From Richie Ray to Ricky Martin
U.S. Latino Musicians have transformed the country, making America great again, and again.
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I asked an expert why Latino musicians on the stage sound way ahead of other leaders from this ethnic community — let’s say their up and coming political leaders, their emerging corporate leaders, or their courageous entrepreneurs?
He told me flat out that it was normal in society. “Artists are always a la avant garde (on the vanguard) of society’s evolution.”
I was at the time under the spell of an HBO documentary entitled “Latin Explosion,” directed by Tony Mottola, which I watched for the first time when it was released nearly three years ago.
This competent documentary depicted the evolution of the Latino community demographic and economic might in the U.S. over the past 60 years, also tracking back the development of its musicians, from Ricky Ricardo, in the 50’s and 60’s, all the way to Ricky Martin, the first Latino artist allowed to sing in a Grammy, in his own native language, before an ovation of a national television audience in the U.S.
“The U.S. is the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world,” Ricky Martin is quoted as saying in the documentary that celebrates names like Selena, Gloria Estefan, Pitbull, and master comedians and actors George Lopez and Cheech Martin.
One omission of Mottola’s masterful piece is a reference to the phenomenon represented by Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, “Los Reyes de la Salsa” from Puerto Rico, featured on the cover of this AL DÍA edition because of their recent return to their island on their 55th anniversary of their artistic career.
I have yet to see the first American band that has withstood the times and has gotten together again, five decades later, like they just did, to play one more time, 55 years since their first appearance.
Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz just did it in San Juan.
Please read the original piece on an exclusive interview for AL DÍA written by our new correspondent in that city, Lily Garcia.
Haven’t these virtuosos made America great?
We can’t be deaf to their music, born here in the Bronx, or Manhattan, in the heart of Eastern United States; or in El Paso, Texas; in East Los Angeles, California; or North Philly, in beautiful Pennsylvania.