Perez Prado

Perez Prado was a Cuban bandleader, born in December, 1916 in Cuba. Referred to as the 'King of the Mambo', he was a musician and a composer. The son of a schoolteacher and a newspaper worker, he set upon a musical path very early in his life. While still a young child, he trained in classical piano techniques. Read on to know more about Perez Prado music.

Perez Prado earliest professional work started playing organ and piano in local cinemas and nightclubs. He went to Havana to seek better opportunities at the age of 26. In 1943, when he took the position as pianist and arranger with a leading Cuban orchestra, this marked the start as well as his experimentation into the emerging mambo and thus his successive rise to fame.

In 1950 Sonny Burke heard "Que rico mambo" while on a Mexican holidayo and recorded it back in the United States as "Mambo Jambo", which was an instant hit. This encouraged Prado to launch a US tour. The popularity of Perez Prado music in the US was well matched with the first wave of interest in Latin music by the Americans. Performing in both American and Mexican films, he became highly sought-after artist in both the countries.

Perez Prado discography includes famous pieces as Mambo No. 5 and Mambo No. 8. His cha-cha version of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" hit the American charts at number one. One of Prado's own compositions, "Patricia", went to number one. As among the famous mambo musicians, he is looked upon as one of the giants of the music industry.

By the early 1970s, Perez Prado returned to his apartment off Mexico permanently to live with his wife and two children. Although his career in Latin America was still strong constant ill health was to persist him in the coming years. He continued to tour Mexico, South America, and Japan and record material. His last appearance in United States was at Hollywood in 1987, when he played to a packed house. This was also the year of his last recording.

He died of a stroke in Mexico City in 1989, aged 72.His son, Pérez Prado, Jr continues to be in charge of the Pérez Prado Orchestra in Mexico City to this day.

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