Album:The Best Of Perez Prado: The Original Mambo No. 5
Cuban bandleader Perez Prado was known as King Of The Mambo in the 50s. Though he didn't create the mambo, he certainly popularized it in the 50s with hits like Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White and Patricia. He was born Dec. 11, 1916 in Mantanzas, Cuba. He studied classical piano as a child and played local clubs until he moved to Havana in 1942. He was the arranger for Orquestra Casino de la Playa and he started incorporating jazz into his arrangements. Prado was a big Stan Kenton fan. When that wasn't received well, Prado moved to Mexico City in 1948 and led his own band featuring legendary singer Beny More. Then Prado signed with RCA and moved to Los Angeles in 1950. His first big hit Mambo Jambo was written and arranged by Sonny Burke. Prado was very successful touring in the early 50s. In 1955, Prado decided to take his music to mainstream listeners. Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White was his first number one hit. It appeared in the film Underwater! starring Jane Russell. His second number one hit was Patricia in 1958 which is more cha cha than mambo. That song is best known for appearing in the 1960 Federico Fellini classic film La Dolce Vita. It was also used as the theme for the HBO series Real Sex. Prado recorded for RCA until 1965 and then he moved back to Mexico City. Prado got a big boost when one of his songs Mambo No. 5 was a huge hit for German singer Lou Bega in 1989. And that's when this comp CD was released. It's a good intro to his music. Prado suffered a stroke and died on Sept. 14, 1989 at age 72. His son Perez Prado Jr. continues to lead his band. Here's Perez Prado performing Patricia and El Ruletero on what seems to be a 50s TV show.