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Born Gilberto Miguel Calderón, but to the world he was known as Joe Cuba. He became a huge success in the sixties, and if I understand his story, it appears it has happened quite by accident. Joe hit it big at a time when Spanish club music was starting to change and evolve. It was at a time when both Tito Puente & Machito once dominated the club scene with their amazing  mambo style music in the 40s through the mid 60s I guess. One night, while performing with his band in NYC, he was playing for a mostly Black audience, unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t digging the flavor of mambo music. That night, the piano player (sensing the audience lack of interest) started playing random tunes, and adlib/improvised. All of a sudden the audience started to raise their hands and dance. Shortly after the band followed the piano player in improvisation, and the next thing you know, the audience started saying “beep beep.” The song later was called Bang! Bang! released in 1966. A new style of music was now embraced called “boogaloo.” Bang! Bang! hit #30 on the music charts, and it was a huge unexpected success for the small record label they were under, which was “Tico” records at the time. The song was such a hit, it inspired the hit song “Bad Girls” sung by the late disco queen Donna Summer in the very late 70s.


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