La Habana era una fiesta - Original Recordings from the golden age of Cuban radio - 2CD compilation of 1940s and 1950s recordings made at various Havana radio stations where Cuban musicians were playing Spanish songs and viceversa Spanish artists that went to Cuba got influenced by the Cuban music.
This repertoire is old traditional Spanish music played by various Cuban (and Spanish) singers and orquestras (Cuban style).
When Havana was a party, many Spaniards joined the dance. In this process of transculturation, which came from way back, music and musicians played an essential part. Having arrived from Spain, artists of the song and theatre contributed to define the DNA of Cuban popular music. At the same time, other musicians brought in essential aspects of Afro Cuban folklore to the Spanish song. In a stroke of ineffable good fortune, music has always played an intrinsic role between Cuba and Spain.
It was an elemental process: after the Spanish disaster of 1898, emigrants and soldiers, wine-producers and sailors arrived or stayed in Cuba, and with them their customs and habits. With the children of the metropolis, the companies of popular singers, zarzuela groups, and costumbrista theatre arrived. Also the music from Andalusia, traditional dancing, and genuine flamenco soon disembarked in the port of San Cristóbal de la Habana. On their way back, when they left Cuba, the ships with the gold from America also carried new melodies and rhythmical cells, harmonic gyrations, and choreographed elements of Afro-American inspiration.
On firm ground, the native Spanish colony in Cuba kept growing in numbers and importance. Half a century later, there were five million residents in Cuba. At the beginning of the 50s, one million of them resided in Havana. And there were 120,000 people who were associated to one of the many emigrant clubs founded in the city. It was there, in the halls of the societies of emigrants from Galicia, Asturias, Andalusia and the Canary Islands, where the music from both shores embraced. In décimas and folk songs, the poetic expression of Cubans and Spaniards took root on the singers` island. The landing of Spanish music in Cuba stood out in Havana with musical theatre of which operas and zarzuelas were always played as if in the old country.
The visits from Carmen Amaya, Conchita Piquer, Juanita Reina, and Imperio Argentina were lauded. From the mid-30s until approximately 1960, leading Cuban radio stations such as CMQ and Radio Progreso hired the most famous Spanish artists (and also many hustlers who came to America looking for riches) to broadcast the performances and variety shows with live music of Los Chavales de España, Los Bocheros or Los Churumbeles. The extensive reach of radio and cinema, together with the growing popularization of vinyl, enabled the quick commercial expansion of Cuban music with arrangements of danzón orchestras, sextets of son cubano, and jazz bands Cuban-style. From Rita Montaner and Bola de Nieve to MiguelitoValdés, Antonio Machín, Julio Cuevas, Bebo Valdés and Armando Oréfiche. With them, Havana was a party. Half a century before the Buena Vista Social Club.
1. María de la o / La bien pagá - Fuico con Papín y sus rumberos
2. Soleá - Celia Cruz y orquesta Suaritos
3. Mala entraña - Dominica Verges con el trío de Luisito Plá y la orquesta Almendra de Abelardito Valdés
4. Traición - Carlos Díaz y orquesta de Osvaldo Estivill
5. Zambra Gitana - Ernesto Lecuona
6. El Boogievá - Obdulia Breijo con orquesta
7. Gitanilla Morena - Rosita Fornés y orquesta Riverside
8. La Violetera - Paulina Alvarez
9. Amapola - Tito Gómez Y orquesta Riverside
10. La Hija De Juan Simón - Abelardo Barroso y orquesta sensación de Rolando Valdés
11. El Centavo Mágico - Rolando Ochoa
12. La Verbena De La Paloma - Antonio María Romeu al piano
13. En el mundo - Aquilino y su Cuadrilla
14. Clavelitos - Orquesta Aragón
15. Monísima - Nelson Pinedo y orquesta
16. Nena - Celeste Mendoza
17. Andalucía / Danza nº 5 - Omara Portuondo y quinteto de Julio Gutiérrez
18. La Virgen de la Macarena - Celia Cruz y orquesta Suaritos
19. Madrid - Orquesta Sensación de Rolando Valdés
1. Y a mí qué - Los chavales de España
2. Las dos rosas - Niño de Utrera
3. El palacio sin novedad - Los Xey
4. ¡Ay! Malvaloca - Conchita Piquer con orquesta
5. Cuba no debe favores - Antonio Molina y orquesta Montilla
6. Calle abajo - Juan Legido
7. El hijo de nadie - Trini Morén y Niño de Utrera
8. María Dolores - Los chavales de España
9. No me llames - Conchita Piquer con orquesta
11. El televisor - Lola Flores
12. La leyenda del beso - Los Churumbeles de España
13. Cuba de mi amor - Los chavales de España
14. A la lima y al limón - Conchita Piquer
15. A orillas del Ebro - América Paz y Rafael Ortega al piano
16. Son mentiras - Los Xey
17. Las bodas de Luis Alonso - Orquesta Solera de España