "'Rate" by his closest friends, Don Mon gained a strong reputation as a composer of plenas, a musical genre considered the "musical newspaper of the barrio". He assembled impromptu plena jams in the neighborhood, which were so widely known that they were preserved for posterity in the documentary film "Plena " (1956) by Amilcar Tirado (Don Mon appears at the last segment, improvising lyrics).
Efraín was specifically known for
salsa and a Puerto Rican style called
plena. He is credited for a fast humorous
style and for introducing the sound of an all-trombone
brass section to Afro mainly to Efraín, a popular band leader known in
Latin jazz circles.-Rican
orchestra music. Three of Efraín's
brothers were also musicians. Efraín's son is the
The increasing demand for his services, a relapse in his drug addiction, and his ill health combined to strike Efraín in the peak of his popularity. He died on March 12, 1978 in Manhattan, New York City, of a heart attack. He was soon buried in Mayagüez's Old Municipal Cemetery, gathering the second largest funeral crowd assembled in the city, second only to that of the 1993 burial procession for Benjamin Cole, the longest serving mayor in the city's history. An impromptu plena band played his songs during the walk between the religious service and his burial place.
Ricky Martin (born Enrique Martín Morales on December 24, 1971) the son of Nereida Morales, an accountant, and Enrique Martín Negroni, a psychologist. His parents divorced when he was two; his father remarried. Martin has two maternal half-brothers, Fernando and Ángel Fernández, and two paternal half-brothers, Eric and Daniel Martín, and a paternal half-sister Vanessa Martín. Martin grew up in a Roman Catholic home and was an altar boy until he joined Menudo. Is a Puerto Rican pop singer and actor who achieved prominence, first as a member of the Latin boy band Menudo, then as a solo artist since 1991.
During his career he has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide. He is the founder of Ricky Martin Foundation (in Spanish Fundación Ricky Martin), a non-profit charity organization. Ricky Martin's exuberant 1999 single "Livin’ la Vida Loca" made him a prominent figure of Latin dance-pop. Martin got his start with the all-boy pop group Menudo; after five years with the group, he released his Spanish-language solo album, Ricky Martin, in 1991. He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, becoming a modest star there. In 1994 he starred on the American TV soap opera General Hospital, playing a Puerto Rican singer. In 1999, after several albums in Spanish, he released his first English-language album (also titled Ricky Martin), which included the salsa-style "Livin' la Vida Loca". The album sold 17 million copies and brought Martin international fame. His other albums include A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Sound Loaded (2000, with the hit "She Bangs"), Life (2005), and the compilation album Ricky Martin 17 (2008). In 2010 Martin announced that he was a "fortunate homosexual man", ending years of fan speculation on the topic.
On the edge of the new millennium, Martin—almost by himself—gave
Latino music an international face. An acclaimed performance at the
1999 Grammy Awards launched Martin into worldwide super-stardom. As
Entertainment Weekly's Andrew Essex reported, "his leather-pants,
electro-pelvis version of 'La Copa de la Vida' single-handedly goosed
a very dull [Grammy] telecast, earning him a standing ovation."
Martin's twin sons, Matteo and Valentino, were born via a surrogate
mother in 2008. Martin also co-owns a Miami restaurant, Casa Salsa,
and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.
"YOMO" TORO VEGA
(July 26, 1933 - June 30, 2012)
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Víctor Guillermo Toro Vega born on July 26, 1933 and died June 30, 2012. Was a guitarist and one of Puerto Rico’s most famous cuatro players. Known internationally as "The King of the Cuatro," Toro recorded over 150 albums throughout a 60-year career and worked extensively with Cuban legends Arsenio Rodríguez and Alfonso “El Panameño” Joseph; salsa artists Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe and Ruben Blades; and artists from other music genres including Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, Linda Rondstadt and David Byrne.
Yomo Toro (birth name: Victor Guillermo Toro) was born in Ensenada, within the municipality of Guánica, near the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico. His father, Alberto, drove a truck for the sugarcane mills of the South Porto Rican Sugar Company and played cuatro in a band along with Yomo Toro’s uncles. Nicknamed "Yomo" by his father, Toro began to play music at age 6. During a live interview on Canto Tropical, a radio station in Los Angeles, KPFK 90.7FM, in mid-1990's, Yomo recalled his father had a cuatro hanging on the wall. "Yomo would practice for about a year, while his dad was away working. One day his father caught him, stormed into the backyard, and began chopping down a tree. Frightened by all the racket, Yomo didn't realize his father was making a personalized cuatro for him.
At age 15, Toro formed the string trio
La Bandita de la Escuela ("The Little School Band"). He continued his
musical career by performing at events with La Bandita and other
trios, all over the island of Puerto Rico, as well as on the radio
program La Montaña Canta ("The Mountain Sings").
RICARDO RAY Y ROBERTO CRUZ
(Richie Ray y Bobby Cruz)
Ricardo "Richie" Ray born February 15, 1945, is a virtuoso pianist, singer, music arranger, composer and religious minister known for his success beginning in 1965 as part of the duo Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz. He is known as "El Embajador del Piano" (The Ambassador of the Piano). Bobby Cruz born February 2, 1937, is a salsa singer and religious minister. He is well known for his success beginning in 1965 as part of the duo Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz. His seminal professional pairing with Richie Ray is one of the longest-lived partnerships in Latino music, lasting over 50 years. His wide vocal range and quiet, gentlemanly demeanor has earned Cruz enormous popularity over the years. Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz are an American musical duo consisting of Ricardo "Richie" Ray and Roberto "Bobby" Cruz. The duo was formed in 1963 and rose to fame in the mid-1960s. They are one of the most famous interpreters of “salsa brava” music.
The duo is well known for helping to establish the popularity of salsa music in the 1960s and 1970s. They are also notable for fusioning elements of classical music and rock with traditional latin music. Among their biggest hits were "Richie's Jala Jala", "Agúzate", "El Sonido Bestial", and "Bomba Camará". They are also famous for their christmas songs: "Seis chorreao", "Bomba en Navidad", and "Bella es la Navidad". The duo was popular from 1965 to 1974 throughout Latin America and the United States, specially in Caribbean countries. In 1974, following a conversion to Evangelicalism and the inclusion of religious themes in the song's lyrics, the duo's popularity fell. The group continued releasing albums but broke up in the 1990s. In 1999, they reunited, and they have been touring and releasing new albums since then.
In November 2006, the Latin Academy of Recording Arts &
Sciences gave Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz a Lifetime Achievement Award.
MARCO ANTONIO MUÑIZ
Marco Antonio Muñiz , born September 16, 1968, in New York City, to Puerto Rican parents Guillermina, a housewife, and Felipe Muñiz, a musician and hospital lunchroom worker from Guayama, Puerto Rico, better known by his stage name as Marc Anthony, is an American actor, record producer, singer-songwriter, fashion designer, and television producer. Anthony's parents named him after Mexican singer Marco Antonio Muñiz. Anthony grew up in East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem and El Barrio, and is the youngest of eight surviving children. He was raised in the same housing development with childhood friend, platinum producer and song writer Frankie Cutlass.
Anthony is also the top selling tropical salsa artist of all time. The two-time Grammy and four-time Latin Grammy winner has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide. He is best known for his Latin salsa numbers and ballads. Anthony has won numerous awards, and his achievements have been honored through various recognitions. He was the recipient of the 2009 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Chair's Award. He also received the "2009 CHCI Chair's Lifetime Achievement Award" on September 16, 2009.
In 1994, Anthony's ex-girlfriend Debbie Rosado, a NYC police officer, gave birth to their daughter Ariana. Marc married former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres on May 9, 2000 in Las Vegas. They have two sons, Cristian Anthony Muñiz (February 5, 2001) who Anthony named after the Mexican singer Cristian Castro, and Ryan Anthony Muñiz (August 16, 2003). There were many problems in the marriage, and the couple separated in early 2002. They later reconciled and renewed their vows in a formal ceremony on December 7, 2002 at San Juan's Cathedral in Puerto Rico. The rocky marriage came to an end in October 2003 with Dayanara filing for divorce in January 2004. To help in her recovery from the divorce, Dayanara traded her engagement ring for a diamond-encrusted Cartier watch and wrote the book Married to Me: How Committing to Myself Led to Triumph After Divorce.
his divorce proceedings began, Anthony was spotted with long-time
friend Jennifer Lopez. Prior to his first marriage and her second,
they had briefly dated. Lopez and Anthony married on June 5, 2004,
less than a week after his divorce was finalized. Guests had
been invited to an "afternoon party", unaware they were attending a
wedding. Lopez gave birth to their children, twins Emme Maribel
Muñiz and Maximillian David Muñiz on February 22, 2008. People
(magazine) paid $6 million for the first photos of the twins.
In 2009, Anthony and Lopez purchased a stake in the Miami Dolphins.
They joined several personalities in buying small stakes in the club,
including Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Venus and Serena Williams, and
Fergie. Anthony and Lopez announced their separation in
July 2011, with Anthony filing for divorce on April 9, 2012.
Roberto Roena born January 16, 1938 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico) is a salsa music percussionist, orchestra leader, and dancer. Roena was one of the original members of El Gran Combo, Puerto Rico's first successful salsa music orchestra. He later became the leader of his own band, "Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound", arguably one of the best Latin salsa bands in Puerto Rico. Roena has also been a long-time member of the Fania All Stars, a salsa supergroup that has enjoyed worldwide success since the 1970s. Born in the Dulces Labios neighborhood of Mayagüez, Roena took his first steps in the art of dance by staging dance routines with his brother Cuqui at his hometown. When Roberto was nine years old, his family settled in Santurce, where the brothers continued to refine their mambo and cha-cha-chá routines, delighting their public in talent contests. This led to their contract of weekly performances on the television program “La Taberna India” on WKAQ-TV. During the broadcasts, percussionist Rafael Cortijo saw Roena in action. Roena, aside from being a dancer, was a talented at playing percussion Conga drum. Raphal Cortijo took him under his wing and though him how to play Bongos later to become the bongo player for his band. He also Played occasional baseball.
When Roberto was 16 years old, Cortijo was in need of a bongo player for a group that he was forming. Visualizing a bongo player that could dance and play the cowbell at the same time, Cortijo recruited Roberto to join his new band, and personally taught Roberto how to play both instruments. The group's name derived from the name of an existing band named "El Combo" in which many of the original band members had been involved. For seven years, Roena was part of Cortijo’s group and his Combo, with Ismael Rivera as vocalist. With that lineup, they toured the major stages of the United States, Europe, and South America. It is worth noting that "Cortijo y Su Combo", mostly made up of black musicians (of Puerto Rican descent), was the first of its kind to succeed in gaining access to the stages where only white artists were performing, within and outside of Puerto Rico.
The Combo’s good fortune ended with the arrest of its star singer, Ismael Rivera, for charges of drug possession. With the absence of “El Sonero Mayor,” Cortijo’s musicians discussed the possibility of remaining together. Some members of the group chose to distance themselves from their imprisoned lead singer, and "El Gran Combo" was born. Out of gratitude and loyalty to Rafael Cortijo, his mentor, Roena did not join the new Combo immediately. Eventually Cortijo left for New York in search of new musicians, and after nine months, Roberto, who had stayed in Puerto Rico, decided to join "El Gran Combo" which was then led by pianist Rafael Ithier. El Gran Combo became the new sensation in Latin music, and Roena was part of the group until 1969. Wanting to establish his own salsa orchestra, Roberto formed “Los Megatones” in 1967, playing Latin Jazz Wednesday nights at a local club. Two years after forming "Los Megatones", as a result of personal differences with Andy Montañez, one of "El Gran Combo's" vocalists, Roberto left "El Gran Combo".
In 1969, he went on to form a band by the name of "Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound", arguably one of the best Latin salsa bands in Puerto Rico. Roberto Roena’s new orchestra was baptized "El Apollo Sound" because the launch of NASA's Apollo 11 lunar mission coincided with the day of the band’s firs rehearsal. The band eventually recorded hits such as Y Tu Loco Loco, Traicion, Que Se Sepa and Herencia Rumbero. Roberto Roena has also been a long-time member of the Fania All Stars, the showcase group for the Fania Records label, which has enjoyed worldwide success since the 1970s. He recorded his signature song, "Coro Miyare", with the group; live performances of the song featured Roena playing the bongo and dancing with his uncle, legendary salsa dancer Aníbal Vázquez, in a choreographed section that almost always received standing ovations from the audience. Mr. Roena took a giant step in the fusion of salsa with jazz, in the 1970s, by joining forces with African superstar (saxophonist) Manu Dibango of "Soul Makossa" fame.
In 1994, he celebrated 25 years with his orchestra in a successful
concert at the Centro de Bellas Artes in San Juan. This performance
was recorded and released, validating his music for a new generation.
Reference: Photo provided by Aurye
Nogueras was born on 18 June 1951 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. He loved music from an early age and enjoyed playing the guitar. His father was a simple and humble man that had a great talent for poetry; a talent that helped his son José develop as an artist. At age eight he lived in Río Piedras and played in various bands until age 17 when he began his professional career; a career that showed his versatility as a composer and singer. He was popular as much for his rock music, as his ballads, Christmas music and salsa. His compositions have been performed by a wide variety of artists including Cheo Feliciano, Rubén Blades, Héctor Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Willie Colón, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Tony Vega. Nogueras has earned many awards and prizes throughout his professional career, including Billboard’s Composer of the Year; the Premios Agüeybaná y Cemí for Singer of the Year and “Christmas production of the Year”. His compositions are noted for their simplicity, profundity and universal appeal. Nogueras’ music has not only captivated the public in Puerto Rico with its contagious rhythm and style, with songs such as Pueblo Unido but has also been popular throughout much of Latin America and the United States.
Rest In Peace!
Rafael Hernández (October 24, 1982 – December 11, 1965), born in the town of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, is considered by many to be the greatest composer of Puerto Rican music. Hernández was born into a poor family. As a child, he learned the craft of cigar making, from which he made a modest living. He also grew to love music and asked his parents to permit him to become a full-time music student. When he was 12 years old, Hernández studied music in San Juan, under the guidance of music professors José Ruellan Lequenica and Jesús Figueroa. He learned to play many musical instrument, among them the clarinet, tuba, violin, piano and guitar. However, according to many Puerto Rican music historians, when he learned how to write music that his life and the history of Puerto Rican music would change forever. At the age of 14, he played for the Cocolia Orquestra. Hernández moved to San Juan where he played for the municipal orchestra under the director Manuel Tizol. In 1917, Rafael Hernández was working as a musician in North Carolina, when the U.S. entered WWI. He enlisted in the Army and was assigned to the 396th Infantry Regimant of Puerto Rico which was created in New York. The regiment, also known as "The Harlem Hell fighters" by the Germans, served in France. There, he toured Europe with the "Orchestra Europe". After the war, Hernández moved to New York City. In the 1920's, he started writing songs and organized a trio called "Trío Borincano". In 1926 fellow Puerto Rican Pedro Flores joined the Trio. Even though Hernández and Flores became and always remained good friends, they soon went their separate ways and artistically competed against each other. After the trio broke up, he formed a quartet called "Cuarteto Victoria" which included singer Myrta Silva, also known as "La Guarachera" and "La Gorda de Oro". With both groups, Hernández traveled and played his music all over the United States, Latin America, Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico. In 1937, Hernández wrote one of his greatest works, "Lamento Borincano". That same year, he also wrote what is considered by many to be his masterpiece, "Preciosa". In 1947, Hernández returned to Puerto Rico and became the director of the Puerto Rican Symphony Orchestra. He was also a musical advisor to the government-owned WIPR Radio. Rafael Hernandez's talent went beyond composing only patriotic music. He also composed Christmas music, Danzas, Zarzuelas, Guarachas, Boleros, Waltzes and etcetera. Many people in the Dominican Republic consider his composition "Linda Quisqueya" their second national anthem. Hernández's works' include "Ahora Somos Felices" (Now we are happy), "Campanitas de Cristal" (Crystal Bells), "Capullito de Aleli", "Culpable" (Guilty), "El Cumbanchero", "Ese Soy Yo" (That's Me), "Perfume de Gardenias", "Silencio", and "Tu No Comprendes" (You Don't Understand), among 3,000 others. His music became an important part of the Puerto Rican Culture. Hernández was Honorary President of the Authors and Composers Association. He was also the founder of little league baseball in Puerto Rico. President John F. Kennedy christened him "Mr. Cumbanchero". Rafael Hernández died in San Juan on December 11, 1965.
Rest In Peace!
Pedro Flores was born (March 9. 1897 - July, 1979 in the town of Naguabo, Puerto Rico was one Puerto Rico's best known composers of Ballads and "Boleros". Flores was one of 12 children born into a poor family. Flores' father died when he was only nine years old and therefore, he was forced to work at a young age. When he was 16 years old, he took a special course in the University of Puerto Rico (Universidad de Puerto Rico) and received his teachers certificate. Flores taught for five years and worked for one year at a sugar mill in the island of Vieques. In 1918, he served in a clerical position in the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged from the Army when he was 24 years old. In 1926 Flores went to New York without any formal musical education and joined another Puerto Rican composer, Rafael Hernández in his "Trio Borinquen". Even though Flores and Hernandez became very good friends, they also became competitors as composers. When Flores wrote "Sin Banderas", Hernandez rushed and wrote "Preciosa".In 1930, Flores formed his own trio which he named "Trio Galon", and whose music and songs had a faster beat then the "Trio Borinquen". Flores had problems with the music publishing company and he abandoned the trio. He moved to Mexico and then lived in Cuba for a short period of time. Flores eventually returned to New York where he reorganized his "old" trio. Some of the singers of this new trio wereMyrta Silva, Daniel Santos and Pedro Ortíz Dávila "Davilita". Some of the songs written by Flores were: "Amor Perdido" (Lost Love), "Bajo un Palmar" (Under the Palm Tree), "Borracho no Vale" (A Drunk isn't Worth Anything), "Linda", "Sin Banderas" (Without a Flag), "Despedida" (Farewell) and "Perdon" (I'm Sorry).
FELIX MANUEL RODRIGUEZ CAPO
Reference: Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Capo
Rest In Peace!
Félix Manuel Rodríguez Capó, better known as Bobby Capó, was an internationally known singer and songwriter from Puerto Rico. He usually combined ballads with classical music Puerto Rican folk elements and even Andalucian music, as to produce many memorable Latino pop songs which featured elaborate, dramatic lyrics. Capó was born in Coamo, one of Puerto Rico's oldest settlements, located in the Island's south quadrant. After earning a strong reputation as a likable, versatile singer, he adopted his stage name (Rodriguez is one of Puerto Rico's most common surnames, and he opted to use his mother's less common one instead) and emigrated to the city of New York, early in the 1940's. One of his self-penned songs was El Negro Bembón ("The Big-Lipped Black Guy") a song not meant to be a derogatory song, since it half-humorously denounced the racial killing of an Afro-Puerto Rican (in a country whose racial relations, while sometimes acrimonious, are slightly more tolerant than the norm elsewhere). The song was a smash hit for Cortijo y su Combo in the mid-1950's. Another of Capó's songs is "Sin Fe" ("Without Faith"), sometimes known as "Poquita Fe" ("Little Faith"). Capo's composition describing his homesickness for Puerto Rico, "Soñando con Puerto Rico" ("Dreaming of Puerto Rico"), is revered as an anthem by Puerto Ricans residing abroad. Another of his songs, "De Las Montañas Venimos" is a Christmas standard in Puerto Rico. His best known song, however, is Piel Canela (Cinnamon Skin). Capó recorded its most famous version, and the song was later covered by many Latin American artists, including fellow Puerto Rican Daniel Santos, in an emblematic rendition.
Rest In Peace!
Daniel was born and raised with his three sisters in Trastalleres, a poor section of Santurce, in San Juan. He attended Las Palmitas Elementary School. Although he was doing well in school his father took him out of school when he was in the fourth grade and forced him to shine shoes because his family was facing a bad economic situation. In 1924, his family immigrated to New York looking for a better way of life. When his parents enrolled him in school, he had to start from the first grade again because he did not know enough English. Daniel joined his high school's choir but he dropped out of high school in his second year and moved out of his parents apartment. Daniel moved into a small low rent apartment; here, one day, while he was taking a shower, he started to sing "Te Quiero, Dijiste" (You said I Love You). A member of the Trio Lirico was passing by and heard him sing, he then knocked on Daniel's door. The trio member invited Daniel to join the trio and he accepted. He sang with the trio in various social events and was paid a dollar for every song that he sang. Daniel recorded many songs with the Cuarteto Flores and started to gain fame. Among songs that he recorded were: "Perdon" (I'm Sorry), "Amor" (Love), "El Ultimo Adios" (The Last Good-bye), "Borracho no Vale" (Being Drunk don't Count) and many others.
THE HISTORY OF "LA CORPORACION LATINA"
In 1970 there were 3 local salsa bands in Puerta De Tierra (San Juan): La Corporacion Latina, Rafy Leavitt and La Selecta and Carpet Diem (The band leader is now the very famous piano player, arranger and director of RMM : Isidro Infante). In 1970 La Corporacion Latina was a very small group in the style of Joe Cuba (had percussion, vibe, guitar, piano, bass, 1 trombone and 1 singer). In 1971 the band decided to add trumpets and another trombone player, Richard who was their trombone player decided to join another local salsa band ( Rafy Leavitt and La Selecta ) with the idea of stealing Rafy Leavitt’s horn players and have them join La Corporacion Latina, but Richard soon found out that La Selecta was going to record their first song and he liked the band and joined La Selecta and left La Corporacion Latina. Rafy Leavitt and La Selecta recorded a single titled "AMBIENTE" but it did not get any airplay. During that same time Johnny Delgado and I started playing at church and Johnny had written some original salsa tunes and after church we would work on these songs, one day Charlie Collazo who was the piano player of La Corporacion Latina heard us and asked us to join the band. From 1971 and 1972 Johnny and I were the horn section for La Corporacion Latina. We would play anywhere, anytime ( most of the time for free ). In 1972 Rafy Leavitt and La Selecta recorded the hit PAYASO and became very famous, we decided that we needed to add more horns to the band and added Felix (1st Trumpet player) and Rodney (2nd trombone player) We started to write all original songs ( most of them by Johnny Delgado and Felix Martinez ), we also added a second singer Guelo Cruz who had played with the band as the bass player years before. In 1972 La Corporacion Latina members were: Felix Martinez 1st trumpet, Joe Campanella 2nd trumpet (me), Johnny Delgado 1st trombone, Rodney Lozada 2nd Trombone, Josie Gonzalez timbal, Papo Mazacote Bongo, Jose Ramos Congas, Charlie Collazo Piano, German Papo Velez Bass, Guelo Cruz Singer, Joe Belo Singer and Ramon Lozada Director (He was the only one at the time that had a Job and a car and we could rehearse in his house). We remained together for six years! We wrote all our songs and did all the arrangements as a group. In 1972-73 we recorded our first LP, we had a small local hit titled "Amor Maldito". This first LP was done at the local TV station channel 7 in a small studio where they did jingles, we hired the sound director to sneak us in at 2:AM in the morning, recorded the whole LP on 8 channels and had to be done at 5:00 AM that same day. We knew it would not be a very good LP and did not record our best material, the whole purpose was to get something out and try to get some local radio playing time (which we did with Amor Maldito). We rehearsed everyday, played everywhere (If you were getting married and I just met you I would offer you the band for a couple of bottles of rum!) we just wanted to play and get better, we soon found out that our singers had great harmony and started to do boleros with them. Guelo brought to the band three songs and suggested we make a medley out of them , we named the song Desengaño (Guelo was the person who prepared all the harmonies, and brought all the boleros to the band, he was separated from his wife who he loved very much and all these songs were about how he loved her, how much he missed her , how much pain and suffering he was in and wanted her back).
HERMES DAVIDE FASTINO CROATTO MARTINIS
You are our Angel in the Sky... Rest in Peace!
Tony Croatto (March 2, 1940 - April 3, 2005) was an Italian-Puerto Rican singer and composer best known for his interpretations of Puerto Rican folk music. Born Hermes Davide Fastino Croatto Martinis in Udine, Italy. Croatto's family moved to Uruguay when he was 9 years old. In 1959, at 19, he created his first group with his brother Tim and his sister Nelly which was named "TNT". In 1968, after spending some years in Argentina and Venezuela, he moved permanently to his adopted homeland, Puerto Rico. He performed with his sister Nelly in a duo called "Tony y Nelly" until 1974. Croatto was also noted for his popular protest songs in the "Nueva Trova" tradition, as part of the band Haciendo Punto en Otro Son, along with Puerto Rican singers Silverio Pérez, Josy LaTorre, Irvin García, and Nano Cabrera. Since then he was well regarded for his interpretations of Puerto Rican folk music. In 1985, Croatto recorded another mega-hit: his song, El Niñito Jesus, released during the Christmas seaon, which told about a poor child, named Jesus, with wornout pants, hunger and no shoes, who walked into a house of well doers. This song has become a christmas classic in Puerto Rico. Croatto's daughter, Mara Croatto, born in Venezuela, is a famous actress, who considers herself one hundred percent Puerto Rican. In 2000 the City of San Juan, Puerto Rico proclaimed him as its adoptive son. Croatto was diagnosed on March of 2005 with lung and brain cancer. He refused medical treatment, opting for natural treatments instead. The famous television character, "La Comay", said that "Tony is more Puerto Rican than many who were born in Puerto Rico", but her comments backfired when Croatto's wife (Lillian Arroyo) reacted angrily days later, declaring newspapers that she did not wish for anyone to discuss her husband's disease on television. After requesting to be released from the hospital to spend his last days with his family, Croatto died, on April 2, 2005. His funeral was held at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and he was given the same burial as a head of state. Thousands of Puerto Ricans attended accompanied his remains, which were buried in the Old San Juan Cemetery and which was documented by the local press. He will always be remembered of how he re-kindle and boost in Puerto Ricans the love for their country, their nature, and the "jíbaro" concept without political colors nor beliefs.
LUIS FELIPE RODRIGUEZ
You will always be "La Voz" (The Voice)
Rest in Peace!
Luis Felipe Rodriguez, better known as Felipe "La Voz" Rodríguez, (May 8, 1926– May 26, 1999) born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, was a singer of boleros. He is regarded as the most popular Puerto Rican male singer of the 1950s based on record sales and live audience records. Many of Rodríguez's recordings are often considered to be classics in Puerto Rico. Rodríguez was born in the Savarona section of Caguas, the son of a sharecropper and a midwife. He had a rough childhood; his father died before he was born. In 1930, his mother Carmen moved to Santurce and settled in Barrio Obrero, a working class district of San Juan. There Rodriguez went to school and practiced his singing skills during his free time. Julito Rodriguez (no relation to Felipe), another bolero singer, heard Rodriguez sing and invited him to form a singing duo; they later they formed a trio called "Los Romanceros" (The Romantics) and he first took part in a radio program, the popular amateur showcase "Tribuna del Arte", hosted and produced by Rafael Quiñones Vidal. In 1950, Rodriguez left the trio and tried different projects, such as forming or joining other trios (particularly the Trío Los Antares), duos (he formed the "Dúo Pérez-Rodríguez" with his then wife, and continued his professional relationship with her long after their divorce) and singing solo. He was given the nickname, "La Voz" (The Voice), a name which was to stay with him for the rest of his life, by Puerto Rican radio announcer Mariano Artau. Héctor Lavoe's stage name was based on Rodríguez's nickname.
In 1952, he recorded the following songs:
"La Ultima Copa" (The Last Cup), a tango recorded as a bolero (and one of several such crossover hits Rodríguez and others recorded),
"Los Reyes no Llegaron" (The Three Wise Men did not Arrive), a poignant Christmas song written by Esteban Taronjí, and
"Esta Navidad" (This Christmas)
all of which became hits and are now considered as classics in Puerto Rico. Rodriguez went on tour in the United States where he broke the previous attendance and ticket records set for the Hispanic audience by Argentine singer Libertad Lamarque. In 1954, Rodriguez met Pedro Ortiz Davila "Davilita" and formed a very successful duo. Even though "Davilita"'s voice was not as sharp as it was when he was younger, they were able to have many hits together, particularly the Pedro Flores song "La Rosa Blanca" (The White Rose). In the 1960s, they, together with Rafael Cortijo and El Gran Combo confronted the new wave of rock music which was invading the island head-on. In 1959, Rodriguez became the first Puerto Rican to sing the Puerto Rican national anthem, La Borinqueña, at a sporting event, celebrated at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where fellow Puerto Rican Carlos Ortiz won the World Jr. Welterweight boxing title and, which was televised coast to coast in the United States. Rodríguez, as a matter of fact, was an amateur boxer in his youth, was an occasional referee at amateur boxing matches, and was a scout for young boxing talent.
Rodriguez and Davilita paired again to record "Canciones de Pedro
Flores" and in 1974, "Canciones de Rafael Hernandez". Also in 1974,
Felipe Rodriguez, Davilita and Pellin Rodriguez (no relation to
Felipe) recorded a trilogy which also are considered as Christmas
classics in Puerto Rico. These were "La Protesta de los Reyes" (The
Protest of the Wisemen), "Parranda parrandera" and "Navidad"
(Christmas). In the 1980s, Rodriguez continued to record
and had hits with "Por Primera Vez" (1983) (For the First Time) and
"Juntos otra Vez" (1986) (Together Again). In 1987, he was able to
realize one of his dreams when he performed at the Luis A. Ferre
Center for Performing Arts in San Juan. In the 1990s,
Rodriguez continued to be active as a singer and when not singing he
would be at the recording studio producing. He suffered a fall from
a step ladder in his Caguas home, which hurt his back. Eventually
the fall complicated with a pneumonia and contributed to his death.
Felipe "La Voz" Rodriguez died on May 26, 1999 in San Juan, Puerto
Nano Cabrera joined with Tony Croatto,
Silverio Pérez, Josy La Torre, and Irvin García in 1975 to
create the rich harmonies of Haciendo Punto en Otro Son.
Although he had previously performed with rock bands, the new
group offered an opportunity to focus on Cuban and South
American musical influences. Featuring
Cabrera and the group harmonizing on
songs by Puerto Rican poets, including Juan Antonio Corretjer
and Luis Llorens Torres, the album included such hits as "Verde
Luz," "La Vida Compesino," "Ensillando Mi Caballo," "Mujer De 26
Anos," and "En Vida Todo Es Ir." Following the recording of the
band's second album,
Cabrera and Croatto left the group. ~
Craig Harris, All Music Guide
CATALINO “TITE” CURET ALONSO
CATALINO “TITE” CURET ALONSO
Born Alonso Catalino Curet in the southern town of Guayama in Puerto Rico; (February 26, 1926 - August 5, 2003) was a renowned composer of over 2,000 salsa songs. Alonso's mother was a seamtress and his father a Spanish teacher and musician in the band of Simon Madera. He was two years old in 1928 when his parents divorced and he, his mother and sister moved to Barrio Obrero in Santurce with his grandmother. Barrio Obrero is a poor section of Santurce which is part of San Juan. Living in Barrio Obrero and his experiences there greatly influenced his music. He was raised by his grandmother and he received his primary and secondary education. In 1941 when he was 15 years old, he wrote his first song. Among his childhood friends were Rafael Cortijo, Ismael Rivera and Daniel Santos.
After he graduated from high school, he enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico where he studied journalism and sociology. He worked for the United States Postal Service, a job which he held for more than twenty years. All the while he continued to compose songs. In 1960 he moved to New York City and worked for the newspaper "Diario/La Prensa" as a sports columnist. In 1965, Alonso met salsa singer Joe Quijano who recorded Alonso's Efectivamente which became a hit. Alonso developed a unique style of his own which is known as "salsa with a conscience". He wrote songs about social and romantic themes which told about the poor blacks and the hardships that they faced. He also focused many of his songs on what he called the beauty of the black Caribbeans.
Alonso died on August 5, 2003 from a
heart attack in
Baltimore, Maryland. Richie Viera, a
Puerto Rican and William Nazaret, a
Venezuelan, both friends of Alonso,
made sure that his body was transferred to Puerto Rico. In Puerto
Rico he was given a hero's funeral, first the wake was held at the
Institute of Puerto Rican Culture with an honor guard, then at Puerto
Rico's Capitol building in San Juan and then at San Juan City Hall.
Finally he was interred in
Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis
Cemetery in Old San Juan. Rubén
Blades suspended some dates from his "farewell" tour
(before becoming the Minister of Tourism for
Panama) to attend Alonso's funeral.
Cheo Feliciano, one of his closest
friends, was one of many famous pallbearers in attendance. A
posthumous collection of music composed by Tite Curet Alonso, the
two-disc Alma de Poeta, was published in 2009.
GUILLERMO VENEGAS LLOVERAS
Rest In Peace!
Guillermo Venegas Lloveras was born in the town of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico on October 12, `915. His qualifying artistic name is "El Cantor del Guajataca". He was a composer, singer, guitarist and writer.
Referring to Guillermo Venegas Lloveras, one time, the famous violoncellist and classic composer, Pablo Casals, manifest: "I don't know about any composer in the music history that, without studying had composed to his level".
This intellectual and great Boricua artist was the son of Rafael Venegas Oliveras and María Lloveras Soler. He only finished his elementary academic grades, because of his indiscipline behavior he was suspended from the Public Education System. Because of that, he was forced to be educated in a autodidactic manner. At the age of eight he start learning guitar. A blacksmith called Juna Jeliga, friend of his family, taught him the basics of the instrument.
On March 23, 1969 he accredited one of the biggest triumphs of his artistic career, when his ballad "Génesis", interpreted by Lucecita Benítez and orchestrate by Pedro Rivera Toledo, deserved the First Award in the First Latin Song Festival (Primer Festival de la Canción Latina del Mundo), celebrated at the "Teatro de los Ferrocarrileros", in the City of Mexico.
Victim of stomach cancer, he died in the Pavía Hospital, in Santurce, Puerto Rico, on July 23, 1993.
Ednita Nazario (born April 11, 1955 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter who has achieved stardom both at home and abroad. She has been in the music business from a young age, and has released over twenty albums throughout her career. Nazario was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico to Domingo Nazario and Gudelia Figueroa. She has two older brothers (Tito and Alberto) and a younger brother (Frank, a.k.a. Pancho). Ednita showed inclinations to music even when small. A family anecdote tells that when she was two, she went shopping with her mother but wandered away in the market. She was found singing on top of boxes to an enthusiastic crowd of shoppers laughing and clapping until her mother took her.
When she was 6 she attended a baseball game in Ponce with her brothers. While she was playing with her brother's glove, the batter hit the ball toward her. She held the glove up for protection, and the ball landed squarely in it. The crowd went wild, including Alfred D. Herger, one of Puerto Rico's top record producers, who was seated near the family. When he asked her if she wanted to be a baseball player, she replied "No, I'm going to be a singer." He asked her to sing something for him, and she responded with an impressive rendition of a local salsa hit that left both the producer and the crowd astonished. The crowd applauded her. Two months later, Herger visited the Nazario household with a recording contract, which the family, reluctantly at first, signed.
At 6, Ednita recorded her first song: a
Spanish version of "My Love Lollipop". In 1966, at age 11 Nazario made
her first radio debut.
(Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez)
Reference: : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daddy_Yankee
Born February 3,
1977, known by his stage name Daddy Yankee, is a Puerto Rican
regggaeton and hip hop songwriter and recording artist. Ayala was born
in Santurce, Puerto Rico, and was raised in the Villa Kennedy Housing
Projects. While still dabbling in music, Ayala aspired to be a
professional baseball player and tried out for the Seattle Mariners
Major League baseball team. Before he could be officially signed, he
was hit by a stray round from an AK-47 rifle while taking a break from
a studio recording session with reggaeton mixtape icon DJ Playero,
Ayala spent roughly one and a half years recovering from the wound;
the bullet was never removed from his hip, and he credits the shooting
incident with allowing him to focus entirely on a music career. Since
then, he has sold over 10 million albums.
(William Omar Landrón Rivera)
Don Omar (born William Omar Landrón Rivera; February 10, 1978), is aPuerto Rican reggaeton singer and actor. He is sometimes referred to by his nickname El Rey (Spanish: "The King"). Omar is the youngest son of William Landrón and Luz Antonia Rivera. He was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. From an early age, he showed interest in the music of Vico C and Brewley MC. During his youth, he became an active member of a Protestant church, Iglesia Evangélica Restauración en Cristo in Bayamón where he occasionally offered sermons. However, after four years, he left the church to dedicate himself to singing.
His first public performance in a night club was accompanied by disc
jockey Eliel Lind Osorio. Afterwards he appeared regularly on
compilation albums from popular DJs and producers including Luny
Tunes, Noriega, and DJ Eric. He also worked as a backup singer for the
duo Héctor & Tito. One of the members, Héctor Delgado, helped him
produce his first solo album. Omar's career rose to stardom with the
release of his first studio album, The Last Don. Both the studio
version and its live edition have been certified platinum by the
Recording Industry Association of America. Worldwide, The Last Don:
Live [CD & DVD] has sold over one million copies, according to his
official website. He earned awards for Latin Pop Album of the Year and
New Artist & Latin Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year by the Billboard
Latin Music Awards in 2003. The Last Don: Live [CD & DVD] was also
nominated for Urban Music Album at the 2005 Latin Grammy Awards.
Omar's May 2006 album King of Kings, became history's highest ranking reggaeton LP in the top 10 US charts, with its debut at #1 on the Latin sales charts and the #1 spot on the Billboard Latin Rhythm Radio Chart cacahis single "Angelito". Omar was also able to beat the in-store appearance sales record at Disney World's Virgin music store previously set by pop star Britney Spears.
With the highest charing debut by a reggaeton
artist, Omar's King of Kings entered at No. 7 with 74,000, beating
Daddy Yankee's No. 24 entry with 2005's "Barrio Fino En Directo".
In April 2007, Don Omar received the Latin Billboard award for
Reggaeton award for Reggaeton Album Of The Year for King of Kings.
Billboard recognized that King of Kings was the most successful album
of the decade in Latin America, besides being the most successful in
the history of the genre of reggaeton. Billboard estimated that
the album sold over 4.1 million copies by the end of 2009.
GERMAN WILKINS VELEZ RAMIREZ
German Wilkins Velez Ramírez, commonly known as Wilkins, is a Puerto Rican pop music singer and composer.
Wilkins was born in the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, on March 10, 1953, but raised in Mexico City, Mexico. His father, Germán Vélez Forestier, was a radio announcer and part-time singer (he was Mon Rivera's singing partner at the beginning of Mon's career in El Duo Huasteca). As a child, he enjoyed putting on a "show" for his loved ones, which included his sister Bruni Vélez, who would later become a newscaster and TV journalist in Puerto Rico. Wilkins joined the high school choir where he sang solo. During his free time, he sang as back-up for local groups.
The family returned to Puerto Rico in 1971, and while seeking a degree in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez, Wilkins decided to pursue a formal singing career. In 1973, Wilkins made his recording debut with an album titled Wilkins (produced by Tito Puente), which was followed in 1974 and in 1975 with the recordings of the albums Por Tu Rumbo (By Your Path) and a second Wilkins, respectively. The albums' successes were followed by several successful concerts, both in Puerto Rico and Latin America. Wilkins' music has also been popular in Germany and Japan. Wilkins became the first pop music performer to sing in the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was only reserved for classical music performers.
In 1980, Wilkins released Respiraré (I Will Breathe) which was named best recording of the year by ASCAP. He was twice named by Billboard and ASCAP as the singer and composer of the year. In 1988, Wilkins participated in the film Salsa, as a homeless person, starring Robby Rosa alongside the likes of Celia Cruz and Tito Puente. In the movie, he sang the song "Margarita", which he composed and which is also included in his Paraiso Perdido album. "Margarita" became one his greatest "hits" and he won Gold Record Awards in Puerto Rico, Latin America, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Egypt, South Africa and the Philippines.
the 1980s, a dance craze called the "Lambada" (The Forbidden Dance)
spread across the world. Wilkins sang the Latin version of the song,
which became a huge success. In 1984, Wilkins included the "Lambada
(Llorando Se Fue)" in his album of 15 tracks titled Una Historia
Importante (An Important Story). In 1991, Wilkins' song "Sopa de
Caracol" (Shell Soup), co-produced by Emilio Estefan, reached the
German "Hit Parade List" and over 25,000 people attended a concert
that he gave in Berlin, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
LUIS FELICIANO VEGA
We'll never forget our Puerto Rican "Consentido"... Rest In Peace !!!
José Luis Feliciano Vega, better known as Cheo Feliciano (July 3, 1935 – April 17, 2014) was a Puerto Rican composer and singer of salsa and bolero music.
Feliciano (birth name: José Luis Feliciano Vega) was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where he was raised and educated. As a child, he was nicknamed "Cheo" by his family - a colloquial version of his name José, normally used by close friends and family. However, the name stuck and became part of his everyday name (using the nickname avoids confusion with José Feliciano, another major Puerto Rican singer to whom he is not related). At a young age he was influenced by the bolero music of the “Trio Los Panchos”. When he was only eight years old he formed his first group with his friends and named it "El Combo Las Latas". They were so poor that their musical instruments were made out of cans. After finishing his primary education, Feliciano attended the “Escuela Libre de Música Juan Morel Campos” in Ponce, where he studied percussion. In 1952, Feliciano moved with his family to New York City and settled down in Spanish Harlem. Here he auditioned as a percussionist in the "Ciro Rimac's Review" band - giving him his first professional musical job. Bandleader Tito Rodríguez, heard Feliciano play and offered him a job in his orchestra. He accepted, but after playing for some time with Tito, he left the band to play the conga for Luis Cruz. Despite leaving, he always remained on friendly terms with Tito. Feliciano also played percussion for “Kako y su Trabuco” orchestra. He was also a roadie for Mon Rivera.
In 1955, Rodríguez found out that Joe Cuba was in need of a singer for his sextet. Aware that Feliciano was also a talented singer, he recommended Cuba that he try out for the position. Feliciano auditioned and became a vocalist for the Joe Cuba Sextet. He was the rare baritone among salsa singers, and his deep voice and quick wit as an improviser made him a favorite among the Latino public. On October 5, 1957, Feliciano made his professional singing debut with the Joe Cuba Sextet, singing the song "Perfidia" (he was also married on that same day). He remained with the sextet for 10 years. In 1967, he joined the Eddie Palmieri Orchestra and sang for them for two years. However, at the same time he began using drugs at 21 years old. His increasing addiction led him to heroin, which in turn threatened his life and career. He decided to quit drugs "cold turkey" and eventually joined Puerto Rico's rehabilitation center, Hogares CREA. Feliciano credits Tite Curet Alonso, the author of most of his hits and his best friend, with pushing him through his rehabilitation. As a result, he is a vehement anti-drug spokesperson, who has volunteered to assist in the rehabilitation of fellow salsa artists who fall prey to drug addiction.
1972, Feliciano came back to music with the album Cheo, his first solo
recording. The album, which featured compositions by Feliciano's
friend Tite Curet, broke all sales records in the Latino music market.
The album included: "Anacaona" and
"Mi Triste Problema". Cheo Feliciano died in the early hours of April 17, 2014 in a single car accident on Highway 176 in Cupey, Puerto Rico, after losing control of his vehicle and hitting a light pole. His wife, Coco, told reporters that Feliciano did not like to wear a seat belt.
Reference: : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheo_Feliciano
JOSE MIGUEL AGRELOT
(Don Cholito and or Torito)
You will always be in our thoughts... Rest in Peace!
Don Cholito it was one of his roles as a political censurer and as a comedian he plays a role as Torito, in a comedy program called "El Colegio de la Alegría" (The Happy College), as an ignorant little boy who was also mischievous in the classroom.
I wrote this poem (in Spanish) specially for you.
A Don Cholito le escribo
Estos versos que leo en calma
Y en los que en ellos digo
Que Dios ya tiene su alma.
Comediante como él
Puerto Rico jamás tendrá
A Torito que fué un ser
Que a todos dejará
El amor sincero de aquél
Que nunca más volverá.
Con sus comedias mantuvo
A todo Puerto Rico en risas
Pues como él nunca hubo
Alguien para compartir sonrisas.
Y por eso Don Cholito
No diré adiós para siempre
Porque ya que con Torito
Sabemos que tú partiste
Al lugar que sabemos toditos
A morar con Dios te fuiste.
Diciéndote un "hasta luego"
Te tendremos en nuestra mente
Y en nuestro corazón con ruego
Estarás siempre presente.
Por: Aurea E. Padilla-Velázquez
14 de febrero de 2004
I dedicated this poem (in Spanish) just for you.
En su programa “Tira y Tapate” ella criticaba
A cualquier gobierno que estuviera en poder
Y cantando alegre sus maracas tocaba
Dejándole así al pueblo ver
Entre cada estrofa cantada
Que en el gobierno no debiéramos creer
Ya que a nuestro pueblo engañaba
Con su forma de proceder
Por eso Myrta Silva representaba
El prototipo de aquella mujer
Que a su país mucho amaba
Y que siempre supo defender.
Su pelo siempre tenía recogido
Con un pañuelo que usaba
Y a su público querido
Su buen humor le dejaba
Por eso no existe olvido
Por su público que ha vivido
La verdad de que ella hablaba
Por eso nos ha dolido
Al saber que lejos se nos ha ido
Sin que pudiéramos hacer nada.
A Dios rogar queremos
Por el descanso de su
Seguros de que sabemos
Que ya está reposando en calma.
Por: Aurea E. Padilla-Velázquez
5 de agosto de 2006
RAUL RAFAEL CARLOS JULIA Y ARCELAY
You will always be in our hearts... Rest in Peace!
Raúl Rafael Juliá y Arcelay was a Puerto Rican actor who lived and worked for many years in the United States. His career spanned stage and screen, and included dramatic, comic, and musical roles. Juliá's father dreamed of bringing pizza to Puerto Rico. In fact, his father made that dream a reality when he added pizza to the menu at "La Cueva del Chicken Inn," his oddly named restaurant in San Juan. His son later hailed that pizza as "the best you've ever eaten." The success of La Cueva del Chicken Inn ("The Chicken Inn's Cave") provided Juliá with more than good pizza. It paved the way for him to follow his own dreams, and to become one of the finest Puerto Rican actors of his generation. For 30 years, working in theater, film, and television, he would challenge and delight audiences with his complex, often enthralling performances. Raúl Rafael Carlos Juliá y Arcelay was born in San Juan on March 9, 1940. Throughout his youth his father's business was particularly successful. This economic security ensured excellent schooling for young Raúl. He studied at Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola and attended the University of Puerto Rico where he was a member of Phi Sigma Alpha Puerto Rican pro-independence leader Rubén Berríos was a classmate and close friend. Upon graduation from college, Juliá was faced with a difficult choice between his parents' wishes and his own. They wanted him to continue to law school. He wanted to pursue an acting career. Finally, like so many aspiring actors, he left for New York City in 1964 and began studying drama with Wynn Handman. He soon found work in off-Broadway theater.
You'll never die in our hearts. Rest in Peace!
We can't forget your smile... Rest in Peace!
Adalberto Rodríguez, better known as Machuchal, was a Puerto Rican comedian. Adalberto Rodriguez, was born in the town of Sabana Grande, in the southwest of Puerto Rico. He became very famous early on by imitating animal sounds for his elementary school peers. He acquired his stage name "Machuchal" after the barrio he lived in Sabana Grande. He liked to call himself "El alcalde de Machuchal", (the Machuchal Mayor)this was a joke that prevailed and launched him to stardom. Machuchal was a living example of Puerto Rico's mountain man, known as Jibaro. He would wear a straw hat and a farm worker's shirt for many years on his daily intervention on Telemundo Puerto Rico's mid day show, El Show De Las 12, the straw hat in particular being known as an identifier of Jibaros.
LUIS ANTONIO RIVERA
Luis Antonio Rivera (Yoyo Boing) born April 9. 1930 in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Is a comedian who was also one of the pioneers of Puerto Rican television. Yoyo's parents moved to Santurce, a section of San Juan, from Humacao when he was only three years old. After receiving his primary education, Yoyo attended the "Escuela Superior Central de Santurce" (Central High School of Santurce). He found a part-time job at a local radio station which opened the doors to a new world for him. Yoyo became a member of the Drama Department of the University of Puerto Rico. He also had a radio show and that's when he came up with the name of Yoyo Boing for a "character" he used in the show. 1954 was the year that television "arrived" in Puerto Rico. Yoyo Boing, together with the likes of Tommy Muñiz, José Miguel Agrelot and Paquito Cordero was one of the first comics in Puerto Rican television. In 1960, he participated in the T.V. program called "La Críada Malcriada" (The Crazy Maid).
LUIS VIGOREAUX RIVERA
Rest in Peace forever and ever!
Luis Vigoreaux Rivera (April 12, 1929-January 17, 1983) was a Puerto Rican radio and television show host, announcer, comedian and producer. The son of a sugar worker, Vigoreaux became one of the most popular television entertainers in Puerto Rico's history. Vigoreaux was born in the Chupacallos section of Ceiba, Puerto Rico, but he moved at the age of 14 to San Juan, where he began pursuing his artistic dreams. As a teenager, Vigoreaux found work in a radio station named WIAC-FM. There, he worked on a show named Alma Estudiantil (Student Soul). The show was produced by Tomas Muniz, father of another very well liked Puerto Rican show business personality, Tommy Muniz, and grandfather of Rafo Muniz. Vigoreaux saw a big opportunity come by with the arrival of World War II, as many Puerto Rican radio show hosts of the era were called to the war. Vigoreaux then joined Ramón Rivero for the radio comedy El Tremendo Hotel (The Tremendous Hotel). This radio space enjoyed a large audience for years, and Vigoreaux was convinced he could make it as a comedian too. During this period of his life, he got married to his first wife, and they had two sons, Luisito Vigoreaux, now a very famous actor, show host, producer and comedian, and Roberto Vigoreaux, a former show host who is a senator. Between 1954 and 1955, he joined fellow famous comedian (and eventual best friend) Jose Miguel Agrelot in a theater show that took them to many Latin American communities in the United States. The theater show eventually led to a radio program named Torito and Company, after Torito, the character that Agrelot played.
When television made its Puerto Rican debut in 1954, Vigoreaux became attracted to the new media outlet, and in 1955, he was hired to host a show named El Show Libby's, which was sponsored by fruit juice company Libby's. In 1958, he met actress Lydia Echevarria. They were both married at the time and had an adulterous affair. After divorcing their respective spouses, they got married, on February 10, 1960. He and Echevarria had two daughters, Vanessa Vigoreaux, who is also an actress, and Glendalys Vigoreaux. In 1970, Vigoreaux developed a show named Sube Nene, Sube(Go up, man, go up!!). The show was a game show where contestants had to go up a greased pole to earn money. Usually the contestant would be a man who was motivated to keep trying on reaching the top by his wife, hence the name Go up, man, go up!. It was hosted by Vigoreaux and Echevarria, and it became one of the top seen shows in Puerto Rican television history. Happy with the performance of Vigoreaux's game show, WAPA-TV asked him to produce and host a few more game shows. So Vigoreaux responded by creating Pa'rriba, Papi, Pa'rriba!! (Reach up, honey, Reach up!); which was a variation of Sube Nene; and Dale Que Dale En Domingo (Keep on Doing it on Sunday). Vigoreaux later jumped ship to Channel 11, then named the Perez-Perry Network. He bought the Teatro Nuevo San Juan, from where he started transmitting his new show. But this show was not as successful, and soon Vigoreaux found himself off the air. To complicate things, he and Echevarria separated, as he had met aspiring actress Nydia Castillo and begun another relationship outside of his marriage to Echevarría.In 1980, Vigoreaux went back to WAPA-TV and all his shows were re-scheduled. He also became the show host of that station's lunch hour variety show, El Show Del Mediodia, and began playing the role of Pedro Navaja in a play by the name of La Verdadera Historia De Pedro Navaja (The Real Story of Pedro Navaja). He would participate in that play for the rest of his life, and he also participated in a play named Angeles Caidos (Fallen Angels). In addition to that, he returned to the radio with a program named Buenos Dias (Good Morning), on radio station WBMJ-AM. He also worked, for a short period of time, as a television reporter for "Noticentro 4".
On the morning of January 17, 1983, he didn't show up to work at the
radio station or at WAPA-TV, causing the worry of his co-workers.
When his Mercedes-Benz was found with a body inside, the body was
taken to the medical examiner's office, where it was confirmed that
the body found was that of Vigoreaux. His death launched a
wave of rumors and speculations, and led to one of the biggest
trials in Puerto Rico's history. Lydia Echevarria was accused
formally for his murder, and it was alleged that she had become
jealous of his relationship with Nydia Castillo, and for that
reason, she hired professional killers Papo Newman and David
Lopez-Watts to kill him. While some evidence has surfaced suggesting
that she only paid them to give him a beating, the fact is Vigoreaux
was gagged, burned and thrown into his car's trunk by his killers.
Echevarria was later convicted and spent 15 years in jail at the
city of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. At the time of his death,
Vigoreaux was about to begin another game show, A Millon, which also
became one of the most popular shows in Puerto Rican television
history, but under the hosting of Hector Marcano and producing of
Vigoreaux's son, Luisito Vigoreaux.
Tommy Muñiz (born February 4, 1922 in Ponce, PR - died January 15, 2009) - Hebrew Spanish Puerto Rican comedian, dramatic actor, network owner and producer. Muñiz is considered to be one of Puerto Rico's best comedians. Muñiz is the son of Don Tomás Muñiz Souffront, who was owner of various radio stations and was also a radio producer. He is married to Luz María García de la Noceda and they had eight children.
During the 1970s, Muñiz produced and acted in a comedy series named Los García (The Garcias). In this he took part alongside his real life son Rafo Muñiz and Gladys Rodríguez, playing their father in law and husband respectively. Edgardo Rubio, the son of Puerto Rican military hero Euripides Rubio, was also featured as Muniz's son. Los García became one of the most successful television shows on Puerto Rican television. In that show, he popularized the phrase Sea Mi Vida! (a phrase widely used in Puerto Rico by people when they get mad, and which has no similar phrase in English, but loosely translated, it would mean Damned be my Life!). Muñiz is also credited with discovering and promoting Otilio Warrington.
During the late 1970s and early
1980s, Muñiz was the owner of a television channel, Channel 7, or
Canal 7, in Puerto Rico. In 1988, he became one of the largest
minority owners of TeleOnce, Channel 11. In 1990, he and
Rodríguez reunited to act in the movie Lo que le Pasó a Santiago,
which was nominated for the Oscar as best foreign film.
Mapy Cortes (1910 – 1998), born Maria del Pilar Cordero in Santurce, Puerto Rico, was a famous actress that participated in many films during the Mexican film industry's golden era. Contrary to popular belief, Cortes was not Mexican; she was Puerto Rican, but she adopted Mexico as her residential country from her youth and almost until she died. Mapy Cortes began experimenting as an actress since an early age, working in various Puerto Rican radio shows, with lukewarm success.
During the early 1930s, Cortes decided to look for fame in other places, and she arrived in Mexico, where she met and married the already famous Puerto Rican actor and producer Fernando Cortes who has already adopted the Mexican citizenship. This marriage proved to be a blessing for the Puerto Rican actress, both romantically and professionally speaking. By 1933, Mapy Cortes participated in the first of over 50 films she would make in Mexico and in Puerto Rico. Her film debut was in a movie named Dos Mujeres y un Don Juan (Two Women and a Womanizer). By the time this movie was released, Cortes had a nephew, Paquito Cordero, who himself became a legendary figure in Puerto Rican show-business. Paquito was only two years old when Mapy's first movie was released.
The Cortes couple became a
Latin America, when, after
1940, they set out to film movies
in practically every Latin American country that was into the movie
making industry. Mapy Cortes was able to gain celebrity in places
Argentina, where she filmed some
movies that are considered classics among those movies produced
there. Cortes, who was also a comedian and a musicals actress,
parlayed her acting career into a singing one, recording various
albums while still active as an
1944, she participated in La Picara
Susana (Mischievous Susan), followed by
1945's La Corte del Faraon (Pharaon's
Jacobo Morales (born 12 November 1934) is a marano descendant of Puerto Rico actor, writer and director whom many consider to be possibly the most influential film director in Puerto Rico's history. Marano is from the Hebrew meaning 'converted' since it is the nickname used for descendants of Spanish Jews that during the Inquisition "converted" to Catholics. Because a similar word in Spanish, marrano (swain), a play of words can be found in writings of those with prejudices against the Spanish Jews. Morales was born in Lajas, Puerto Rico. Lajas was one of the centres of Anusim in Puerto Rico. He started acting in radio and theater when he was only 14 years old. He started in television at its inception in 1954 working as an actor, writer and director. Some of his works have been: Desafiando a los Genios, Esto no tiene Nombre, La Tiendita de la Esquina, among many others. During this time, he also started working with the political satire and comedy group Los Rayos Gamma, together with journalist Eddie López. The group still performs at theaters occasionally, and in the 80s and 90s had several shows on TV. In theatre, he has starred in over 30 plays, and he has written and directed five. In the 70s, he had the opportunity to work in Hollywood productions like Woody Allen's Bananas and Up the Sandbox with Barbra Streisand.
His first directing work was the
Dios los cría in
1980. The film was an important
event in the
Puerto Rican film history and
received several awards. It was also selected as one of the 25 most
significant films of
Latin America. He followed it with
Nicolás y los demás in which he
also had the starring role. For this performance he received the
Best Actor Award at the Cartagena de Indias Festival in
1986. His third film,
Lo que le Pasó a Santiago, was
nominated for the
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
1994, he followed it with
Linda Sara which starred singer
Chayanne and former
Dayanara Torres. The film received
the Award for Best Artistic Contribution at the Latin American Film
Trieste, Italy; the People's Choice
Award at the Mar del Plata Festival in
Argentina; and the Best Script and
Best Music Award at the Latin American Film Festival in
New York. In
2004, Morales directed the sequel
to his first film,
Dios los cría II, which was
Puerto Rico. In
Angel, his latest full-length
feature film was released to much critical praise. It was considered
for submission for the
80th Academy Awards but it lost to
Maldeamores in a voting of the
Puerto Rico Film Corporation.
www.prpop.org/biografias/s_bios/shorty_castro.sh... - 25k
better known as Shorty Castro (b. January 20, 1927 in Mayagüez,
Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican comedian, comedy writer and musician,
with a career spanning over 60 years. He is regarded as one of the
best stage directors in Puerto Rican comedy. Among others, Benicio
del Toro and Raul Julia have acknowledged Castro as an influence.
Paquito Cordero and Eddie Miró
Rest In Peace, Paquito Cordero!
Paquito Cordero (born Fransisco Cordero Baez in 1932 in Santurce, Puerto Rico - diedJune 30, 2009) is a comedian and T.V. producer and also one of the pioneers of Puerto Rican television. Paquito was born to Don Paco and Doña Berta Cordero in Santurce, a poor section of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Paquito attended Santurce Central High School upon finishing his primary and secondary education. He was a member of his high school's drama club and participated in its plays, where he discovered the art of comedy. Paquito was geatly influenced by his aunt on his father's side, Mapy Cortés. Mapy Cortés had moved to Mexico from Puerto Rico, where she became a famous actress. There she met and married the equally famous Mexican actor, "Fernando Cortés". After Paquito graduated from high school, he enrolled and attended the University of Puerto Rico and married his childhood sweetheart, a hairdresser whom everyone knew as "Cuqui". With Cuqui he had three children, two girls and one boy.
Paquito auditioned for a role in a comedy
skit which was transmitted through Radio El Mundo and was
subsequently hired. He did this in his spare time. His aunt Mapy and
her husband Fernando returned to the island and presented an idea
for a comedy show to Mr. Angel Ramos, owner of El Mundo Enterprises.
On March 28, 1954, Puerto Rico received its first television
transmission from Angel Ramos' WKAQ-TV Telemundo Channel 2. The
first comedy show to go on the air was "Mapy Y Papi" with Mapy and
Fernando Cortés, María Judith Franco and Paquito Cordero.
Recognizing the comical talents of Paquito, Telemundo came up with
the idea of joining him with comedian Ramon "Diplo" Rivero in a new
comedy show called "La Taberna India" (The India Tavern). Paquito
played the role of "Reguerete", an innocent but wise black man. In
order for Paquito to get "into" character, he had to smear black
makeup on his face and hands. During this period in his life, he
fell in love with one of the show's dancers, a young girl by the
name of Nora. He soon divorced his first wife and asked Nora to
marry him. She accepted and together they had a son, Santiago.
Paquito and Nora remain happily married.
Eddie Miró (born 1936 in San Juan, Puerto Rico), is a television show host in Puerto Rico. He is best known for being the host of Telemundo Puerto Rico's variety show "El Show de las 12" ("The 12 PM Show") for over 40 years. Like Dick Clark in the United States, Miró is known for longevity in front of the cameras while aging relatively little physically.
During the long television run of "El Show de las 12", he came into contact with many famous entertainers, both local and foreign. Some of the local celebrities he worked with as co-hosts and guest stars, were 'Luis Antonio Cosme', Awilda Carbia, Angela Meyer, Otilio Warrington, Dagmar, Lou Briel, the members of El Gran Combo, Machuchal and others. Foreign acts that he presented included Raphael, Celia Cruz, Julio Iglesias, Rocio Jurado, Sandro de America, 'Marylin Pupo' (who resides in Puerto Rico but is Cuban), Jose Luis Rodriguez El Puma, and many others.
In Puerto Rico's competitive television market, Miró outlasted rival hosts Luis Vigoreaux and his son Luisito of WAPA-TV, and, later on, Televicentro competition such and Luis Antonio Rivera ("Yoyo Boing"), who were among the of hosts of "El Show de las 12"'s main competitor, "El Show del Mediodia" ("The Midday Show"). It should be mentioned that Eddie Miró outlasted Luis Vigoreaux in part because of Vigoreaux's murder in 1983.
Miró grew up in the Santurce area of San Juan. In 1953, he graduated from high school as one of the "most likely to succeed" students (his school picked more than one student for that title; Miró was chosen in the entertainment area).
Miró began in the entertainment business as a singer, writer and comedian. His big break in the entertainment business came in 1964, when the actor turned television producer Paquito Cordero offered him a job as the host of "El Show de las 12", a new program that was about to begin at Telemundo, then known as "Telemundo channel 2". "El Show de las 12"s first broadcast was in January of 1965.
He was a teen idol across Puerto Rico for the next few years. He utilized his abilities as a comic during the show as well, mixing them with his work as show host. His style also gained him acclaim among Puerto Rico's television critics.
In 1953, Colon debuted in the role of "Lolita" in her first movie. The movie titled Peloteros (Baseball Players), starring Ramon (Diplo) Rivero, was produced in Puerto Rico. In 1954, Colon moved to New York, where she worked in theater and later landed a role in the American soap opera "Guiding Light". On one occasion she attended a presentation of Rene Marquez "La Carreta" (The Oxcart). That presentation motivated her to form the first Hispanic theater group, with the help of "La Carreta"'s producer, Roberto Rodriguez. It was called "El Circuito Dramatico" (The Drama Circuit).
From 1954 to 1974, Colon made over 250 guest appearances in television shows. She appeared mostly in westerns such as "Gunsmoke", "Bonanza", "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "The High Chaparral" and "Have Gun, Will Travel" where she played a Mexican woman. In 1961, Colon participated in the movie One-eyed Jacks as "Redhead" starring Marlon Brando and in 1979, she starred alongside Jose Ferrer, Raul Julia and Henry Darrow in the movie Life of Sin, where she played the role of the infamous Puerto Rican female gangster "Isabel la Negra". In 1983 she played "Tony Montana's" (Al Pacino) mother in Scarface. According to Colon, her inspiration for the role of "Montana's" mother came from her own mother. She was also cast as "Maria" in the 1999 film Gloria with Sharon Stone.
born Rosita Dolores Alverío [Rosita Chettah] in Humacao, Puerto
Rico, the daughter of RosaMaria, a seamstress, and Paco Alverio, a
farmer. She moved with her mother to New York City at the age of
five, and took on the surname of her stepfather, Edward Moreno. When
she was eleven years old, she lent her voice to Spanish-language
versions of American films. She had her first Broadway role
(Angelina in Skydrift) by the time she was 13, which caught the
attention of Hollywood talent scouts. She played a small role in
Singin’ in the Rain as a silent screen vamp but disliked most of her
other work during this period.
ARTURO RAMON MAXIMO ORTIZ DEL RIVERO
Rest In Peace!
Ramón Rivero (May 29, 1909 – August 24, 1956) — better known as Diplo — was a comedian,actor and composer from Naguabo, Puerto Rico, considered by many as the best and most influential actor/comedian in the history of Puerto Rico.
Ramón Rivero was baptized as Arturo Ramón Máximo Ortiz del Rivero, but later, due to a petition from his father (because another son was a priest, and having a comedian in the family ran against propriety), he changed his name to Ramón Rivero, before adding the nickname "Diplo." A law was passed in 2006 commemorating his life. This extremely versatile and renaissance artist is considered today, over half a century after his death, as the most original, versatile and best actor/comedian in the history of Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, just as he was about to cross over to the international market with a scheduled feature film with Rita Hayworth, Ramón Rivero died suddenly on August 24, 1956, at the age of 47 of a congenital aneurism.
With his popular comedy, and through his famous character "Diplo," Ramón Rivero entertained and made Puerto Ricans laugh for more than 30 years at a time when the island was undergoing its most difficult social, economic, and industrial revolution; the reason why Ramón Rivero and his "Diplo" have now become part of the collective consciousness of Puerto Ricans around the globe.
extremely successful career on radio and theater, (his plays include
classics of popular theater in Puerto Rico, such as Mosquilandia, El
Príncipe Wele-Wele, A Mi Me Matan Pero Yo Gozo, Ese Niño Es Mio, Hay
Que Defenderse, La Familia del Lío and El Tremendo Hotel), Ramón
Rivero (Diplo) produced the first comedy show on local TV, La
Taberna India, winning the highest praise from his fans, who named
him "Rey de la Farándula" (King of Show-business) y "Señor
Televisión" (Mr. Television.
"Johnny El Men"
Miguel Ángel Álvarez, also known as "El Men," (August 25, 1928 - January 16, 2011), was a Puerto Rican comedian and actor.
Álvarez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and when he was a child his family moved to Bayamón where he was raised and received his primary and secondary education.
Álvarez began his artistic career as a radio announcer, working for radio station WENA. On October 30, 1950, Álvarez was among a group of reporters who covered the Gunfight at "Salón Boricua" between Vidal Santiago, a nationalist who was the personal barber of Albizu Campos, 40 police and National Guardsmen during the Nationalist attact of San Juan. This event made Puerto Rican radio history because it was the first time that an event of this nature was transmitted "live" via the radio airwaves to the public in general. He later participated in the radio show El Tremendo Hotel (The Tremendous Hotel) starring Ramón “Diplo” Rivero and later Álvarez was contracted to do radionovelas (radio soap opera).
Álvarez directed four movies for Columbia Pictures. These were: Arocho y Clemente, Dos Contra el Destino (Two Against Destiny), Natas es Satán and El Alcalde Machuchal.
In 1981, he starred, along with Leopoldo "Pucho" Fernandez, in a local TV comedy series called "Barrio 4 Calles" in which he played the owner of a bakery shop who was in competition, and constant conflict, with the owner of the bakery shop across the street. He also appeared in El Kiosko Budweiser. Álvarez had married various times, among his former wives were actress Gladys Rodríguez and singer Evelyn Souffront.
Luis Guzmán, born August 28, 1956, is an actor from Puerto Rico. He is known for his character work. For much of his career, his squat build, wolfish features, and brooding countenance have garnered him roles largely as sidekicks, thugs, or policemen.
is a favorite of director Steven Soderbergh, who cast him in Out of
Sight, The Limey, and Traffic, and Paul Thomas Anderson, who cast him
in Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. He also voiced
Ricardo Diaz in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto:
Vice City Stories.
ESAI MANUEL MORALES
Esai Manuel Morales (born October 1st, 1962) is an American Actor. He is well known for his role as Bob Morales in the 1987 biopic La Bamba. He also appeared in the PBS drama American Family and in the Showtime series Resurrection Blvd. However, he is best known for his roles as Lt. Tony Rodriguez on NYPD Blue and Joseph Adama in the science fiction television series Caprica.
Morales is of Puerto Rican descent and was born in Brooklyn, New York
to parents Iris Margarita (née Declet), a union activist involved with
the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, and Esai Morales,
Sr., a welder. Morales began his pursuit of an acting career by
attending the School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. Has a sister
named Monica who worked for an insurance company.
Reference: : http://en.wikipedia.org
RAFAEL QUIÑONES VIDAL
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Rafael Quiñones Vidal was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, on November 13, 1892 and died on March 7, 1988) was a journalist and a radio and television Master of Ceremonies.
Quiñones Vidal is acknowledged as the first Puerto Rican communicator to promote young singers through his radio and television singing competition show called, Tribuna del Arte (The Art Rostrum).
Well known singers and performers
from Puerto Rico who started as artists in this show include Yolandita
Monge, Lucecita Benítez and Carmen Delia
LUIS RAUL MARTINEZ
Luis Raúl Martínez Rodríguez born March 6, 1962, better known as Luis Raúl, was a Puerto Rican actor and comedian. He was known for his stand-up comedy shows and for his various characters. He also hosted Univision's talk and variety show Anda Pa'l Cará from 2001 to 2003 and Telemundo's game show Pa' Que Te Lo Goces in 2006. He died early in the morning of February 2, 2014 from a renal failure which in turn led to cardiac and respiratory arrest. Luis Raúl was born in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. As a young child, he showed interest in acting. During school, he would frequently participate in plays and shows. After graduating from Dr. Pila High School, he enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez to study chemical engineering. After two years, he transferred to Universidad del Sagrado Corazón and majored in Business administration, taking electives in theatre. In 1980 he graduated from Ofelia D'Acosta's School of Dramatic Arts. In 1981, he moved to San Juan where he held several jobs to make ends meet. Among them, he worked by selling pop corn and hot dogs in two theaters, Cine Teatro and Teatro Royal. In the meantime, he studied at the Acting Academy of Ofelia D'Acosta's acting academy and started performing at weekly shows. In 1983 he debuted in the play Los Títeres de Cachiporra. In 1985 he had his first starring role in Un Mismo Corazón (One Heart), a play that dealt with the subject of AIDS, something that was taboo at the time.
At the same time, he started appearing in several local telenovelas and other TV shows. In 1987 he joined actor Edwin Pabellón in producing the radio show Algo Mejor (Something Better). He also had sporadic appearances at the show En Serio con Silverio hosted by Silverio Pérez. After that, Perez recruited him for a new show called ¿Que Es Lo Que Pasa Aquí? Ahh! (What's Going on in Here? Hmm!!!), a show dedicated to political and social satire. It was this show that established Luis Raúl as a comedic figure. In 1992, Luis Raúl retired from the program with the intention of moving to Los Angeles and seek success there. In Los Angeles, he performed at several Hispanic commercials and shows, and also participated in various stand-up comedy and improvisation shows. However, he traveled to Puerto Rico constantly to perform his stand-up comedy show successfully around the island. In 1997 he also had his own show titled Pa' la Cama con Luis Raúl (To Bed with Luis Raúl) produced by Luisito Vigoreaux.
In 2000 he officially established himself back in Puerto Rico and started another show called En Casa de Luis Raúl (At Luis Raúl's Home) in Televicentro. In 2001 he was hired by Univision to replace long-time friend Silverio Pérez as host of their popular late night show Anda Pa'l Cará upon Perez's departure. Luis Raúl hosted the show with Gricel Mamery until retiring in 2003. In 2002 he adopted two children calling Angel and Janet. In 2008, Luis Raúl kicked off a farewell tour called "Chiquito Pero Juguetón" ("Little But Playful") with the intention of retiring afterward. The tour was highly successful in Puerto Rico and one of the venues where the show was taped was released as a film in theatres in the island titled "Chiquito Pero Juguetón: Da Muvi". After a brief hiatus, he returned in 2009 with another tour titled "La Cosa Está Peúla 3D" ("It's Hairy 3D"). In 2010, he started a new tour called "Con Los Huevos a Peseta" ("Eggs at a Quarter Each"). In 2011 he had another tour of Stand-Up Comedy called "Que Clase 'E Lengua" ("What A Tounge"). On March 5, 2012, he had a special program called "The Trail" on Telemundo, which he co-hosted with Maritza Baiges. His penultimate stand-up comedy was titled "A Cuero Pela'o" ("Bare Skinned") and ran from Autumn 2012 to Spring 2013.
last stand-up comedy show was a one night only performance titled "Que
OJOnes" ("What BIG EYEs") at Puerto Rico's renonwed Coliseo de Puerto
Rico José Miguel Agrelot, where Luis Raúl became the first comedian to
perform at the venue on September 14, 2013 and the first show to be
broadcast live from the venue over the internet. This performance
marked the final show he performed before his death.
One of our champions in Boxing.
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Puerto Rican Champion in Major Leagues. Roberto Clemente Walker (August 18, 1934 - December 31, 1972) was a Major League Baseball right fielder and right-handed batter. He was elected to the Hall of Fame posthumously in 1973 as the second Hispanic American to be selected (Lefty Gomez being the first in 1972), and the only exception to the mandatory five-years post-retirement waiting period since it was instituted in 1954. He was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the youngest of four children. He played 18 seasons in the majors from 1955 to 1972, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning the National League MLB Most Valuable Player Award in 1966. He was very helpfull in his native land, and other Latin American countries, often bringing food, and baseball supplies to them. He died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 while in route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. His body was never recovered.
ORLANDO MANUEL "PERUCHIN" CEPEDA
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Orlando Manuel “Peruchín” Cepeda Pennes was born September 17, 1937 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, is a former Major League Baseball first basemen. Cepeda was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico to a poor family. His father, Pedro Cepeda, was a baseball player in Puerto Rico and he developed an interest in the sport from a young age. His first work with a team was a batboy of the Santurce Crabbers. Pedro Zorilla, the team's owner convinced his family to let him attend a New York Giants tryout. He would work with several Minor League Baseball teams before gathering interest from the Giants, who had just moved to San Francisco.
During a career that lasted sixteen
years, he played with the San Francisco Giants (1958–66), St. Louis
Cardinals (1966–68), Atlanta Braves (1969–72), Oakland Athletics
(1972), Boston Red Sox (1973) and Kansas City Royals (1974). Cepeda
would be selected to play in seven Major League Baseball All-Star
Games during his career, becoming the first player from Puerto Rico
to start one. In 1978, Cepeda was sentenced to five years in prison
on drug possession charges, of which he would serve ten months in
prison and the rest on probation. In 1987, Cepeda would be
contracted by the San Francisco Giants to work as a scout and
"goodwill ambassador". In 1999, Cepeda was inducted into the
National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
"Hector Camacho Dies At 50"
"Rest in Peace Champion"
Hector Luis Camacho, one of five siblings, was born
to Maria and Hector Camacho on May 24, 1962. Originally from
Bayamon, Puerto Rico, the Camacho family moved to the east side of
Manhattan, in 1967. Spanish Harlem, one of New York’s more demanding
neighborhoods, was the environmental catalyst for what was to become
Hectors’ calling. “When you grow up in the ghetto, you’ve got to be
tough or fast” Camacho recalls, “Lucky for me, I was both!”
Camacho attended Catholic school, “…but I’m no choirboy,” he’s quick to remind, “I spent most of my time at The Boys Club; I wanted to be like Bruce Lee.” His drive and determination earned him a second-degree Black belt in American Go-Ju.
A three-time Golden Gloves Champion, Hector Camacho, Sr. began his formal boxing training at a local school. His natural talent and dedication to the sport secured him the World Championship at age 17, making him the second youngest World Champion in boxing history. Hector Camacho is 5’7”, and generally weighs in at 160 lbs. Although naturally right-handed, both he and his son box as southpaws.
The boisterous and ostentatious, Hector “Macho” Camacho went undefeated for more than 11 years. Throughout his career, he has defeated some very formidable opponents, including Rafael “Bazooka” Limón, Roberto Duran, Vinnie Pazienza, Ray “Boom-Boom” Mancini and “Sugar” Ray Leonard. By the end of 1996, he sported an impressive record of 64-3-1, (32) by knockout. Despite the three losses, “The Macho Man” was never knocked down or knocked out!
In 1997, Macho returned to the ring, and went the
distance with Oscar de la Hoya. Despite the unfavorable decision, as
Camacho puts it: “I’m no quitter!” and in 1998 he successfully
defended his IBC Jr. Middleweight Title against Tony Menefee; a
title that Camacho still holds today.
On July 14, 2001, Hector added the NBA Super-Middleweight title belt to his collection, by defeating Roberto Duran in a long-awaited rematch. “The Macho Man” is now an eight-time World Champion, in six different weight classes; there are no other boxers in the world that can make that claim. Camacho currently has an impressive record of 78-5-2, thirty-eight (38) by way of knockout.
Currently fighting out of Weehawken, New Jersey, Hector “Macho” Camacho creates excitement, both in and out of the ring, and his flamboyant style and charismatic personality is unprecedented and legendary throughout the world. Boxing fans everywhere know exactly what time it is when Hector Camacho steps into the ring… Its Macho Time!
EMILIO “MILLITO” NAVARRO
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Emilio "Millito" Navarro was born on September 26, 1905 in Patillas, was the first Puerto Rican to play baseball in the Negro Leagues. At 103, Navarro is also the oldest living professional baseball player to have played in the Negro Leagues.
Navarro was born in Patillas to Botello and Pepa Navarro, and raised in Ponce. His father was a well-known shoemaker in Patillas who died when Navarro was 6 years old. His widowed mother soon moved to Ponce where she had family. In Ponce he attended Castillo Public School and worked after school. His first contact with the game came about when he went to watch the school team play. Navarro developed a burning desire to play baseball. On one occasion he didn't have enough money to pay for an entrance ticket to watch a game between the Castillo and Reina teams. He therefore, jumped a fence, which happened to be in the outfield. It so happened that one of the Castillo team members became sick and when the coach saw Navarro jump the fence he asked him to play. He did and ever since then he's been playing baseball.
After graduating from high school, Navarro was offered a grant to attend the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, which he turned down. Instead, 23-year-old Navarro felt that he should help his family financially and believed that he was more than ready to play in the Major Leagues in the U.S. In the 1920s, the United States was a racially segregated nation and his color was therefore a problem; in baseball, blacks were not permitted to play together with their white counterparts. As a consequence of this policy, a group of white and black businessmen joined forces and organized their own "Negro Leagues". The teams played against each other and even had their own "World Series".
In 1938, Navarro was voted the "Ideal Professional Baseball Player" by Emilio Huike, considered by many as one of Puerto Rico's Best Sports Writers. After Navarro retired from active baseball, he was named administrator of the "Francisco “Paquito” Montaner Stadium" in Ponce, a position that he held for 20 years. He was elected to the Puerto Rico Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. The Senate of Puerto Rico presented him with the resolution #1026 in recognition of his contributions to baseball on June 7, 2005. On December 29, 2006, Navarro was inducted into the "Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum". Former Astros great Jose (Cheo) Cruz presented the Museum's, which is located in Ponce, the Pioneer plaque of induction to Navarro as the 39th inductee into The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum.
On June 6, 2008, Major League Baseball held a
ceremonial Negro League draft prior to the Amateur draft, in
which Navarro was honored by the New York Yankees, being
symbolically drafted by the team. Navarro was honored at a game
during the final homestand in Yankee Stadium history on
September 18, 2008.
Wilfredo Gomez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on October 29,
1956. His nickname is Bazooka. Wilfredo Gomez is a three time
world Champion boxer, considered by many to be the greatest
puncher in boxing history and the greatest Puerto Rican fighter of
Made 17 defenses of the WBC Junior Featherweight title, all by knockout, establishing a world record for most consecutive title defenses won by knockout. At Junior Featherweight, he is unanimously considered to be the greatest fighter of all times. He won each fight he took at Junior Featherweight by knockout.
Gomez lived in Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia and his native Puerto Rico. He also visits Mexico constantly, to visit the family of Salvador Sanchez, the first boxer to beat him.
Lost to Sanchez by an eighth round knockout for the WBC world Featherweight title. Also lost to Azumah Nelson and to Alfredo Layne, towards the end of his career.
Gomez's biggest win was over Carlos Zarate, WBC world Bamtamweight Champion, who was 54-0, 53 knockouts coming in, by a fifth round knockout. Other victories include a 14th round knockout of WBC world Bantamweight Champion Lupe Pintor in the greatest Junior Featherweight bout of all times, a sixth round knockout over Juan Meza, a 12 round decision over Juan Laporte for his second title, the WBC world Featherweight title, and a close, 15 round decision over Rocky Lockridge for his third world title, the WBA Junior Lightweight world title.
Gomez acted in a Pizza Hut commercial in 1985. He was romantically linked to famous actress Johanna Rosaly. He had a boxing record of 44-3-1, 42 knockout wins. Gomez is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame since 1996.
MIGUEL ANGEL COTTO VAZQUEZ
Miguel Ángel Cotto Vázquez (born October 29, 1980) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer. Cotto was born in Long Island, New York and raised in Caguas, Puerto Rico, with several figures linked to boxing in his family, including his late father Miguel Cotto Sr., his brother José Miguel Cotto, his second cousin Abner Cotto and his uncle and former boxing trainer Evangelista Cotto. As an amateur, Cotto represented Puerto Rico in the lightweight and light welterweight divisions at various international events including the 1999 PanAmerican Games, the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 1998 Junior World Championships where he won a silver medal. Cotto began his professional career in 2001, and on September 11, 2004, he defeated Kelson Pinto for the WBO junior welterweight championship. He defended the title successfully a total of six times, before vacating it when he ascended to the welterweight division.
On his first match on this division he defeated Carlos Quintana
for the vacant WBA welterweight championship. Cotto successfully
defended this title against Oktay Urkal, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley,
and Alfonso Gómez, before losing it to Antonio Margarita. On
February 21, 2009, he defeated Michael Jennings to win the vacant
WBO welterweight championship. Defending the title against Joshua
Clottey before losing it to Manny Pacquiao on November 14, 2009.
On June 5, 2010, Cotto competed in his first fight at the light
middleweight division, defeating Yuri Foreman for the WBA super
welterweight championship. The Puerto Rican pugilist made his
first successful defense of the WBA title on March 13, 2011, with
a twelfth round technical knockout win against Ricardo Mayorga.
HIRAM GABRIEL BITHORN
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Hiram Gabriel Bithorn
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Born: March 18, 1916 in Santurce, San Juan, P.R.
Debut: April 15, 1942, for the Chicago Cubs
Teams (by GP): Chicago Cubs (1942-43, & 1946), Chicago White Sox (1947)
Final Game: May 4, 1947 for the Chicago White Sox
Died: December 30, 1951, Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico
- First Puerto Rican to play in Major League Baseball
- Led NL in shutouts in 1943 with 7
Bithorn played for the San Juan Senators and at age 22 became the youngest manager in the history of Puerto Rican winter ball. Soon enough, he was pitching at Wrigley Field. On September 30, 1941, Bithorn was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and debuted in theMajor Leagues on April 15, 1942, making history as the first Puerto Rican to play in the Major Leagues. Bithorn won nine games and lost fourteen in his first season, but he rebounded in 1943 by going 18-12 with an earned run average of 2.60 and completing 19 of his 30 starts, shutouts with seven, establishing a record for Puerto Rican pitchers that still stands. During this time, he also formed the first Latin American pitcher-catcher combination along Cuban Chico Hernández After his second season, Bithorn fought for the United States military in World War II. His promising start, though, did not last once he returned from military service. By this moment his weight had risen to 225 pounds, which led to rumors that he may not have the same abilities. Upon returning from the war, he returned to the Chicago Cubs, and went 6-5 in 1946. On January 25, 1947 he was purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates only to be waived later. On March 22 of the same year, the Chicago White Sox selected him off waivers but only pitched two innings, developing a sore arm that ended his career. In four seasons, Bithorn had a 34-31 record with 185 strikeouts, a 3.16 ERA, 30 complete games, eight shutouts, five saves, and 509 innings pitched in 105 games (53 as a starter). Bithorn tried a comeback a few years later in the Mexican winter league. But on December 30, 1951, at age 35, he was shot by a police officer in Mexico. He died later in a hospital. Initially, the officer claimed that Bithorn was violent and also claimed that Bithorn had said he was part of a "Communist cell," but eventually this argument was debunked and the officer was sent to prison for Bithorn's murder.
Bithorn's achievement of making it
to the majors remained a source of pride in Puerto Rico, and he
was honored in 1962 when the biggest ballpark on the island was
built and named for him. Hiram Bithorn Stadion is located next to
Roberto Clemente Coliseum and across the street from Plaza Las
Américas, and it also has hosted world championship boxing fights,
the 1979 Pan American Games, and important musical spectacles. The
Montreal Expos played 22 home games there in both 2003 and2004.
Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics were
played here including teams from Group C and Group D.
Rest In Peace!
Sixto Escobar (1913-1979) known as "El Gallito" was born in
Barceloneta. He became the 3rd Hispanic and 1st Puerto Rican
crowned as World Boxing Champion on June 26, 1934, when he
conquered the Montreal Athletic Commission World Bantamweight
Title. This achievement thought, was put into question by leaders
of both the New York State Athletic Commision, and France's
International Boxing Union (IBU). The motives were essentially
racially motivated, for some wealthy American promoters, who
considered Puertorricans a backwater bunch of uneducated natives,
felt outraged at this win. They convinced their French
counterparts into not validating the Canadian Championship as an
international matching event. Sixto, who was neither dumb nor a
servant to no one, simply fought his way thru the American and
International press media, challenging for a match against the
champions of both boxing clubs, braking a couple of jaws and
silencing several thousand others on his way to the top, until
becoming the 1st human being at holding all three Bantam weight
titles at the same time, by 1936. The rest, we shall say, is