Monday, September 27, 2010

The Latin Soul Music Era

(1960s to early 1970s)

This old classic attracted a large African-American audience and ran #1 on the chart of New York's African-American radio station WWRL for many weeks.

I was just in my bedroom doing a little homework when this song Bang Bang from the album Wanted Dead or Alive played on the local radio station WWRL. It certainly go my attention as it was one of the main pieces that converted me to Latin music.

Another big one by Joe Cuba was I'll never go back to Georgia. Joe wrote that song because he and members of his band went into Georgia during the time of racial segregation, because they were Puerto Rican, got a taste of racial segregation. Thus, in their song, they vowed they will never go back to Georgia.

The highly respected Latin pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and producer Hector Rivera of New York City (Manhattan) was featured on New York's top soul music station of the time WWRL.

The chief rocker Frankie Crocker (right) was a popular radio personality when Latin soul music was making the top 10 hits on African-American radio station WWRL in New York City.


Afro-Filipino Joe Bataán, born and raised in New York's Spanish Harlem, combined African-American doo-wop with Latin Rhythms producing my favorite songs, like Ordinary Guy, Aguanta La Lengua (watch your mouth), Gypsy Woman, and Unwed Mother.

Above is Ralphi Pagan, Bronx born Latin soul singer of Puerto Rican parentage mixed a lot of his albums with soul music and salsa singing in English and Spanish. In this song, Just One of Your Kisses, sung in English, he beautifully ends in Spanish, mi linda solo quiero besito (my pretty, I only want a little kiss).

One of the biggest popular hits in the African-American community was El Watusi by the late, great maestro Ray Barretto.

Ray Baretto's first and undying love was jazz. During World War II, while stationed in Germany, Ray used to join in on jam sessions with African-American soldiers. However, it was salsa and Latin soul that made him wealthy until he had enough. A few years before he passed away, he went back to his first love----jazz, and contemptously referred to salsa as the “s” word.


  1. ..good memories of my best friends named sam introduced me to both of these albums while still in high school..opened my world to latin music,clubs and the bronx..james

  2. I recently started following your blog. I am a 27 AfroAmerican male from Atlanta but have been traveling recently throughout the Spanish speaking parts of the Americas. I first went to Mexico, then to Honduras, and I am currently in Peru. I am very interested in the Black experience outside of the US. I like the work you do on your blog and the subjects you write about. Unfortunately, I will have to leave Peru soon to go back to the US due to a family crisis. Please keep writing.

  3. Too bad you have to leave so soon. I wanted to introduce you to Peru's famous Ballumbrosio family.

    Where in Perú are you now? I'll be there on Thanksgiving Day.

  4. I'm in Arequipa. I will email you.

  5. Hey there,

    I sent you an email but I'm not sure if you got it. It turns out I will be staying in Peru have talking with my family.

  6. Hey Usario,
    Do you know how to get to Chincha? I'd like to refer you to the Ballumbrosios who live in El Carmen, the hub of Afro-Peruvian culture.

  7. How far is that from Arequipa? I will have some time off during the holidays and maybe I could make it there... I've heard of it and would like to check it out

  8. Send me an e-mail so I can reply and give you their phone number. They know me as “Guillermo.” They can give you much better directions than I.

  9. I sent you an email.


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