How boogaloo was born
Throughout history, music has undergone a series of transformations that have led it to become what we know today, which means that this set of artistic expressions is the product of an ongoing process that does not stop and will never stop. These changes are deeply and closely linked to the rhythms originating from a certain place and their mix with those of other latitudes. In the specific case of Latin music, this process was accelerated with the arrival of a large number of immigrants to the United States of America. That is how so-called boogaloo was born.
Boogaloo is a powerful combination of son montuno with American rock and soul, although there are many who claim that mambo played a much greater role than son. Its origins are not entirely clear, but one of the most talked versions asserts that the emergence of a generation of musicians who had no academic training or experience in the industry were the ones who started this impetuous and scandalous trend that had no reverse.
Likewise, it is believed that everything starts in New York with a then small group of artists who were inspired by the rock style of the time, but the one who really popularized Boogaloo around the world was singer Pete Rodriguez. Of course, We cannot fail to mention the important role played by pianist Richie Ray and La Lupe, also known as the queen of Latin soul.
How boogaloo revolutionized music at that time
Just as boogaloo came to revolutionize the sounds, it also did it with the topics addressed in most of the music of the time.
Generations raised in the United States that did not feel identified with the Beatles or the Rolling Stones found in this set of rhythms an identity to cling onto in order to combat the hottest at the moment. This rising genre began to address issues related to the social and economic situation of the most disadvantaged sectors. In any part of the world these songs were heard, local people knew what was going on, or at least from the perspective of the artists who lent their voices to give life to these new creations.
A very appealing characteristic of boogaloo songs is that they could be performed in both English and Spanish, so in a way, it gave the genre an essence merged with Latin and Anglo-Saxon elements that was fairly new at that time.
It went on to become some kind of social movement that intended to fill a gap that could not be filled by mistakenly called gringo music. Many of its defenders thought it was destined for greatness and durability, but unfortunately, it did not happen. In fact, the peak years of the rhythm went from 1965 to 1969, to show that it did not go beyond being a passing fad after an enthusiastic start.
It was quickly replaced by other catchier genres and dances that quickly sank in the taste of young and old alike, leaving behind what could have been the greatest musical legacy that Latinos have contributed to the outside world. Other sounds arrived, crept over the music scene slowly but surely, and left out boogaloo.
However, we must clarify that while this genre was no longer relevant as at the beginning, there is no getting around the fact that it was this movement that gave rise to a lot of legendary songs that today are still analyzed and commented on by those who danced and sang them at the time. Not to mention that this and several other rhythms that followed were the transition that salsa needed to explode as did at the peak of its popularity.
- The Rumba Madre and its roots in Basque culture - November 28, 2023
- Producer and saxophonist Martin Franco talks about his passion for music - November 16, 2023
- We bring trombonist Félix O. Rodriguez from Santurce to ISM - November 12, 2023