In 1943, a musician named Perez Prado came up with the dance for the Mambo music, the Mambo dance. He introduced it at La Tropicana night-club in Havana in 1943. He also became the first person to market his music as Mambo. After Havana, Prado moved his music to Mexico, and then New York City. Along the way, his style became increasingly homogenized in order to appeal to mainstream American listeners.
Following in the footsteps of Prado came a wave of mambo musicians, such as Enrique Jorrín. Some experimented with new techniques, such as faster beats and the use of side steps in the dance; this latter innovation formed the foundation of cha-cha-cha, and was the result of Jorrin's experimentation. Cha-cha-cha was very pop-oriented, especially after Arthur Murray further simplified the dance. Mambo remained popular throughout the United States and Cuba until the 1960s, when a combination of boogaloo and pachanga (both modified forms of mambo) were created.
By the mid-1950s mambo mania had reached fever pitch. In New York the mambo was played in a high-strung, sophisticated way that had the Palladium Ballroom, the famous Broadway dance-hall, jumping. The Ballroom soon proclaimed itself the "temple of mambo," for the city's best dancers—the Mambo Aces, "Killer Joe" Piro, Augie and Margo Rodriguez, Paulito and Lilon, Louie Maquina and Pedro "Cuban Pete" Aguilar—gave mambo demonstrations there and made a reputation for their expressive use of arms, legs, head and hands. Augie and Margo became the highest paid dance duo in the world and still dance in Las Vegas 50 years later (2006).
The 1990s saw a resurgence in popularity of latin music and dance in popular culture. Billed as a revival of 'Mambo', the new form of 'Mambo' dance (alternatively called 'breaking on 2') bears absolutely no resemblance to the music and dance of the 1940s and 1950s. In 1992, the Warner Brothers hit film The Mambo Kings, starring Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas, received numerous acting and music award nominations such as Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe, and others. Music greats Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and others appeared in the film, to the delight of music fans. Although the soundtrack had very little Mambo, but mostly alternative latin rhythms, the soundtrack received wide acclaim. The dancing in the film was also not Mambo, but a dance invented in 1970s New York by Eddie Torres and other contemporary Puerto Rican dancers. As Eddie Torres called his new dance Mambo as well(despite not being danced to Mambo music, but rather Salsa or Son), many modern people are now under the impression that this was the form of the dance that was popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Whereas, they bear litte resemblance to one another.
Actual Mambo music which did make a revival, included Guinness which in 1995, used Perez Prado's track Guaglione in an advertising campaign featuring the dancing of Dublin actor Joe McKinney. The song was released as a single and reached number 2 in the UK charts. In 1999, Lou Bega released a cover version of Mambo No. 5, another Prado original, which became a hit across Europe.
Music from the CD "Mambo" has been featured in the following Films and TV Shows:
Rico Mambo featured in "Recipe For A Perfect Christmas" (Lifetime), "The Hot Chick" (Touchstone)
Arroz Con Pollo featured in "Ugly Betty" (ABC).
Tu Mambo featured in "Samantha Who?" (ABC), "Take The Lead" (New Line Cinema) and "Noriega:God's Favorite" (Showtime).
Songozon featured in "Nothing Like The Holidays" (Overture Films).
Como Se Baila featured in "The Unit" (CBS), "Daybreak" (ABC).
Salmambo featured in "Privileged" (CW)
Cool Mambo featured in "New York Minute" (Warner Bros.)
released July 1, 2009
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