Monday, July 25, 2016

Witchy Women: Daniel Santos and "El Baile de La Lechuza"

We have an oldie for the random song today. El Baile de La Lechuza is by Daniel Santos and the song is from around 1953. Daniel Santos was a Puerto Rican musician whose family moved when he was eight to New York City hoping to escape their poverty. He dropped out of school and starting living on his own when he was fifteen, and one day while singing in his small apartment he was overheard by a member of the group Trio Lirico, who invited him to join their group. During the 1930s, he sang with Cuarteto Flores and solo until drafted for World War II. He received a tribute upon his return to New York City after the war. An ardent Puerto Rican nationalist, he supported the island's independence movement. He also took a keen interest in Cuba and established a residence there, but fell out of favor with dictator Fulgencio Batista in the 1950s. Despite initial support for Fidel Castro's fight against the government and being courted by the Castros and Che Guevara after the Cuban Revolution, he rejected their claims that their revolution was nationalist and declared himself anti-communist. He established a residence in Florida - but in 1991 he collapsed in New York City. He was also suffering some some mental illness including Alzheimers. He died at his ranch in Ocala, Florida in 1992. El Baile de La Lechuza can be found on the 2010 retrospective El Corneta. La Lechuza refers to the Mexican legend of witch women who can turn themselves into giant birds.