LOST CULTURAL HISTORY!

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I’m not sure if any of my Caribbean visitors would remember this album. Soca Earthquake by Machel Montano was one of the biggest soca album of 1987. Not sure how old he was when he did this album (I estimate probably about 13 years old); but when I heard this album, it was clear that music was in his blood then (and still is). I can’t believe it has already been 28 years since this album was released! There wasn’t one West Indian household that wasn’t either playing this record, or begging someone to make a copy of it for them. The biggest hit off this album was a song called “I.” “I” was the hottest song on the entire 4 song album. Everybody got up to dance when “I” was spinning on the turntable. In fact, people used to almost always request re-plays in my house. There was another song that was nice to, which was “Earthquake.” The other two last songs “School Days Soca,” and “Mother’s Child,” were ok, but they didn’t make me feel I wanted to dance. I think with 2 hits out of 4 songs, the last two tempo should have been a little faster in order to keep that momentum. Today, Machel Montano looks so different here. I know he’s had quite a bit of hits since then; but for me, I will always remember him for this album “Soca Earthquake.” You’d proably pay a pretty penny for this album now, cause it will most likely be an import (I think). However, here is the album on streaming.

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I was skimming through my collections and stumbled upon a very old song that used to be my favorite (still is). It’s a song called “Los Chucos Suaves,” by a guy named “Lalo Guerrero.” This song is so cool! I think this artist was way a head of his time, because as far as I’m concerned, this song is timeless. Twenty years from now you can play this song and still dance to his beat. It is the perfect song to introduce to your children early Chicano (or Xicano) music. You know, it kind of almost reminds me of the song called “Jump In The Line (1961),” song by Harry Belafonte. You know, that song that was in the movie “Beetle Juice (1988)?” By the way, this was also composed by Lalo –  Correction: it was Lord Kitchener that composed “Jump In The Line” (my bad). It was said that Lalo was the first Chicano Composer, and he wasn’t scared to show his heritage. He became one of the biggest musicians of his time, singing all kinds of sub-genres within Mexican music; which included children’s album. One of these children’s album was called “Lalo Guerrero Y Sus Ardillitas.” I am tempted to say that “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was a “bite off/spin off” of the album. It’s nice to do research, I would have never known. I also think that it is interesting to note that, Lalo was an important part of Chicano/Chicana history, yet there was no mention of him on Wikipedia’s page Alvin and the Chipmunks. I only mention this because I am pretty sure Lalo played a significant role in making that show/franchise popular. But I digress. To be honest my favorites are his danceable music. To my understanding his music became the voice of Mexican Americans. I didn’t see a large selection of Lalo’s music on streaming, but I did find one album that would give you a general idea for his music. However, I do recommend you do further research on him.

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