Sunday, January 25, 2015

Not Lost in Translation: Los Crazy Boys and "La Novia de Mi Mejor Amigo"



Today's song is a blast from the past from Mexico's golden age of rock and roll in the 50s and 60s. I don't know about you, but I was born in early 1960s and so the music from that time, though familiar to me, is not something I grew up with. When they talk about 50s and 60s music, I relate more to Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole because that was the 50s and 60s music my mom and dad played on the stereo. When I was growing up, the rock and roll of the 50s and 60s was cute songs about itsy bitsy bikinis and monster mashes. I didn't truly get into rock and roll until almost high school, and by then the late 70s style of rock was in vogue, everything from hard Led Zeppelin, country rock like The Eagles, and pop stuff. So it has been a bit of an education to revisit some of the 50s and early 60s rock and realize just how revolutionary it was - for example the rock of Buddy Holly and Elvis. Not only was it revolutionary, but it also had broad appeal around the world so that nascent rock bands in other countries, just by translating a song into their own language, gave a song a broader appeal and shelf-life than it might ordinarily have. In turn, this helped spark creativity around the world. It's kind of extraordinary, when you really think about it.

Today's tune is an example of a band in Mexico following the American rock style and perpetuating it for the Mexican music market. Los Crazy Boys were formed in 1959 and were at the forefront of the English to Spanish translation of popular rock songs for the Mexican music market, as well as penning their own hits. They were also notable for being the first Mexican rock and roll group to use violins. The band is still performing, though not with its original lineup. La Novia de Mi Mejor Amigo (My Best Friend's Girl) can be found on the 2013 retrospective album Los Exitos de Oro de Los Crazy Boys.