The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10236   Message #3823912
Posted By: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
01-Dec-16 - 03:24 PM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: Choucoune
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Choucoune
From: So Long Castro Pt. Deux:

"If Batista had retained power with American support, what would have happened to Cuban music? what DID happen to Cuban music under Castro?"

I can think of no reason the Cuban outcome under Batista would have been radically different from the Bahamas of today. We will never know. As it happened, the content became mostly Cuban-American music. An auspicious time to review a couple of the 1950s recordings of Choucoune methinks:

Cuban born Celia Cruz recorded the subject title for the American Seeco label (New York) in 1958, as the revolution was unfolding back in Cuba. She and her husband were exiled by Fidel. Cruz was already a U.S. cultural treasure and only continued on that path.

Haitian ex-pat Martha Jean Claude recorded with Celia Cruz for Seeco and solo for the pre-revolutionary Cuban label GEMA. Claude's leftist credentials were enough for her to (mostly) remain in Cuba but label owners Guillermo & Rafael Álvarez Guedes, and Ernesto Brito became refugees. They set up shop in Puerto Rico and South Florida along with Jose Armada Sr. and so many others.

None of them were owned by the Americans though their music was popular with stateside (and European and domestic Cuban) consumers. They were guilty of being decadent, bourgeoisie showgirls and media capitalists.

The nationalized labels left behind in Cuba failed miserably even with the bounty of free content, no competition and no royalties to the artists. A Soviet era rationing system was required to prevent any world music from becoming more popular with Cuban listeners than their state approved & sponsored Fidelista fare.

American born Jose Armada Jr. (Josesito) and Joey Boy Records, on the other hand, are still doing business at the exact same fifty-year-old South Florida address and still treating customers right just like his father before him.