Friday, January 03, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Celia Cruz

Artist:Celia Cruz

Singer Celia Cruz is one of the all time greats of Latin music. She was active from the 50s until her death in 2003. I chose her recording of Guantanamera because I have a vintage video clip from the 60s. She was born Oct. 21, 1925 in Havana, Cuba. Her father wanted her to go to school and be a Spanish teacher. But she started singing in local clubs as a teen. Celia appeared on the radio and first recorded in Venezuela in 1948. Celia became famous as lead singer of Sonora Matancera from 1950 to 1965. with her husband Pedro Knight, Celia moved to New York when Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1959. In 1965, Celia launched her solo career with Tito Puente's Tico label. Guantanamera is from the 1967 album Bravo Celia Cruz. That song was a Cuban folk song adapted to English by Pete Seeger. The Sandpipers scored a top ten hit with Guantanamera in 1966. This CD Irresistible is a comp of Celia's Tico recordings and is a good intro to her music. Celia became even more popular with Fania records in the 70s especially the 1974 album Celia y Johnny with Johnny Pacheco. And her popularity continued through the 80s and 90s. she appeared in films like Mambo Kings in 1992 and The Perez Family in 1995. And she also won a few Grammys. One of her last performances was at a free concert in Central Park in New York City on July 16, 2002. Celia Cruz died of brain cancer on July 16, 2003 at age 77. Anyone interested in Latin music needs to check her out. Here's Celia Cruz performing Guantanamera 1967.

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