Wildman of Rhythm
The Life and Music of Benny MoréBook - 2009
Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence
"An important and highly entertaining book that tells the story of the great and troubled Cuban singer Benny More. Helps roll back the curtain that often comes between American audiences and their appreciation of the great musical cultures to the south."--Sam Charters, author of A Language of Song: Journeys into the Musical World of the African Diaspora
"An informative and compelling chronicle on the life of Cuba's most dazzling singer, Benny More, tidily strung together as a series of small bright story-jewels."--Ann Louise Bardach, author of Cuba Confidential
Benny Mor#65533; was one of the greatest singers to come out of Cuba, and his name evokes overwhelming nostalgia among Cubans and Cuban exiles alike. Known for the power of his expressive boleros, his tributes to beloved guajiro (country) towns, and his exciting, up-tempo songs, Mor#65533; was a lightning rod at the center of the golden age of Cuban music. The leader of Banda Gigante, one of the leading Cuban big bands of the 1950s, he was dubbed "El B#65533;rbaro del Ritmo," the wildman of rhythm.
Mor#65533; became an icon of Cuban music, but he died tragically at forty-four and in the larger scheme of political difficulties between the U.S. and Cuba, his legacy was nearly forgotten. Music journalist John Radanovich provides the definitive biography for Mor#65533; and reinvigorates his memory with information learned from the musicians who knew and performed with the man himself, as well as his family members. Radanovich also examines the milieu of Cuban music in the 1950s, when Havana was the playground of Hollywood stars and the Mafia ran the nightclubs and casinos.