Spanish Harlem Style, 1960

Joe Cuba Sextet – Wanted Dead or Alive (1966)

“In the summer of 1966, The Joe Cuba Sextet played a show in Asbury Park, a small seaside town in New Jersey known for its beachfront properties and country clubs. ‘It’s all rich people out there,’ Joe Cuba said in the recent music documentary, We Like It Like That. ‘I don’t know if you know how rich people dance, but they hardly dance. They don’t want to break a sweat! They’re just there for something like a charity event, so when they’re on the dance floor, you have to play very, very slowly.’ At the time, the NYC-based band was coming off their first crossover hit, ‘El Pito,’ which was popular with Latinx and black audiences. The song’s chorus, a chanting of ‘I’ll never go back to Georgia,’ was borrowed from Dizzy Gillespie’s 1947 Afro-Cuban jazz song, ‘Manteca.’ The band coupled it with Latin-tinged piano lines, frenetic hand claps, and a clave rhythm. For a while in the 1960s, the song’s signature whistle would drive older NYC residents crazy as young people used it as a clarion call from Spanish Harlem to the South Bronx. … ‘Bang Bang’ wasn’t the first Latin-soul crossover song of its kind, but when more than a million people — black, white, and Latinx alike — bought copies of the single, it all but inaugurated one of the greatest American music genres: boogaloo. Born in Spanish Harlem in the 1960s, boogaloo reflected the complex interplay between New York-raised Puerto Ricans and African Americans at the time. This music is a multicultural stew of Cuban cha cha cha, American blues, and African R&B. The lyrics are a bilingual blend of English and Spanish. Noted Latin music expert, René López called it ‘the first Nuyorican music.’ For the short time it lived, boogaloo was not only about the changing taste of a younger generation, but also a way for Cuban, Puerto Rican, and black teens to explore their social and political identities. If you were an older person living in NYC during the 1950s, there’s a good chance you listened to mambo, an Afro-Cuban music style with heavy jazz influences. Mambo titans included figures such as Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez, and Machito. The big band sound is quick paced and exciting, but it didn’t connect with young people. For them, Mambo was their father’s music — they preferred the sounds of Motown, doo-wop, R&B, soul, and rock ’n roll on the radio. So, when they started making music, they came up with boogaloo and the related Latin soul styles. …”
Guardian – We like it like that: the songs that defined New York City’s boogaloo craze (Video)
YouTube: Joe Cuba Sextet – Wanted Dead or Alive (1966), I Like It Like That · Pete Rodríguez, Margie · Ray Barretto, Traigo De Todo · Ricardo “Richie” Ray · Bobby Cruz, Ray Barretto – Acid

Joe Bataan ‎– Riot (1969)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Chicano, Harlem, Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s