Thursday, June 20, 2019

Y que se sepa? And what do you know?

The story of a song: Que Se Sepa / Y Que Se Sepa / Mi Quimbín / Síguelo




For quite a few years I have been on the trail of the origins of the Nuyorican salsa anthem “Que Se Sepa” made famous by Roberto Roena y su Apollo Sound in two different versions. The first (1973) was a funky arrangement with breaks and features the distinctive children’s nursery rhyme lyrics, the second (1974) was a more straight salsa version without the playful “la la - bim bim” portion of the first, and containing the “síguelo” lyric and flute instead. I always asked myself why would Roena record two songs with the same title that sound related yet also quite different?



Perhaps due to The Apollo Sound’s success, there were many US-based versions of this tune recorded just after, including Javier Vázquez y su Salsa, Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, and Wuelfo Guitiérrez (all Cubans) as well as Miami’s El Nuevo Conjunto Universal (founded by Cubans). The songs have also been covered by Lito Barrientos (El Salvador), Panchito Nalmy (Peru) (thanks to DJ Freneticos Peru), Johnny Ventura (Dominican Republic) and Orquesta Sabor de Nacho (Puerto Rico). Some go by “Que Se Sepa” or a variant thereof, and others by “Síguelo” or a variant. Are they two different songs, or variations on a theme? 


"Y que se sepa" - Los Van Van


Los Van Van (Juan Formell, middle top)


"Mi quimbín" - Los Bocucos


José Couto "Pepito Bocuco"


After careful study I have come to the conclusion that the song actually has its origins in two compositions from Cuba that predate Roberto Roena’s by a year or two. Audio and catalog evidence shows that the first Apollo Sound version is based on “Mi Quimbín” (released on 45 by Los Bocucos, credited to Bocucos vocalist José Couto Pavón “Pepito” and is designated as a “pilón”) and the second is based on “Y Que Se Sepa” by Los Van Van, credited to Juan Formell, listed as a “songo” and released in 1972 on 45 and two various artists compilation, all on the Areíto label. Further research reveals that the Los Van Van predates the Los Bocucos sequentially by catalog number, but since there is no date on the Bocucos 45, it is possible they were both released the same year (1972). Though several US versions credit Cuban ex-pat Titti Soto with the song composition, that seems not to be founded in truth. Who knew? Well, now I can say “Let it be known!”

Spanish:

La historia de una canción: Que Se Sepa / Y Que Se Sepa / Mi Quimbin / Síguelo

Desde hace algunos años he estado en el camino de los orígenes del himno de la salsa nuyoricana "Que Se Sepa", hecho famoso por Roberto Roena y su Apollo Sound en dos versiones diferentes. El primero (1973) fue un arreglo funky con breaks y presenta las letras distintivas de la rima infantil, el segundo (1974) fue una versión de salsa más normal sin la parte lúdica "la la - bim bim" del primero, y que contiene la letra “Síguelo…” en su lugar lírico y flauta también. Siempre me pregunté por qué Roena grabaría dos canciones con el mismo título que suena relacionado, pero también muy distintos.

Tal vez debido al éxito de Apollo Sound, hubo muchas versiones en EEUU de esta melodía grabada justo después, incluyendo por Javier Vázquez y su Salsa, Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros y “Wuelfo” Guitiérrez (todos cubanos), así como El Nuevo Conjunto Universal de Miami (fundada por los cubanos). Las canciones también han sido versionados por Lito Barrientos (El Salvador), Panchito Nalmy (Perú) (gracias a DJ Frenéticos Perú), Johnny Ventura (República Dominicana) y Orquesta Sabor de Nacho (Puerto Rico). Algunos van por "Que Se Sepa" o una variante del mismo, y otros por "Síguelo" o una variante. ¿Son dos canciones diferentes, o variaciones en un tema? Después de un estudio cuidadoso, llegué a la conclusión de que la canción tiene sus orígenes en dos composiciones de Cuba que anteceden a Roberto Roena por un año o dos. La evidencia de audio y catálogo muestra que la primera versión de Apollo Sound se basa en "Mi Quimbín" (publicada en 45 por Los Bocucos, acreditada al vocalista de Bocucos José Couto Pavón "Pepito" y se designa como "pilón") y la segunda se basa en “Y Que Se Sepa” de Los Van Van, acreditado a Juan Formell, listado como “songo” y lanzado en 1972 con 45 y dos compilaciones de varios artistas, todo en el sello Areíto. Investigaciones adicionales revelan que Los Van Van son anteriores a los Bocucos secuencialmente por número de catálogo, pero como no hay una fecha en los Bocucos 45, es posible que ambos se lanzaran el mismo año (1972). Aunque varias versiones de los EE. UU. atribuyen a la exilio cubano Titti Soto la composición de la canción, eso no parece estar fundado en la verdad. ¿Quien sabe? Bueno, ahora puedo decir "¡Que se sepa!"



A SELECT DISCOGRAPHY OF QUE SE SEPA
Que Se Sepa /Y Que Se Sepa/Mi Quimbin/Síguelo

Los Van Van – “Y Que Se Sepa” / “Y Me Basta Con Pensar” 45 EPA 6332 Areíto Cuba 1972 (also found on V/A: Grupo De Experimentación Sonora Del ICAIC, Elena Burke, Omara Portuondo, Carlos Puebla Y Los Tradicionales, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional De Cuba, Los Van Van, Silvio Rodríguez ‎– Seminario latinoamericano de mujeres Estudios EGREM ‎LD-FMC-1 / 2 Cuba 1972; and V/A: Novedades Musicales de Cuba Areíto LDA-3387; also Los Van Van ‎– “Y Que Se Sepa” / “Aquí Se Enciende La Candela” (Juan Formell) 45 Lider ‎– 11701 Peru 1972





Los Bocucos ‎– “Mi Quimbin”/ “Apuntate Una” Areito ‎45 EPA-6447 Cuba 1972/3?
“Mi Quimbín”  (José Couto aka José “Pepe” Couto Pavón “Pepito Bocuco”) Genre: Pilón (Arr: José Couto) Vocals: José Couto, Ibrahim Ferrer 


Los Bocucos

Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound ‎– 5 Fania /International Records SLP 00443 US 1973 “Que Se Sepa” (D.R./Titti Soto); also “Cui Cui” / “Que Se Sepa” 45 International 670 1973



El Nuevo Conjunto Universal ‎– Está Pa’ Comerselo…! Velvet LPVA-1466 US 1973 “Que Se Sepa” (D.R./Titti Soto); also “Que Se Sepa” / “No Me Apreites” Velvet 45 2281 US 1973 



Orquesta El Sabor De Nacho ‎– Volumen 4 Horoscopo/Borinquen Records ‎SGH-020 Puerto Rico 1973 “Bim Bim Bom Bom ‘Que Se Sepa’” (D.R.); also “Bim Bim Bom Bom ‘Que Se Sepa’” / “Todo Me Gusta De Ti” 45 F-5050 Puerto Rico 1973




Johnny Ventura Y Su Combo Show ‎– La Protesta De Los Feos Mate MATE-02 US 1974 “Mi Se Que Yo” (D.R. arr. J. Ventura); also “Mi Se Que Yo” / “Mi Son Sabe A Mamey” Mate 519 US 1973





Javier Vazquez Y Su Salsa ‎– La Verdad (The Truth) Alegre Records ‎– CLPA 7006 US 1974 “Síguelo”  (R.R. arr. J. Vázquez); also “Siguelo” / “Se Formó La Rumbantela” Alegre Records 45 X-4067 US 1974




1976 Japanese pressing with cover illustration and album design by Yosuke Kawamura

Wuelfo - El Sonido De La 4 Inca Records SLP 1034 US 1974
“Síguelo Que Se Sepa” (D.R.); also “Síguelo Que Se Sepa” / “Te Voy A Dar” Inca 45 6073 US 1974




Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound - 6 Fania/International Records SLP 00473 US 1974 “Que Se Sepa” (D.R.); also “Traición” / “Que Se Sepa” 45 80001 US 1974 




Chocolate Caliente - Bien Sabroso! Mericana Records XMS-131 US 1975 “Que Se Sepa” (D.R.); also Chocolate Y Su Orquesta ‎– “Que Se Sepa” / “Nicolasa” Mericana Records ‎– XRPBO 784 Peru 1975




Juan Pablo Torres ‎– Con Todos Los Hierros Areito ‎LD-3629 Cuba 1977 “Que Se Sepa” (Juan Formell arr. J.P. Torres); also as Orquesta Cubana Algo Nuevo ‎– Salsita Afro Cubana Phase 6 Super Stereo ‎– VPAS 952 Italy 1977




Various ‎– Discoteca Hispano Americana Vol.3 Movieplay 1977


Tito Allen ‎– Clase Y Sabor MP US 1993; also Discos Fuentes ‎– L.P. 206576, Colombia 1994 “Que Se Sepa” (Titti Soto)



Lito Barrientos Y Su Orquesta ‎– Cumbia Del Caribe Discolito ‎– LDD-17 1974 El Salvador; also Recolite ‎– LDD-17 US 1974 “Que Se Sepa” (D.R.); also Orquesta Lito Barrientos “Metapan” / “Que Se Sepa” 45 Onda Nueva ‎– ON 302 El Salvador 



Panchito Nalmy – “Que Se Sepa” / “Mi Amor, Mi Bien, Mi Amada” 45 A-2111 Dinsa Peru “Que Se Sepa” (D.R.)


Tuesday, July 18, 2017


On Monday July 24, at 9:30 pm come see LOCOBEACH in Brooklyn! Every Monday night at Barbès, the Tropical Vortex series showcases bands and DJs who specialize in variations on tropical sounds from Latinolandia and elsewhere. This week Peace & Rhythm recording artist Locobeach brings a new tropical hybrid of psychedelic cumbia & disco (with a little electro, dub, funk, chicha & surf thrown in for good measure) featuring members of Los Crema Paraíso, La Más Bestia Pop, and Chicha Libre. Plus Peace & Rhythm DJ Crew Andujar & Bongohead will spin a Rumba Sicodélica set between sets and after! 
Barbès 376 9th St. (corner of 6th Ave.), Park Slope, Brooklyn NY 11215 Tel: 347 422 0248

Monday, July 10, 2017


FULASO
The rumba is here. La rumba que tumba.
Enlace Funk No. 56, 2017




Interview: Pablo Yglesias aka DJ Bongohead and Miguel A. Sutil, editor-in-chief of Enlace Funk magazine. Translated by Pablo E. Yglesias.

Does your ethnic background and where you were brought up influence your music and how you make it?

Our backgrounds dramatically affect our music and how we make it.  Fulaso is a collective and we write as such.  Our band members hail from all over the world and many of them have extensive training in numerous styles of Latin, Afro-Cuban, jazz, classical, you name it.  So, when we write, all of our influences come into play and you can hear it in Juan’s jazzy chords influenced by his studies of jazz piano, Charly’s Cuban timbale patterns ingrained from his Cuban father and their nights in salsa clubs in the ‘80s, and Pat’s veteran super-abilities to construct horn moñas in record time via his incredible presence in the NYC Latin scene.  It’s kind of miraculous the way it all comes together.

In your performances you have a lot of stage presence and you like to relate to the audience. There is a certain component of theatricality and narration. Can you talk a little bit about why that might be?

Thank you!  I was a Theatre Arts major [in college] and have been performing almost all of my life.  I actually moved to NYC in 2004 with a directing internship at a theatre company in the West Village.  I did theatre of a couple of years, was looking for jobs in playbill.com and saw an ad for a Latin jazz vocalist. I had been really immersed in theatre and thought this would be a fun change so I auditioned for David Fletcher, CEO of New York’s Best Musicians and of Washington’s Best Musicians. He hired me for a trio, recommended me for a few other auditions and BOOM! – I’m answering interview questions for a new 45! Crazy!

I think my ability to connect with the audience comes from stage training.  Especially in the vain world we occupy today, you really do have to learn how to let go of your conscious self and be completely open and present.  It is in that moment of utter vulnerability do you allow the audience to step into your world and join you in being totally raw and emotionally available.  That is when the fun begins.

How was the group formed and where do your influences come from?

Fulaso is actually an off-shoot of another project a few of us worked in together, Spanglish Fly.  For different reasons, quite a few of us decided to begin our own project.  We recruited some great new faces to fill in the gaps and we fortunately have really great energy together and are a solid team. In fact, we just recruited two great new percussionists who we are very excited to have on join us: Dawn Drake on congas and Jhan-Carlo Lamprea Rodríguez on bongó.

Tell us a bit about the other members of the band that you collaborate with on song composition.

For readers who want to know even more about us, you can always check out our band bio’s at www.fulaso.com/section/bandbios 

Fulaso is a special project because the band belongs to each of us, so we each have jobs, i.e. I do the booking, Mario (bass) is our Marketing and PR Manager, Jonathan (baritone sax) is our Librarian, physically and virtually managing all of the charts and books, etc.  We vote on everything from logo colors to gig opportunities.  It’s a lot of work, but everyone is very dedicated, works hard and in that light, its a very special project.  There is a lot of love.



Do you think NYC is a good place today for Latin music? Why?

I personally think New York is a great place for Latin music today and I think many of my bandmates would agree with me.  Primarily, the Latin music community today, in my experience, is so communal.  Without labels buying the way they were in the ‘60s/‘70s/‘80s, I would imagine due to the fact that music is so easily accessible via the Internet, the competition has completely changed.  We all need each other now for work, fan sharing, show sharing, and even booking data exchange.  Everyone plays with everyone, subs for each other, gets each other gigs and recommendations.  It is really a beautiful thing.  In the humbling times I have spent talking to guys like Harvey Averne and Joe Bataan, the NY Latin music community in the ‘60s and ‘70s was cut throat and bands did not like each other.  This is one thing that I think really sets the scene apart today.

The other component is the type of Latin music currently emerging from the city is so dynamic and experimental.  Bands like Mariachi Flor de Tolache, Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, and Avenida B are rejuvenating old sounds, Dawn Drake and ZapOte, Karikatura, San Simon and Yotoco spanning genres while maintaining a strong Latin edge, while guys like Eddie Palmieri and Joe Bataan STILL pack houses.  Latin music in NYC is HOT right now!

What are your favorite DJs and clubs?

Obviously, DJ Turmix, DJ Bongohead, DJ Andujar, and my girl DJ Terry Dactyl!  We’ve received a ton of love from some of the best local radio DJs like the immeasurable Vicki Sola of Que Viva La Musica on WFDU, and the gallant gentleman German Santana and Louis Leffite of Caribe Latino on WKCR.

Also, as corny as this may be, my most favorite DJ is actually my husband.  His record collection is expansive and he always keeps our house grooving from opera and classics to drum & bass to jazz, soul, roots, rock, hip-hop, death metal, you name it.  He keeps me updated and educated even when it annoys the crap out of me and I am so very grateful.

Clubs, now that’s a more difficult answer.  It really depends on the night and my mood, which usually includes something with dancing! My favorite places to play in the city are Brooklyn Bowl (in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and Barbès (in Park Slope, Brooklyn).

For some time now there has been a reassertion of the original boogaloo sound. Do you think there really is a revival of that sound and an authentic interest to recover it or is it just a fad?

I absolutely think the Latin boogaloo sound is seeing an authentic resurgence.  Just as the tide, things come and slip away.  Music has changed so much as it can be made electronically now and it’s way cheaper to pay one DJ, than hire a band of people.  The NYC Latin music scene is fighting to keep live music and musicians working and relevant. The resurgence of Latin soul and bugalú, in my opinion is huge part of that because of its special nest in time.  It is a reminder of that ‘60s and ‘70s era when people were liberating themselves.  I think there is a powerful message there and people really feel that right now.



How is boogaloo being made today? In the original early days, it integrated many people of races and places, do you think that is still so?

I can only speak to my own experience and to Fulaso.  We strive to make Funky Latin Soul and Boogaloo, whatever that means to you.  In our world, our music is absolutely being integrated by our upbringings from so many corners of the world and our trainings from all different schools of specialty and technique. From all of the people we have had the pleasure to work with in our other projects or who have subbed for us, it is the same. Live music in the NYC melting pot is being made just so; a big mish-mash of the entire world.

Do you think that your music is just for dancing or has a social component as well?

The only social component of Fulaso's music is BE SOCIAL! Turn off the TV, leave the phone and be present! Get out there, move your ass and do not worry about anything in the world, because we only have right here and now, so let’s enjoy this moment together!



What do you think of the new American president and his policies?

OH! I have SO much to say and I do it by calling, faxing, texting, and emailing my representatives, staying updated, educated, and supporting causes like the ACLU, etc.  I personally do not nor have I ever supported that man, his administration or his policies.

What inspires you to compose songs?

For me, personally, moments and other music. You have a lot of interactions in NYC, a lot of special moments with strangers and that often inspires me. I’m also inspired by other music I hear. Fulaso is generally inspired by an idea that a band member brings in. For example, “Bodega Cat,” written by Jonathan Flothow, was brought in and built upon. The swing sections, specifically, were the brain-child of Matt Thomas.

When I saw you live in NYC, you played some cover tunes. What are your favorite artists and which artists do you cover?

My favorite artists list could go on forever.  Vocalists who have really inspired me or who I have studied would definitely be the obvious jazz greats; Nina, Ella, Billie, Etta.  Esperanza Spalding and Regina Spektor are some more current artists who have inspired me.  And obviously Beyoncé. She IS the Queen Bee, no doubt!

The covers Fulaso chooses are based on sound. We currently cover Fania All Stars, Alfredo Linares, Frank Cotto, Ray Barretto and Pete Rodriguez with some special arrangements of Nina Simone, Eddie Palmieri, Clarence Reid, Donna Summer and The Kills.

Have you ever played in Europe? What do you expect from the European public and what would you tell your fans in Europe?

Fulaso has yet to play in Europe, but hopefully in the next year or two! I don’t hold expectations.  Each crowd is a different experience, though I’ve heard stories of great European audiences from colleagues! 



To our fans, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for reading and listening!  We appreciate your love so much! Please visit our Facebook page and “Like” us because you have no idea how much those Like demographics will help us get gigs in EU!  You can also check us out at www.fulaso.com to hear music, see videos, even purchase a signature pair of 'Sucio Soul' panties and much more! Love and Peace, dear friends!

Also, a very special thank you to Pablo, Brendon and Miguel for listening to and supporting us. We just can’t tell you how much it means! 




Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hi all, Studebaker Hawk & I will be spinning salsa & more for your dancing pleasure & relief from stress. Join us at Sevenstrong for Discoteca Latina! A night for dancers and lovers of Latin Music Thursday December 22, 2016 from 10 PM - 1 AM 


Sevenstrong 7 Strong Ave, Northampton, Massachusetts 01060 Peace & Rhythm DJs, Bongohead and Studebaker Hawk will be spinning the finest in old-school, classic and hard Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue, Timba, Cha Cha, Boogaloo, and more, to keep the rhythms alive on the dance floor. Free entry, full bar, join the party! 

And please tell your friends! Maybe you already know about it?


Instagram/Twitter: @peaceandrhythm

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The true story of Guararey



                Photo of Roberto Baute Sagarra from Casa del Changüí in Guantanamo


The true story of the salsa anthem “El Guararey de Pastora” (the Shepherdess’ Complaint) and changüí, the genre that inspired many bands (from Orquesta Revé to Los Van Van, Ray Barretto to Típica ’73 and Guararé), begins in the poor, mountainous south-western region of Guantánamo, Cuba when the tres guitar player, itinerant troubadour and purveyor of the traditional music form known as the changüí, Roberto Baute Sagarra, composed the piece in relative anonymity in the early part of the 20th century. Sadly it was not registered or copyrighted, as was often the case in those times, which allowed the work to become part of the repertoire of his countryman Pedro Speck, who was another purveyor and carrier of the tradition of changüí. Speck was leader of the Grupo Changüí that released a record on Cuba’s state label Siboney in 1983, ¡Ahora Sí! (Speck, on vocals and maraca, was 75 at the time or the recording). Interestingly enough, in the midst of this beautiful “traditional” recording of very elemental guitar and percussion music that sounds unchanged from Colonial times, you can hear Speck on this record frequently using the Anglo expression “Yeah, yeah!”—which may come from the influence of the U.S. Naval base at Guantánamo or theBeatles, it’s hard to tell but it’s plainly there. “El Guararey de Pastora” does not feature on that record, though a later CD does have it.

Grupo Changüí Guantánamo at the Festival Nacional de Agrupaciones Folklóricas, La Habana 1962. From left to right: Arturo Latamblé (bongosero y director), José “Nino” Olivares (marímbula), Pedro Speck (cantante y maracas), Carlos Borromeo Planche “Cambrón” (guayo y cantante principal), y Reyes “Chito” Latamblé (tresero). 
(Photo: Archivo Centro Inciarte)

                                  

And so Pedro Speck and Roberto Baute Sagarra both performed the song from the 1940s until the 1970s, and it was never recorded for posterity by local radio or a state label at the time, as sometimes was the case with other rural folk music of the era. That might have been the end of it if the tune had never left the region, but in the 1970s, the story became complicated, when Juan Formell, director of the Havana-based Cuban dance orchestra Los Van Van, took this composition and added it to his “songo” repertoire of the ‘70s, where it acquired immense fame, being recorded in 1974 for the band’s third long play (Areito – LDS-3471). 



Formell has said he learned the song from Pedro Speck, who was passing through Havana in the early’70s; the tune stuck in Formell’s head for a time before he came up with the spare and funky organ/flute arrangement that all Cuban dancers subsequently made their go-to party anthem. Soon after, in 1975, Ray Barretto’s pianist Gil Lopez made his own mutated no-violins charanga arrangement, adding the hard-core Nuyorican touch, becoming a massive hit in it’s own right (Barretto, Fania Records – SLP 00486). Very few if any American Barretto fans had heard the original Van Van, and probably none knew of its rural roots in Guantánamo. Probably learned from a Van Van record acquired while on tour in Venezuela, Barretto made it the lead track on his 7th LP of the ‘70s. While Rubén Blades, himself of half Cuban ancestry, was one of the two vocalists on the song (the other was Puerto Rico’s Tito Gomez who took the lead), the composer was simply (as was so often the case) listed as some guy named “D. R.” aka Derechos Reservados, or Rights Reserved (ha ha).

                         

Since then of course the tune has traveled the world. And although the composition for a long time was attributed to Pedro Speck, there was eventually a legal suit brought in the Guantanamo Provincial Court in 1976, ruling in favor of its real author Roberto Baute Sagarra. In defense of the creator an exceptional witnesses was brought forth, Petronila Rouseaux, former wife of the musician, and with her testimony authorities learned an unexpected fact: the ‘pastora’ (shepherdess) in the song was none other than Pastora Yuani Sayú, better known to Latin music fans as “Pastorita” (who died in 2013 at the age of 97). The testimony of Petronila Rouseaux, at the time 94 years old, put an end to the dispute over the authorship of the song. But that wasn’t all.



Photo of Pastorita

According to Michelle White on Timba.com, “Pastora had a daughter who had caught the eye of Roberto Baute Sagarra, the  tresero of Changüí Guantánamo. He began a romance with her and Pastora was not happy with his attentions towards her daughter because Roberto, also known as Chito, was already married and 20 years older than the object of his affection. This was the source of Pastora’s guararey (anger) with her friend Chito and the inspiration for the song.”


Pastora Lluany Chauyous aka Yuani Sayú (b. 1916), the lady who inspired this changüí. (photo: Archivo Centro Inciarte).

Throwing a little more light on the subject, Martha Reyes Noa, in a post from Herencias Culturales, mentions that Pastora admitted “that at first, as every mother feels suspicious in these relationships, she suspected” Baute Segarra of having unclean motives “but in the end those” feelings were “dissolved” when she realized her daughter simply loved the changüí and wanted to learn “how to dance at the parties that were ranging” back then, some for “up to a week, from house to house.” Of course, Baute was there at almost all those changüís (a term that means lower class dance party), performing with his tres guitar and giving dance lessons, so Pastorita soon realized nothing more than that was going on.

Contradicting Noa’s telling slightly, White goes on to relate:

“At the time the song was written, Pedro Speck was the director of Changüí Guantánamo and he registered the rights to the song under his name. It wasn't until the popularity of Van Van's version that the subject of authorship became an issue. In June 1976 the court ruled in favor of Roberto Baute when Pastorita herself testified on his behalf. [Noa says it was Baute’s widow, Rouseaux]

Previously attributed to Speck or simply listed as DR, the song is now correctly attributed to Roberto Baute, although it was not officially registered with ACDAM under his name until 21 April 1981. However, I was told in Guantanamo that neither Speck nor Baute ever received any income from the recording or performances of other versions of the song.”

So many countless “traditional” authorless “folk” songs from “Wimoweh” (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) to “Guantanamera” turn out to have real composers (Solomon Linda and Joseíto Fernández respectively) who were inspired by real events. The story behind “El Guararey de Pastora” and its author, Roberto Baute Sagarra, puts a face and name to the song that has inspired countless dancers, singers and musicians over the decades.

By Pablo E. Yglesias with help from Martha Reyes Noa and Michelle White, as well as the article "DEL CHANGÜÍ A LA SALSA Y MUCHO MÁS. GUANTÁNAMO EN LA ORBITA MUSICAL DEL CARIBE" by José Cuenca Sosa from Herencia Latina.



Elio Revé Matos, leader of Orquesta Revé (from which Formell "graduated to create Van Van),the man who converted the 'toques' (beats/hits) of the 'bongó changüisero' to the timbales (pailas). (photo: Archivo Centro Inciarte).