The musician, bandleader and entrepreneur Johnny Pacheco died on February 15 at age 85. In my opinion, Pacheco is one of the seminal figures in American popular music, in the same category with people like Sam Phillips and Berry Gordy.
Fania, the record label he founded and artistically directed, is responsible for a style of music that has spread around the world: salsa. This music reflects the point of view of young Spanish-speaking Caribbeans (Latinos) in New York City in the 1960s and 70s who grew up in an all-new urban multicultural environment. Such an environment was unusual then -- today it's mainstream culture.
Pacheco did it all at Fania: he co-started and co-owned the label; he produced many of the recordings; he was the A&R man signing and developing artists like Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto, Ruben Blades and Celia Cruz; he sold the albums out of the trunk of his car; he wrote songs; led and conducted bands; played flute and congas and even sang coros (background vocals).
This week on Global A Go-Go (Monday May 10, 3:00-5:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site) we'll rebroadcast my February 22, 2021 program focusing on Johnny Pacheco, Fania Records and the invention of salsa.
All the podcasts: radio4all.net/index.php/series/Global+A+Go-Go
Artist | Country | Song | Recording | Label | Year
Oliver Lake | USA | Separation | Matador Of 1st & 1st | Passin' Thru | 1997
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros | England UK | Global A Go-Go | Global A Go-Go | Hellcat | 2001
Pacheco Y Su Charanga con Elliot Romero | USA | El Guiro De Macorina | Pacheco Y Su Charanga con Elliot Romero | Alegre | 1961
The Alegre All Stars | USA | Estoy Buscando A Kako | The Alegre All Stars | Alegre | 1961
El Gran Pacheco | USA | Fania | Mi Nuevo Tumbao … Canonazo | Fania | 1964
El Gran Pacheco | USA | Dakar, Punto Final | Mi Nuevo Tumbao … Canonazo | Fania | 1964
The Joe Cuba Sextet | USA | Do You Feel It? | Bustin' Out | Tico | 1972
Joe Bataan | USA | Gypsy Woman (demo version) | Under The Streetlamps: Anthology 1967-72 | Fania | 1967
Joe Bataan | USA | Subway Joe | Subway Joe | Fania | 1968
Bobby Valentin | USA | Use It Before You Lose It | Let's Turn On / Arrebatarnos | Fania | 1968
Johnny Pacheco con Pete (El Conde) Rodriguez | USA | La Escencia Del Guaguanco | La Perfecta Combinacion | Fania | 1970
Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound | USA | Consolacion | Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound | Fania | 1970
Eddie Palmieri | USA | Justicia | Justicia | Tico | 1969
Willie Colon | USA | Juana Pena | Cosa Nuestra | Fania | 1969
Fania All Stars | USA | Quitate Tu | Live At The Cheetah, Vol. 1 | Fania | 1972
Jose "Cheo" Feliciano | USA | Anacaona | Cheo | Vaya | 1971
Ray Barretto | USA | El Hijo De Obatala | Indestructible | Fania | 1973
Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco | Cuba-USA | Quimbara | Celia & Johnny | Vaya | 1974
Willie Colon | USA | Aguanile | El Juicio | Fania | 1972
Orchestra Harlow | USA-Cuba | Gracia Divina | Hommy: A Latin Opera | Fania | 1973
Willie Colon & Ruben Blades | USA-Panama | Siembra | Siembra | Fania | 1978
Fania All Stars | USA | Mi Gente | Live At Yankee Stadium, Vol. 1 | Fania | 1975