BAMBA, LA

Latest update on 15/08/2017

Artist: Alvaro Hernandez Ortiz
Author: traditional
Label: Victor
Year: 1938

Son Jarocho from the Veracruz region (Mexico), reissued on Yazoo comp Secret Museum Of Mankind Vol 4. At least 150 different versions of La Bamba circulate in the US alone, not even mentioning the many Twist & Shout's tapping from the same musical source. See a version of La Bamba by Los Lobos on their Papa Dream cd, extra stressing the Veracruz link. Lydia Mendoza's La Bamba (1936) is a different song.

Covers:

1945:

Panchos [on Sidney Siegel's New York label aimed at Spanish Harlemites; this Mexican 'mating dance' was pushed as an exotic kraze there, Life Magazine illustrating every step and all]

1946:

Hermanos Huesca

1947:

Ethel Smith & The Bando Carioca [as La Bamba De Vera Cruz]

1947:

MGM Studio Chorus & Orchestra [in film Fiesta, danced by Ricardo Montalban and Syd Charisse; issued on album Maracas, Marimbas & Mambos - Latin Classics at MGM (2005 - Rhino)]

1949:

Andres Huesca Y Su Trio Huracan [as El Jarabe Veracruzano in film Solo Veracruz Es Bello; Andres Huesca was a local harpist (1917-1957); literal translation: The Wedding In Veracruz; reissued on Chris Strachwitz's Tex-Mex series Texas-Mexican Border Music Vol. 5 (Folklyric)]

1949:

Manuel Acuña Orchestra [for Imperial]

1953:

Cynthia Gooding [on Elektra album Mexican Folk Songs]

1956:

Harry Belafonte [as Bam Bam Bamba, crediting Hector Acosta]

1958:

Ritchie Valens [B-side of Donna; influential rock & roll version]

1959:

Dario Moreno [French version]

1961:

Machucambos

1961:

Chaussettes Noires [as La Bamba Rock]

1964:

Crickets [as They Call Her La Bamba]

1964:

Jay & The Americans [as Come A Little Bit Closer; n°3 US]

1964:

Johnny Rivers [La Bamba in medley with Twist And Shout]

1964:

José Feliciano

1964:

Mariela [as La Bamba Surf]

1965:

Ventures

1965:

Willie Bobo

1966:

Trini Lopez

1966:

Neil Diamond

1967:

Sandpipers

1967:

Van Morrison [as Chick-A-Boom; Bert Berns recording]

1968:

Dusty Springfield

1975:

Nico Gomez

1983:

Raymond Van het Groenewoud & Nico Gomez [in film Brussels By Night]

1983:

Jordi Savall [with Hesperion XX as Gallarda Napolitana, reissued on cd Music For The Spanish Kings; doing his utmost to really sound as La Bamba (see footnote); which makes the La Bamba dance craze probably started with Emperor Charles V, no less!]

1987:

Lobos [n°1 US & UK, n°2 B & NL; Los Lobos' drummer Louie Perez leaves no doubt: La Bamba originates from a wedding dance in the south Mexican city of Veracruz]

2000:

Helmut Lotti

2003:

Francesco Cera [as Gagliarda Napilitana on harpsichord]

2004:

Willy DeVille [as Come A Little Bit Closer]

2005:

Lonely Boys [live]

2006:

Telex

The tune of La Bamba is almost 400 years old, as witnessed by the performances by Jordi Savall's Hesperion XX and Francesco Cera. Their Gallarda (or Gagliarda) Napolitana was written by Antonio Valente, a blind organist from Naples (1530-1585). A far forefather of Ritchie Valens? Who knows. The gaillarde was a dance for men to perform, popular among soldiers and sailors alike. No wonder it also conquered the New World in the wake of Conquistadores. Mexico being the largest Spanish colony abroad, that's were gallardas and their derivatives (the Jarabe surely being one of them) florished the most. Men dance to conquer a lady; there's your link with wedding dances. What's an Italian composer doing in Spanish waters? Even Columbus was an Italian, which is only part of the answer; Naples was as Spanish as the Lowlands during the reign of Charles V.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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