MusiciansLos raices: Cuban MusicThe Elders: The old Boricua music of our Abuelas and also AbuelosRafeal Hernandez and also the tiny known anti-colonial messages of his music.The Palladium/Mambo Era and also beginnings the Latin JazzTito PuenteTito RodriguezNew activities Of The 60’s and also The Salsa ExplosionTite Curet AlonsoCelia CruzHector LavoeJohnny PachecoCheo FelicianoRemembering Ismael Quintana ~ above his Birthday.Podcast
Anani Kaike

June 29, 2020, 27 years because the passing of Hector Lavoe: that forever lives on!

I have constantly remembered the voice the Hector Lavoe. He to be a singer my father loved/loves and someone I always was may be to identify the voice of. Ns remember as soon as I was really young (4 or 5) ns told my father that ns didn’t desire to listen Hector. I didn’t really desire to listen salsa at that time at all. He offered a lengthy talking come on exactly how Hector was Taino, choose me and also like the (Later on ns heard his track ‘La Fama’ and he says ‘Soy Jibaro Taino (I to be a Jibaro Taino’))and I had actually to hear to him and also honor his music. After that I started to love Hector (and every salsa and latin music) an ext and more. When I was small I didn’t know the text and every one of the songs seemed so happy, his voice always held a magic because that me. A warmth and also sweetness ns couldn’t explain. Plenty of songs still bring back memories that birthdays and new Years’ when I danced v my dad to Hector’s songs. I say thanks to my father so much for instilling the love in me for this reason young!

Hector Juan Perez Martinez to be born in Barrio Machuelo Abajo, Ponce, Puerto Rico. He had actually a music family, his grandfather, Don Juan Martinez to be a effective singer and his uncle to be a Tres player. His stepfather was additionally a musician. He supported the household of 8 kids by functioning as musician, an ext specifically a guitarist. Hector love the music of Chuito de Bayamon and also Daniel Santos in particular and would certainly replicate their voices, spending hrs listening to the radio. He later on collaborated with Santos in the Jibaro Contreversia, ‘Joven contra Viejo’. As soon as Hector to be eight his mom died. This ns deeply affected him. Losing his mom at such a young period is something ns think caused much of the woe in his life.

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He to be enrolled in the Juan Morel Campos Public college of Music, a free music school, by his father, together Hector in ~ the time claimed he want to pat trombone. His classmates consisted of two others that would later come to be famous musicians together well, Papo Lucca and Jose Febles. The three all ended up being close friends. Papo Lucca to be the the opposite of Hector, always showing up for his lesson on time, while Hector hardly ever before showed up for lessons. Hector later operated with both the them. Febles plays a solo ~ above his well known song, El Cantante.

The teacher at the music school realized Hector had actually a remarkable talent through his voice. He to be charismatic and drew attention whenever he came into a room. One teacher predicted the would end up being world renowned with his voice.

When Hector was 16 the left Puerto Rico to go after a to sing career. Hector’s father was against him leaving because Hector’s enlarge brother had actually gone to new York and also died ~ getting affiliated in drugs. He fear the very same would occur to Hector. As soon as he come in brand-new York, the met up through his sister, Priscilla, and lived through her because that a time.

One day, a friend of Hector in brand-new York, Roberto Garcia, who had recently started a band, and invited him come come check out them perform. Hector come to find that the singer, who was singing the bolero Tus Ojos, a tune Lavoe later recorded, was to sing off key. Hector said the singer he was butchering it and he would show him how it was supposed to sound. Amazed, after ~ hearing Hector sing the song, they offered him a task as lead singer, which the accepted.

Hector obtained the critical name, Lavoe, from a manager. He wanted the stage name La Voz, but this was currently Felipe ‘La Voz’ Rodriguez’s stage name, and also he could not usage it.

" data-medium-file="https://moment-g.commoment-g.com.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/d6bf3f02-80b5-433b-8dc9-d42ee6182776.jpeg?w=300" data-large-file="https://moment-g.commoment-g.com.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/d6bf3f02-80b5-433b-8dc9-d42ee6182776.jpeg?w=488" src="https://moment-g.commoment-g.com.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/d6bf3f02-80b5-433b-8dc9-d42ee6182776.jpeg?w=488" alt="" class="wp-image-2100" srcset="https://moment-g.commoment-g.com.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/d6bf3f02-80b5-433b-8dc9-d42ee6182776.jpeg 488w, https://moment-g.commoment-g.com.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/d6bf3f02-80b5-433b-8dc9-d42ee6182776.jpeg?w=150 150w, https://moment-g.commoment-g.com.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/d6bf3f02-80b5-433b-8dc9-d42ee6182776.jpeg?w=300 300w" sizes="(max-width: 488px) 100vw, 488px" />Jose Mangual jr., Hector and also Willie Colon in the 60’s. Johnny Pacheco remembers the first time the met Hector…

I was working at the society Havana mountain Juan on Broadway and 139th Street. That’s when I began Pacheco y su Tumbao. I provided to see this skinny son sit by the bandstand and listen come the group. Someday he request me if he might sing v the band. I had no idea who he was. Y yo le digo, “Y ven aca. ?Tu eres cantante?” ( and I said him, “Come here. She a singer?) He states yeah, I can sing. Pete <‘El Conde’ Rodriguez> to be singing with me at that time. Until someday I said, what song can you sing? I used to playLa Mujer del Peso. Therefore I gained Hector up on stage and he sang it. I was flabbergasted. to be an unpolished diamond. I chosen the high quality of his voice, but at that time it was a small thin, because he was really young. But he had this flavor that ns loved. Ideal off the bat ns knew he was going to make it.

From Salsatalks.com, mary Kent. Interview through Johnny Pacheco around Hector Lavoe.

From the way he hit any note, high or low, come his instantaneous improvisations and also humor, Pacheco knew he would be a star.

In 1967 Lavoe met Willie Colon. They recorded their an initial album, El Malo, the year. Hector at an initial told Pacheco, who owned Fania Records, the he would just record this one album since “Willie’s band stunk”. Willie to be 17 in ~ the time, Hector to be 21. The Willie Colon and also Hector Lavoe Sound was an essential development in the coming brand-new sound of Salsa. They were young, pass a perfect combination of Hector’s jibaro sound and also the brand-new sounds being arisen in brand-new York. It to be the sound that youth and also the “Salsa Generation”. Plenty of older musicians such together Tito Puente dubbed Colon’s sound “sloppy and also out the clave” and referred come it together a “kiddy band”, yet the audiences loved the style. One album, turned right into another, selling countless copies. This came to be many albums through Colon. Unfortunately the 2 clashed most of the time on a an individual level. Willie want to be a singer, and had a jealousy the Hector’s voice. He also did no appreciate Hector’s humor and also jokes command at him, countless times as soon as they were in former of big audiences. Lavoe claimed in one interview once, the the fame came too fast and also he did not know just how to cope with it, this resulted in the starts of his drug use.

Hector accepting a Latin NY music award for finest singer the the year.

During this time Hector had actually a partnership with Carmen Castro, who had their son, Jose Alberto Perez. Castro broke up with him after she found out the he was having an affair v Nilda ‘Puchi’ Roman. Roman additionally had Lavoe’s child, a year later. Hector and also Puchi soon married, however their marriage was one unhappy and volatile one. Puchi urged Hector’s medicine use. She likewise greatly disliked his older kid Jose Alberto and constantly tried come sabotage Lavoe’s connection with him. Additionally telling the younger son, Hector Perez jr. (Hectito), that Jose Alberto was no his brother. This escalated to the allude of major animosity between the brothers. Hector to be deeply saddened through the truth that both of his sons could not have a relationship.

However Hector always made everyone laugh, also when his personal life to be a volatile mess. Larry Harlow once remembers a specific incident through Hector in this quote,

“Everybody’s rehearsing at SAR. There’s no Hector. Everybody’s saying, “Where’s Hector?” and also we sent scouts looking for Hector. Ultimately when Hector shows up, Jerry Masucci screams, “Hector, wherein were you?” His hands room filthy dirty, spanned with grease, and he says, “Not one level tire. TWO flat tires!” us all damaged up laughing. Us knew he’d grounding his hands under the car and gotten them all greasy. That’s one old trick that we offered to execute years ago.

From Salsatalks.com-interview mary Kent v Larry Harlow about Hector Lavoe.

Harlow additionally remembers Hector’s awful taste in clothes. When coming onstage through a glowing green and purple outfit. Additionally he was fond of what everyone else thought about ‘weird hats’. This just contributed to his very comedic look most of the time.

Also showing up late was something he continued to do even when had actually his own band, motivating Johnny Pacheco to compose ‘El Rey de la Puntalidad’ (the king the punctuality) because that him, a hoax on Hector’s lateness. That sings “It’s not that ns come late, it’s that you all come also early”.

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On time on a airplane, Cheo Feliciano dropped asleep. Hector obtained makeup and also put the on Cheo’s face. Cheo didn’t realize it to be on his face and also walked that the aircraft and to walk by crowds of human being with the makeup on his face. He detailed that world we’re looking at him in a peculiar way, yet wasn’t sure why. After capturing his have fun in a mirror, he realized why. He to be furious and also ran come the restroom to to wash it off. Hector and his partners in crime ran turn off laughing. No one dropped asleep ~ above the airplane after the incident.

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Yet another time Ismael Miranda remembers Hector’s countless dramas. Miranda says,

Hector and I were the exact same size and also when I remained in the Bronx i wore his clothes and also when he continued to be in Manhattan, the wore mine. One night I visited play at the Hunts suggest Palace. I saw him walking in v a beautiful suit and also tie, and also I said to myself, ‘damn, that suit certain looks familiar’. Together he comes towards the bandstand ns announce -‘Here’s Hector Lavoe’. Anyone applauded, he choose up the 2 microphones and brought them approximately his mouth. ‘Mi Gente Zzzzzzzzzz…’ and he acquired electrocuted. He fell on the floor and started knocking under the timbales and also congas. Whatever was almost everywhere the place and he entirely ripped mine suit. Ns kicked the mike until I managed to tear it the end of his hand. Forget about the suit, I conserved his life. Then i yelled ‘I’m gonna kill you, Hector’”

Kent’s 2005 interview through Ismael Miranda- Salsa speak Pp. 238.

Another time Hector asserted he to be late since he had three level tires.

In 1973 Lavoe was fired native Willie Colon’s band and was changed by Ruben Blades. Hector and Willie’s disagreements continued to get worse and Willie’s perspective caused a many fights. Hector went on to have his very own band, record albums consisting of ‘La Voz’ and also ‘De Ti Depende’. In 1974, Hector traveled to Zaire in Africa for a performance with the Fania all Stars. There he to be a huge hit and at one allude even jumped into the audience. (See video at end of article).

However, even though Hector was constantly making others laugh he constantly held a deep sadness. The is evident, also when you hear to his music, his songs are often tinged with sadness. For instance in ‘Todo Tiene Su Final’ (Everything has it’s end), Lavoe sings “I shed the one ns loved most, once my mother died”. Or just how he sings in ‘El Dia de Mi Suerte’, of all those the loves who have died, yet says that his luck will one day change. Or in his hit song ‘El Cantante’ composed by Ruben tongue he sings, “No one asks how I suffer and also how ns cry. Exactly how much pain ns have. I am the singer, very popular wherever ns go yet when the display ends, i am simply a continual man. Right here I lug you mine song”. Later on in the track he says “If you don’t love me in life, when I die, perform not cry”. In among his last hits, ‘La Fama’, authored by him, that sings “I to be fame, i am the one that everyone claims yet no one understands. I am sad. I am lonely and have no friends”

These text reflect the sadness Lavoe held inside, this sadness steering him come addiction as he make the efforts to operation from his pain. At times Hector would shot to address it, Cheo Feliciano remembers Hector coming to his office and saying “Cheito, please help me. I want to acquire out of this”. Feliciano, who had once confronted the very same addiction always tried to assist him and was an extremely close to him, together did rather such together Johnny Pacheco and Ismael Miranda, yet he would constantly return to the same place. “Pacheco remembers “We make the efforts everything. We got him into programs. We also got the on acupuncture. There to be a time the he had a needle in his ear, but nothing functioned (from Salsatalks.com interview v Johnny Pacheco by mar Kent)”. Yet Puchi, additionally encouraged his go back to drugs, sabotaging his recovery countless times.