Beny Moré, golden voice of Cuba
January 26, 2008 7:05 AM   Subscribe

While many of Cuba's top musical figures left the country to pursue their careers in the US and elsewhere, the suave, hugely popular singer Benny Moré stayed. While he is a much loved and revered figure in Cuba, this great vocalist, who died in 1963, is not nearly as widely known outside the island nation as he should be. Viva Benny Moré! [NOTE: See hover-overs for link descriptions]

This montage of Cuban clips opens with an older Benny doing the familiar standard "Guantanamera".

And one more YouTube clip, wherein Benny's wonderful vocal stylings are unfortunately rather obscured by the somewhat tone deaf chiquita he shares the stage with... the dancing's fun, though.

Benny Moré Wikipedia page.
A Benny Moré selected discography.
There's a Spanish-language biopic from 2006, called El Benny.
Andy Garcia's controversial film The Lost City includes Benny as a character, played by Julian Fernandez.

And, there's a DVD available.
posted by flapjax at midnite (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
heeey ana marra a7ob nutella bs fe shi wa7ed ma a7obo feha 7azeroo eh ?! ana agolakom ( enaha marra teta5en marra) bs mn kotor 6a3amatha ma tegdar te8awemha aaah bs :)
posted by parmanparman at 7:20 AM on January 26, 2008

i hope eno y3jbkoooom ;)
o,da algroup le alnas elle te7oob nutella 6ab3an kolana 3arfenaha :)
o,aktar alnas te7obaha :)
s0o atmna mosharktkom be 9owar wla mwa9'ee3 wla ay shay menkom yekon 7elo :)
o,atmna ay ensan ye7ob eno y3ml invite le alfriends elle 3endo ya reeeeeeet :) 3shaaan kol ma zad al3dd kol ma a7law algroup :):) atmna eno y3jbkom algroup ;)
posted by parmanparman at 7:21 AM on January 26, 2008

Parm has had a stroke. Page the admins!

Hot post! Had me shaking my ass! Ay yay yay!

Vertiente Camaguey -- is my fave so far.
posted by post punk at 7:43 AM on January 26, 2008

WTFWTF, parmanparman?

This post kicks culo, thanks flapjax!
posted by psmealey at 7:47 AM on January 26, 2008

Hey, gracias mucho, post punk and psmealey!

As for parmanparman, I guess he noticed that ALL the comments on the YouTube links are in Spanish. And that just, like, blew his mind.

Hey, I don't speak Spanish either, but I know a good singer when I hear one.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:56 AM on January 26, 2008

Oops. I just noticed the "tone deaf chiquita" link, er, wasn't a link... sorry for any confusion. It's here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:12 AM on January 26, 2008

God, I love the sound of Beny More in the morning.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:14 AM on January 26, 2008

Suave is right. I think the most romantic show I've been to with my wife was Pete Yorn. Yikes.

Thanks for the post!
posted by snsranch at 3:59 PM on January 26, 2008

Special treat for you flapjax, and the people who like Benny Moré: years ago, looking for stuff by him I found this Cuban site that hosts some rare files.

Scroll down to where it says "OFRENDA CRIOLLA" (which means "creole tribute") and the 5 files listed there are recordings Benny Moré did with a journalist tape recorder on his death bed. It's him only singing and playing guitar (mad, mad guitar). My two favorite are "Tonadas Campesinas" and "Nunca."

The recording quality is very poor, but the guitar playing and the singing are truly great. In them you can hear a true master at the end of a life devoted to music.
posted by micayetoca at 4:21 PM on January 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Wow, mica, that stuff is GREAT. Thanks thanks thanks for linking to that!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:15 PM on January 26, 2008

By the way, mica, how well known/remembered is Benny in other Latin American nations? Say, Mexico, or Venezuela?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:21 PM on January 26, 2008

I can definitely say that he is well-known and admired in Puerto Rico. He was a favorite of my grandmother's.

One of his classics, Bonito y sabroso, was sampled a few years ago into a Latin-rap-type song -- whether you like the sample is one thing, but it shows that Beny is still remembered by younger generations.

Oh, and the video in that link has lots of close-ups of scantily-clad female midsections. Just so you know.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 7:44 PM on January 26, 2008

Thanks for this, flapjax. "Rumberos de Ayer" on that MySpace page is a funky gem, especially when the female backing vox kick in (plus, awesome cowbell at 2:17). And "Por Una Madre" - jesus, just listen to that voice.

A few years back a cheap used copy of this cd came into my life and changed the direction of my music listening for months. Great, great singer and an alternately delicious, delicate and sharply aggressive mix of horns, percussion and all the rest.
posted by mediareport at 8:07 PM on January 26, 2008

Nice post, thanks!

And I liked the hover-over descriptions of the links...made it easier to find the music videos right away. With some link-heavy posts, it's hard to find the meat.

Also, parmanparman, no seas tan baboso.
posted by emd3737 at 9:02 PM on January 26, 2008

(plus, awesome cowbell at 2:17).

Doesn't need more!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:19 PM on January 26, 2008

By the way, mica, how well known/remembered is Benny in other Latin American nations? Say, Mexico, or Venezuela?
posted by flapjax at midnite

In Mexico and Venezuela he is considered one of those legends, you know, like the Beatles, that everybody knows, even if they haven't bought a record by him, and most people could even probably sing the lyrics to several of his songs. He is just part of the environment.

The first time I consciously heard Benny Moré (rather than being exposed to him "environmentally") was because my brother-in-law made my sister a mixtape with his songs, and he is a punk-rocker who was famous for being a rockabilly band, so that might serve as an indicator that he is still well remembered, actively listened to, and respected by people of all ages, in all sorts of crowds.
posted by micayetoca at 10:58 AM on January 27, 2008

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