Soul Sides Podcast – Boogaloo Special (Part 1 of 3)
- Joe Cuba Sextet: Bang Bang
From Bang! Bang! Push! Push! Push! (LP/CD) (Tico, 1966).
El Gran Combo: Chua Chua Boogaloo
From Boogaloos con El Gran Combo (Gema, 196?). Also available on Big Bad Boogaloo
I initially discovered boogaloo about five years ago when a DJ friend of mine played me some songs by Monguito Santamaria. From there, I was hooked on the genre and have spent the last few years patiently collecting boogaloo albums and compilations when possible.
It’s a genre that, for long time, didn’t get much respect. Latin purists treated it as a pop fad – beneath the majesty of the mambo and older, more classic Laitn dances. Certainly, the boogaloo was a fad-driven music – blazing hot in 1966 and then tapering into oblivion by the late ’60s. However, that doesn’t automatically make it bad. The reason why boogaloos were so popular was because dancers loved the easy accessibility of the boogaloo rhythm – usually a simple 4/4 dressed up with tasty piano and brass riffs.
I recently reviewed the new Rough Guide to Boogaloo for NPR and wanted to expand on it vis a vis a few podcasts that call attention to the genre and its legacy. Today’s podcast is an introduction to the boogaloo, its history and sound. Next time, I’ll discuss the evolution of the boogaloo and its phenomenal growth in the mid-1960s. My third podcast will examine the lingering influence of the boogaloo as was as showcase a few of my favorites.