To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (which begins September 15th), Global Village will feature the sounds of bugalu (or boogaloo) – a heady mix of Latin music and soul that made the scene for an all-too-brief time in the ‘60s.
During the ‘50s and early ‘60s as rhythm and blues and rock were attracting a growing audience of young listeners, Latin artists on the East Coast began to combine those sounds with what was the then equally popular sound of mambo. Early hits like “Watermelon Man” and “El Watusi” inspired both young players starting new bands and older artists looking for new audiences when the mambo craze began to wane. Joe Cuba had the biggest hit with the quintessential bugalu tune, “Bang Bang,” in 1966. But within a few years, bugalu was being squeezed out, some say deliberately, by the new salsa industry. Despite its brief flirtation with popularity, bugalu continued to have an underground life and resurfaced again more recently with a bevy of reissues and as contemporary artists like Poncho Sanchez and Pucho & the Latin Soul Brothers used the powerful blend of Latin and soul in their own music.
Joe Cuba with a live version of his big boogaloo hit, Bang Bang:
A Global Village favorite - Joey Pastrana's That's How Rumors Start: