The Sound of Latin Music

Hard to believe it’s been over 50 years since Perez Prado brought mambo to the masses and started a full-on movement in the U.S. One recent PBS documentary, the 4-part Latin Music USA, chronicled the evolution of our music in America, from Freddie Fender to Fania Records; Miami Sound Machine to Pitbull. Narrated by Jimmy Smits, the doc shed light on all the artists that pushed boundaries and elevated rock and popular music to new heights, while staying true to their roots.

Along the way, I learned a ton of interesting factoids. For instance, did you know that Linda Ronstadt’s Spanish album—yes, she released an album en español, in honor of her Mexican American pops—Canciones de mi Padre, remains the best-selling non-English album in U.S. music history (with 2 million copies sold)? I didn’t, and now I love her that much more for it.

If you missed the series, you can still watch it online at pbs.org. More importantly, you can own the soundtrack starting this week, and you can choose from either the short or longer version of the disc.

Here’s the breakdown for each:

8-track CD:

BRIDGES:
Desi Arnaz - Babalu
Machito - Mambo Inn
Arturo Sandoval - Manteca

THE SALSA REVOLUTION:
Fania All Stars - Coro Miyare
Jose Feliciano - Light My Fire

THE CHICANO WAVE:
Ritchie Valens - La Bamba
Little Joe - Las Nubes (live)

DIVAS & SUPERSTARS:
Miami Sound Machine - Conga

16-track soundtrack:

BRIDGES:
1. Tito Puente - Pa' Los Rumberos
2. Perez Prado - Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom
3. Tito Rodriguez - Me Lo Dijo Adela

THE SALSA REVOLUTION:
4. Willie Colon - Che Che Cole
5. Ruben Blades - Pedro Navaja
6. Hector La Voe - El Cantante
7. Celia Cruz - Quimbara

THE CHICANO WAVE:
8. Selena - Amor Prohibido
9. La Mafia - Un Millon de Rosas
10. Santana - Soul Sacrifice
11. Los Tigres del Norte - De Paisano a Paisano

DIVAS & SUPERSTARS:
12. Ricky Martin - Cup of Life
13. Marc Anthony - I Need To Know
14. Shakira - Whenever, Whereever
15. Jennifer Lopez - Waiting For Tonight
16. Juanes - A Dios Le Pido

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