Let’s celebrate one of the great Puerto Ricans of New
York, Willie Colon, New York born. They differentiate the New York born as
Nuyorican, as opposed to the Puerto Rican born Boricuas, but it is all the same
to me, la familia.
Like my punk rock teenage boyfriend, and so many of
those possessed, Willie was playing in a band at 14. He could not help it, it was in his blood, I get it. He recorded his first record
at 16 and 17.
Yep, in the early 60’s you could go to the American Legion Hall
on 16o-something Street in the Bronx and see the real deal happening before
your eyes, or hire them cheap to play your wedding. Willie was the trombone player andbandleader and everyone in the band was around
sixteen. The older guy in the band was 19 or 20. Remember how a nineteen year
old was soooo old when you were sixteen, light years away, babies.
Willie brought the Boogaloo sound to Salsa and is
credited as selling more than 30 million records world wide, holding the record
for the Salsa sound. He is also a political activist including being the first
minority to serve on the ASCAP board and was a member of the Latino Commission
on AIDS, god bless him.
The guy has been making and producing music for almost
fifty years. I am always blown away by people who know exactly what they are here
to do and just do it. I have yet to figure out what I am supposed to do so I
just keep following my heart and trying it all. Ah, depth and span, both are
great, but that is a conversation for another day.
Anyway, when I listen to the first album, El Malo, it
sounds so good it hurt. This is the music of my childhood Sundays at my
grandparents, and it is the crème of the crop. The sound, the groove, the
production, the voice, the words, the language, the rhythm, ohhh, ohhh, ohhh, delicious and
gorgeous. God Bless teenage bands and longevity. God bless New York and the
Puerto Ricans. God bless Willie Colon! It really does not get any better than this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06y9LXGoq3g now
I gotta go dance, see you tomorrow….