AUDIO COMMENTARY

Boogaloo

Time: 4:16 minutes
Excerpt: "The feel of the Latin boogaloo slipped easily back into the African American tradition that inspired it."
full transcript

“El Pito” - Joe Cuba 1965

In 1965 Joe Cuba’s band sang, “I’ll never go back to Georgia.” This was a statement of Black and Latino solidarity, inspired by the Civil Rights movement, and by the multi-cultural experience of Nuyoricans (Puerto Ricans born in New York).

“To be with you” - Joe Cuba 1962

This meeting of cultures was expressed musically in Latin soul.  Latin soul includes many contrasting styles.  But they all have some combination of English lyrics, African American rhythms, and Latin music.  Listen to this Latin soul classic by Jimmy Sabater in the style of a bolero.

[LISTEN]

“Bang Bang” - Joe Cuba 1966

Another 1960s music that mixed Latino and African American music was the Bugalú.  In clubs and community centers where black and Latino youth shared the dance floor, bands started playing in a new style.  They combined Latin rhythms like the cha cha cha with the backbeat of African American music.

[LISTEN to first chorus]

say: “cha cha cha” (with clap, 4X)

 [LISTEN]

Children’s voices and shouts GIVE YOU THE FEELING YOU’RE AT  a family house party, with music, dancing, and GOOD food.  The song’s lyrics TALK ABOUT Black and Latino DISHES that are SIMILAR,  LIKE chitlins and cuchi frito

Cut out first “corn bread” chorus[LISTEN—second and 3rd chorus, then talk]

“Mr. Trumpet Man” - Richie Ray 1968

Some MORE TRADITIONAL Latin musicians thought bugalú was crude AND UNDIGNIFIED, but younger bandleaders played what the dancers wanted.

[LISTEN to “Hey, Mister Trumpet Man…”]

Listen to this take-off on Bob Dylan’s “Tambourine Man” by Brooklyn-born piano PLAYER Richie Ray.  Richie swings the koris with a delicious back beat.

[Enter at “We like, the way… “ Cross-fade as trumpet solo enters, into intro to Cool Jerk]

“Cool Jerk” - The Capitols 1966

[LISTEN to intro]

The feel of the Latin bugalú slipped easily back into the African American tradition that inspired it.

[LISTEN to vocals]

“Mr. Trumpet Man” - Richie Ray 1968

Black, brown, and white dancers rubbed shoulders to the sound of bugalú and Latin soul.  DANCING AND SINGING ALONG TO THIS MUSIC, LATINO YOUTH MADE A NEW HOME FOR THEMSELVES IN AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE.