1951: Number 12 in London’s Guardian’s series of the 50 key events in the history of world and folk music. This one was written by John Lewis. We are posting the items from the series that deal with Caribbean music and performers. For the full series follow the link below.
America has always loved Latin American dance music – from tango to cha-cha-cha to bossa nova – but none of these crazes were quite as big as mambo. In 1950, Cuban bandleader Perez Prado’s fast and furious Que Rico El Mambo became a hit and, within a year, Prado’s band were embarking on 25-date coast-to-coast tours. Unlike his rival Machito, Prado’s mambo stripped out the complicated solos and concentrated on quirky riffs, appealing to the dancefloor and selling this thrilling exotic sound to middle America.
For the original report go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jun/16/perez-prado-hollywood