Archive for October, 2010


radio’n rock’n’roll

There is no doubt that rock n’ roll has changed the music industry since it’s establishment in the 1950’s, but there were lots of politics behind this movement. The introduction of rock n’ roll was due to the musical styles of rhythm & blues (R&B) and country music, this fusion of music was the creation of the new music genre which captivated young audiences all around the nation. Since this was in the 1950’s there was no YouTube or Myspace to promote new kinds of music, instead the artists and the independent record labels were looking to spread the word through radio stations. Radio was the only outlet for a mass audience since there was a lot of commercial opportunity and the younger crowds were more susceptible to new music. As radio began to become obsolete, the local stations were trying harder to maintain their audiences. Rock n’ roll started gaining recognition in Cleveland, then as it became more popular it moved over to New York, where there was a larger audience and began claiming a larger fan-base.

The way rock n’ roll marketed the genre locally, which ended up a world wide success, is something that radio mostly still prohibits. Radio in large cities such as NYC is still controlled by a larger conglomerate which limits the diversity of music and genres being played. There are only several radio stations which play different types of music. Those stations usually have to follow a set playlist of songs, which are usually already being played on television or being marketed in another type of media outlet. This leaves no room for the musical talent with potential, whether it be an artist(s) or a new musical genre which can create a shift in the music industry. This is something we can mostly all agree on, but also something which is almost impossible to change because of the strict policies and powers that the conglomerates have on music, itself. So we have to take advantage of all this technology we have and discover new music ourselves.


Project Proposal

For my project I am going to be researching and presenting how Jamaican Dub, Dancehall, and Reggae impacted the music industry in the 1970’s, and up until now. I will be getting in depth with the certain influences that these different genres of music exploit, such as violence, sex, and homophobia, while others explore love, social issues, and happiness. I will be outlining how the music was brought about, how it modernized over-time, and how it influenced other music genres such as Pop, Hip-Hop, and even R&B.


Millard 10

In modern times it is safe to say that a large percentage of the population in the United States has or has once owned a portable music device. There are tons of different portable music players available, whether it was the boom-box, a cassette player, or CD player. Or the current Ipods, cell phones, laptops, netbooks. As the generations pass, the devices only get smaller and multifunctional.

In the late 1930s to 1940s there was a portable music revolution with the Victrola which was introduced by the Victor company. This “portable” player was pretty big, and in contrast to modern day, the smaller Victrola’s were less expensive than the less portable larger Victrolas. Of course, the larger Victrolas produced better sound quality. They ranged in price from $10-$200 and they played some of the first recorded sound coming out of a ‘talking machine’.

There is an ad that they show in the book which I found really interesting, the headline says “Take a Victrola with you when you go away this summer” and it continues to promote the machine and how it could make like a great companion for the consumers vacation, or even make staying at home a vacation. I find this interesting because of the revolution this machine made, if it wasn’t for these sorts of advances who knows how we would be able to consume our personal tastes in music at a given time.

Another advance that was mentioned in the chapter is that of magnetic recording, which allowed the shrinking of the discs being used to playback the music. The discs went from being old shellac 78-rpm records to 45 and 33-rpm discs which were lighter weight, more durable, played better quality. In the long run the changes into the magnetic recording were also highly effective, which also led to modernization of the disc and compacted long recordings into compact discs. As times progressed more advances broke through such as mp3 files, which were compressed even smaller.


Héctor Lavoe – Aguanile

Salsa has been the traditional and festive music in Hispanic culture, this genre in music stemmed originally from Puerto Rico and spread through-out Central and South America. One major music influence in this particular genre was Hector Lavoe, from Puerto Rico. This amazing artist was the best of his kind from the 1960’s (where salsa was originating from a similar genre called the “Boogaloo”) up until the early 1990’s.

Hector Lavoe released the album Déjà Vu on November 1,1978, featured in this album was the musical hit Aguanile, which was co-produced by Willie Colon, another Salsa legend. This song incorporated traditional Boricuan Salsa with Afro-Cuban influence, which included the heavily religious practices of Santeria. Aguanile is a song composed in spanish, but also has a lot of chants from the Nigerian language Yoruba, where the roots of the Santeria religion were established.

Aguanile – Hector Lavoe (1978)

Written by – Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe

Label – Fania Records

Re-Released – 1994

Hector Lavoe\’s AGUANILE <- CLICK TO SEE: Hector Lavoe’s Aguanile

Aguanile Aguanile*
Santo Dios, Santo Fuerte, Santo Inmortal
Holy God, powerful Saint, immortal Saint
Aguanile Aguanile Mai Mai
Aguanile Aguanile Mai Mai
Eh Aguanile Aguanile Aguanile Aguanile Mai Mai

Aguanile is a Yoruban word which means ‘spiritual cleansing’;

Aguanile Mai Mai is a spiritual chant to the Saint (Orisha) Oggun, which is a Priest in Santeria who is the ‘God of technology’.

Eh Kyrie Eleison, Christe Elaison, No Te Metas A Mi Mona
Lord, have mercy; Jesuschrist, have mercy; and don’t mess around with us**
Que Yo Tambien Me Se De’so
‘cause I also know about that sort of thing,
Oye Todo El Mundo Reza Que Reza
listen how everyone is praying all the time
Pa’que Se Acabe La Guerra
so that war will come to an end
Eso No Se Va a Acabar Eso Sera Una Rareza
but it won’t happen, it would be really strange

Although this song is in mostly Spanish/Yoruba, Kyrie Eleison is Greek for “God, Have mercy upon us”.

He also states that war is inevidable.

Ay Tambores Umaculli, Tambores Umaculla
There are drums over here, and drums over there,
Que Se Echen Todo Pa’lao
Everyone stand aside
Que La Tierra Va Ha Temblar
because the Earth is going to tremble
Que Abonbon Chele Abonbonchacha*
Yo Traigo Aguanile Pa’ Rociar A Las Muchachas
I’ve got aguanile*** to sprinkle the girls

In this verse it is clear that there is a religious ritual occuring. Santeria is a religion of many rituals, most involving various sacrifices (some including animals). In these rituals there is lots of singing, chants, dancing, music and instruments.

Ay Que Los tres Clavos De La Cruz
Oh, let the three nails in the Cross
Vayan Delante De Mi
go ahead of me
Que Le Hablen Y Le Responda
let’em talk to Him and He answer to them,
Ay Dios Tu ve
And my God, you can see
Al Que Me Critique A Mi
those who criticize me

Religion is a major part of this verse due to the clash between Santeria and Catholicism. Both, Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon believed in the Catholic religion but were fascinated by the beliefs and practices of Santeria.

Yo Tengo Aguanile Mai Mai
I’ve got aguanile mai mai

Un Judio Que A Caballo Gritaba Sin Compasion
A Jew riding a horse was shouting mercilessly:
Oh Jesus Crucificado, Muerto Por Una Traicion
“Oh Jesus has been crucified! He’s dead because he was betrayed!”
Eh Abongonchele Abongochacha
Aguanile Bendiceme A Las Muchachas
Aguanile bless the girls
Ay Aguanile Dame Agua
Hey Aguanile, give me some water
Estoy Seco Y Quiero Beber
I’m thirsty and need to drink

In the last verse, it’s almost as if Hector was talking about his own issues. During the time that he wrote this song, he was facing issues with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, marriage problems and deep depression due to the loss of his 17 year old son. It was said but never confirmed that Hector consulted Santeria priests so that in turn they could fix his problems.

In regards to the composition of the song, there are various different instruments being used. In the beginning of the song there are animal sounds, which some seem to sound as if the animals were to be screeching. This production of sounds blend in well with the theme of the song, since during Santeria rituals there are the occasional animal sacrifices. Soon after the animal sound snippets there are percussion introductions, and Hector starts singing. The typical salsa beats with the drums are a big part of this song, with a very lively and vibrant rhythm which makes you want to dance in your seat, which is quite ironic in regards to the meaning of the song.

A little more than 2 decades after the release of this song, Nuyorican Productions released the film “El Cantante” nationally and internationally. This film tells the story of Hector Lavoe (played by Marc Anthony) from his birth in 1946, followed by his incredibly successful career throughout the 1960’s and ’70s, up until his fatal death in 1993.

Marc Anthony then recorded his own version of Aguanile, which can be given much comparison to that of Hector Lavoe’s.

Marc Anthony\’s AGUANILE <- CLICK TO SEE: Marc Anthony’s version of Aguanile, From El cantante (2006)


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