John Beni Y Sus Ribereños

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Born in Huarochiri, likely around 1945, Juan Benigno Tapia Rojas moved to La Victoria, Lima where he learned to play guitar from his father. He formed his first group with neighborhood friends and called themselves “The Peruvian Boys.” The group covered Colombian cumbias and Cuban guarachas. Due to the growing popularity, in 1966 “The Peruvian Boys” were invited to play in Guayaquil, Ecuador. There they got some radio play on Ecuadorian local radio, Radio Cristal as well as musical halls, under the name “Peru Y Mi Son.” In Ecuador they started to debut some of their own compositions.

Back in Peru, due to the success of the tour in Ecuador, the band felt ready to submit their original compositions to the major labels at the time: Virrey, Odeon, MAG, SonoRadio. Virrey was interested in signing the group, and encouraged the renaming of the group to “Los Ribereños” (The Riversides).

For some reason however, rather than releasing pressings on Virrey, they released two 45 RPS by Los Riberneos on Polydor, presumably a licensor of Virrey, around 1967/1968.

 

Silbando/Don Jose

 

 

La Sapa/Hasta Cuando

 

Presumably the band that played on these first two discs was the same that would play on the debut LP. Personnel being:

Juan Benigno Tapia (director and vocals)

Luis Sánchez Donayre (timbales)

Hugo Richarti (lead guitar),

Miguel Palomino (bass),

Ricardo Caceres (Huiro/tumba)

Víctor Manuel Saldaña (tumba/quinto),

The group went on to release three LPs for Virrey, the first the great “Silbando” (DVS 659). The title track of course having been compiled on the Roots of Chicha, as well as receiving remix treatment on a 7″ in 2010. The B side of this disc is great all the way through, the Bolero’s on the A side kind of ruin that side for me.

The second release is a split disc (DVS-696) with Compay Quinto songs interspersed wiht  Los Riberenos (2/5 songs on side A, and 4/6 on side B). I’ve not heard this, I found this image on popsike.

Latin LP Rare Descarga Cumbia Virrey Los Ribereños Compay Quinto Sensacional

The last LP was Sola En El Mar (DVS-713). A few tracks from this are up on youtube.

Thereafter, John Beni would form his own record label called “Benisa”, and release one of his own tracks as well as another group of his friends titled  “Los Roberts de Tumbes” (I’m not able to confirm this).

 

Balu/Un Trago En Mananita

 

The group appears to have reactivated, with only Juan an original member, and he now calls himself “Jhon” perhaps to single himself out. Nonetheless, the music videos up on youtube are priceless, and you can check his new group’s sound out here:

 

Special thanks to Norberto Lajo Paredes, over at BetoLajo for some (the only) information out there on the Internet.

Pedro Miguel Y Sus Maracaibos

L-R: Pedro Emilio Tardio (Timbales), Manuel Garcia (Guitar/vocals), Pedro “El Chacal” Vicente Grados (Guitar), Pedro Miguel Huamanchumo Caramutti (Lead Vocal/guiro), Pedro Vicente Gomez (Trumpte), Felipe Arrieta (Congas)

Much has been written about Enrique Delgado, but before Odeon released Los Destellos eponymous debut (Odeon/IEMPSA ELD-1735), Pedro Miguel Y Sus Maracaibos had dropped ‘La Paila’ (roughly translated this would invoke something fire sauteed, which indeed the tunes are!)  on Odeon’s Lider imprint (LD-1668). This fusion of guitar driven tropical rhythms would soon be propelled to the forefront of Peruvian popular music, of course bolstered by the sinewy licks of Mr. Delgado and company. Point being, Pedro Miguel is an underappreciated root in the great guitar driven cumbia scene that would spring forth in the coming decade and fuel artists for labels that had yet to be formed even.

Born June 30, 1942 in Salaverry, Trujillo (the second largest city in Peru). Pedro left for Lima at age 15 in 1957. In 1961, at 19, he formed his band ‘Pedro Miguel y sus Maracaibos” (Maracaibo is a city in Venezuela–there has to be a story here, but I haven’t unearthed it yet). The band was formed in the Barrios Altos neighborhood of Lima (incidentally the location would become infamous 30 years later in view of the Sendero Luminoso linked massacre in that neighborhood). In 1966 the group recorded its first LP “La Paila.” Apparently the recording for Odeon/Lider/IEMPSA was made possible because his older (half?) brother Raul Huamanchuo Reyes (perhaps better known to Peruvians as the comedian “Chalo” Reyes, who passed in 2016) had a word put in to the label through Pedrito Otiniano & Lucho Barrios, who Raul played guitar for.

Trujillo, Peru (8.5 hrs drive north of Lima (555.2 km)

The group’s first international tour is rumored to have been to Chile in 1970. Gaining international notoriety, around 1972 the group toured to the United States, to the Cuban-centric neighborhoods of Miami. It was this same year that they recorded Con Sabor A Cuba (Odeon/IEMPSA ELD-1871).

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While I do enjoy Los Maracaibos early material, as with most groups (any genre/any time) later material for whatever loses the magic of earlier releases. I’d check out any of the below for a sip of the juice.

Select Discography:

LD-1668 – La Paila

LD- 1734 – Pa’los Rumberos

ELD – 1788 – Los Campeones Del Ritmo

ELD – 1871  – Con Sabor A Cuba (starting on this release you’ll find some ‘potpourris’ which for the record I hate…)

ELD – 1979 – Ritmo Maracaibo

ELD – 2043 – A Todo Dar!

ELD – 2115 – Al Toque

ELD – 2220 – A Toda Maquina..!

ELD 31.15.303 – Lo Fuerte De (greatest hits compliation)

 

 

 

 

 

Peruvian Label History

So the original Peruvian label was ARTO or Artophone, but its prominence disappeared way before the music that your humble guide is interested in appeared–like it was around in the 1920s (props to Gino over at El Anacronico for the piece on ARTO). So that we’re all clear, my interest can really be defined, I suppose crudely, as the time that begins (inclusive of) post-Enrique Delgado, post-Los Destellos.

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So then it follows the first label of interest for purposes of this blog would be Industria Electricas y Musicales del Peru S.A., commonly known as IEMPSA. Created on May 31, 1949, IEMPSA was created by four visionaries, Enrique Heeren, Ricardo Rivera Schreiber, Carlos Vich Musso, and Raúl Barrios Ordoñez. Interestingly IEMPSA was acquired in the late 2000s by the Asociación Peruana de Autores y Compositores (APDAYC), essentially the Peruvian RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

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IEMPSA was the 1,423rd “industry” to be registered in Peru. I’ll refer to this number as the RI number. So therefore it’s strange to contemplate why Manuel Antonio Guerrero’s MAG label, supposedly founded 4 years after IEMPSA, on May June 8, 1953 received number 1,267 in the Peruvian “industry” registration (check your record labels, I’m not making this up). Manuel was an entrepreneur who started slanging RCA-Victor imports in downtown Lima. He then realized he could be selling his own product (not that gringo-import product), and went all in. He bought cutting-edge recording equipment, and setup a recording studio near a pressing plant. Cue (non-rock acts aside) Los Yorks, Traffic Sound, Telegraph Avenue, etc.

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IEMPSA of course shared its mark with other integral labels operating under the same corporate parent, Lider, Decibel, DisPeru to name a few (i.e., all share the RI 1423 stamp).

The next major registration for industry, by my count, would be Disco Ramirez at “4394,” which again, based on registered industry numbers appears to have been acquired at some point by Sono Radio.  This 4394 “RI” number is also shared by the Canpard label founded by Los Ecos frontman Heriberto Cuestas Chacon. It’s unclear if Canpard ceded to Disco Ramirez, quite possible, as I have yet to turn up another “Canpard” labeled 7″.  Nonetheless if Heriberto decided to go full bore on the Ramirez moniker, it’s unclear how that came to be, obvious name links aren’t clear.

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Later Disco Ramirez releases show up as RI 5731. I’d be unsure of what what to make of this until one realizes the Sono Radio RI number is 5731. Therefore, and I’m speculating, but I bet Sono Radio acquired Disco Ramirez at some point. Dates are murky at best on a lot of this. I can say with certainty that Sono Radio was founded in 1950, again RI 5731, and they became a licensee of U.S. Colombia records as of 1962/63. Enrique Lynch, of course, being a major player for the label.

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The next major label to mention would be Fabricantes Tecnicos Asociados, at RI 8681. FTA quickly associated with RCA if not sooner than 1961. I’ve reverse engineered this date based off of some “field” data (i.e., the label’s 10 year anniversary stickers, in the context of other LP releases from the era). Please CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG!!!

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Next, cue El Virrey, which as time would tell, became one of the major hitters in the Peruvian record scene. Yet, its RI number isn’t anything less than 12428. This seems astronomically high relative to the other labels releasing music on the scene (again the nearest one I’m contemplating was FTA at 8681, and Virrey was 12428, by my math that’s over 3,700 incorporations in the interim!). Regardless, El Virrey associated with Phillips recording company in the US.  The label spawned offshoot DoReMi, which to my mind is a somewhat suspicious copycat label with groups like Los Pekines (not Los Pakines), that touted a greatest hits, but I’ve yet to find those “top-selling” singles.

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As far as RI chronology goes, the next player on the scene would have been DINSA, Discos Industriales Nacionales, S.A., at 12891, they partnered up to release under the GEMA moniker in the U.S. apparently (according to Billboard magazine that is). They also had subsidiary labels Suceso, and Impala.

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Thereafter, you have Rey Records at RI 14769. Infopesa at 15242, explored elsewhere on this blog. Volcan, 16288, with subsidiary Discope (hello Grupo Celeste). Podereso appeared on the scene at RI 20839, the formation likely a product of Martin Lopez’s (aka Pedro Lopez of Cocinando fame) learned business prowess.

 

What I assume must have to be late-comers to the industry would then be Peruvox at 61033 and DIFA at 62379. Better late than never, as each of these labels offers up some fire. Also they (Discope/Poderoso too) seem to be logical evidence of the segue into the “chicha” music scene which is outside the scope of this blog.Music Shop S.A. as far as I can tell from my collection doesn’t have an RI number, but I think that is just a product of what was required at the time that label incorporated.

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Conjuto Nueva Galaxia

Likely recorded around 1972/73, amidst the completion of Los Belkings final LP “Ayer Y Hoy,”  Raul Herrera lead guitarist of Los Belkings created a side project called Conjunto Nueva Galaxia (The New Galaxy Band). Releasing three 45 RPMs to my knowledge, the first being El Viaje (Cumbia) backed with Chiya Chiya (Bailable). This was followed by La Cajita (Cumbia)/Pajarito (cumbia). Finally (at least to my knowledge) was released the Santana-inspired (think Samba Para Ti) Sueño Marino (Balada) backed with El Mono (Cumbia). All of these songs were penned by Raul, with no indication of who the backing band was (Los Belkings?).

 

The singles all show an advanced level of composition with interesting samples of waves (Sueno Marino), innovative song coloring (the whistles on Chiya Chiya) and just general overall catchy Peruvian Cumbias.

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Los Mirlos – Pre-Infopesa

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Likely around 1972, prior to joining the INFOPESA label, Los Mirlos recorded their first tracks for DINSA. To my knowledge only two 45s were released under the mark. Of course you’ve likely heard “La Danza De Los Mirlos” that has appeared on a number of compilations and re-releases (e.g., Cumbia Amazonica, Cumbias Chichadelicas, Roots of Cumbia).  And for good reason, this tune launched the bands career in the wake of this single’s success. The A side is backed with El Achoradito (don’t ask me what it means), an equally up-beat cumbia with slinky guitar work:

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Hot off the success of “La Danza de Los Mirlos,” the band continued marketing themselves with another gimmicky animal named theme; “La Marcha Del Pato” was likely released the same year. My copy is pressed on spackled crystal blue vinyl. This tune features a bit of thinly distorted guitar work by the ever melodic and rapid fire guitar of Gilberto Reategui.

 

Los Belton’s – Domingo Por La Manana/ Cumbia Pop

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My copy is pressed on translucent blue vinyl, this is a great disc, with the majority of its strength in the B side “Cumbia Pop.” Like Los Orientales’ epic B side “Lobos Al Escape” trumps that disc’s A side “La Carcocha,” Cumbia Pop is the gem on this disc, overshadowing “Domingo Por La Manana.” Which oddly enough, “Domingo Por La Manana,” is actually a cover of Hugo Blanco’s “Transandina,” but is not credited as such. Cumbia Pop was compiled onto Vampisoul’s Cumbia Beat Vol. 1 release.

From the Ayacucho region, Los Beltons were, like so many other Peruvian cumbia bands, a family affair among brothers Américo, Rubén, Lino, Atilio and Gotardo of the Vilcatoma Aranda family. The brothers/band released at least 10 45 RPMs and to my ears nothing else, sadly, sounds like the fuzzed-out madness of Cumbia Pop.los-beltons.

Los Belking’s – Mini Long Play

 

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Likely released in 1970, this mini long play really demonstrates how far this group advanced their sonic aesthetic over a short few years. Comprising five instrumental tracks –although ‘Triste Solead’ and ‘Let Me’ have some vocal texturing, and ‘Let Me’ barely qualifies as a song, as it is a very short piece, but it’s a track nonetheless. ‘Sentimientos,’ ‘Charly,’ ‘Atajame,’ and ‘Triste Soledad’ were all compiled on the 2003 CD release Instrumental Waves 1966-1973. All are stand outs in Los Belking’s catalog. So it’s good to know if you can’t find this MLP, you can still fairly easily get a copy of the tracks.

Each stand out track features excellent fuzz tone and innovative song structures. The only lesser track is ‘Sendas de Amor,’ which is a little to saccharine for my tastes (and likely why it’s not on the 2003 release).

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Ollanta Records

Huamanga is a province in northern part of the Ayacucho Region in Peru. From this province came Julio Erasmo Medina Mendoza affectionately known as “El Huamanguinito.” Julio released an early LP on DINSA under the moniker “El Huamanguinito” called “…De Ayer y Hoy” (DINSA LPG 028). This disc is primarily Huaynos, or traditional Andean songs — likely not of much interest to readers of this blog. However, as far as the history of early Peruvian recorded music this is an important connection to make. This disc must have sold well enough, or at least Julio was a savvy enough businessman to get DINSA to form an imprint “OLLANTA” (short I guess for Ollantaytambo an Incan imperial site in the Cusco region of Peru). It was either that or this label existed and DINSA acquired it and put Julio at the helm. Some of these early releases on the OLLANTA imprint reference the DINSA connection and also show case a JEMM mark, the initials of Julio, even though he was not the artist of these discs. A case in point:

This disc by Los Avispones (the Hornets) is not necessarily in the Andean-style, but a  Guaracha (vocal)/Cumbia (instrumental)(A/B respectively) from which the group likely came from the Ayachucho Region of Peru.

Later discs (based off the JEMM numbering as well as the disc numbering) lose the DINSA reference, yet the registered industry number stays the same (i.e., 74666).

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I found a number of other label variants via Discogs.com, so it seems like this label design group couldn’t settle one way or another (another variant is a gray version):

It’s curious to note that some of these the RI # changes to a CP # (this is getting way too geeky I know). So I’m curious to find out what that was about. Lastly I’ll note that the blue disc pictured above has the RI # as 1267, and the gray version has RI# 12891, most others reflect either RI/CP # 74666.

Augusto Lucho Laverde Y Sus Satelites

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Hailing from Huacho, Peru (about 140 km, or two hours north of Lima) Carlos Augusto Lucho Laverda was an earlier pioneer in the wah-wah (gua-gua) sound of Peruvian cumbia. Maximiliano Chavez, of Los Orientales de Paramonga fame, cited him as an influential guitarist that first gave him the idea to emulate that trademark tone. Aside from this I know nothing else of the artist.

Recording under the moniker “Augusto Lucho Y Sus Satelites” Augusto and his band cut a number of tracks for Virrey records. As far as I know three of these releases are:

Virrey 3264 Sopa De Pichon (Guaracha)/Los Duendes (Guaracha)

Virrey 3318 La Bomba Es (Guaracha)/Baile De Las Gallinas (Guaracha)

Virrey 3372 Arco Iris (Cumbia)/La Casita (Bolero Son)

All are credited to Augusto, save for the first 45 RPM which credits Sopa de Pichon to “F. Grillo” and Los Duendes to Augusto and “J. Diaz.” Augusto Lucho Y Sus Satelites sound is full and vibrant, and most tracks save for the Bolero are upbeat and filled out by brass.

A presumably later release was discovered on a label called “Dicos Del Puerto,” which credits a track to “Augusto Lucho La Verde” and is of a completely different style and likely of less interest to readers of the blog. Nonetheless a clip is included.

Check the clip for a taste  of all of the above. Songs are in chronological order.

Los Tic Tac – Un Besito…Y Nada Mas/El Cubanito

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I’m not sure whether picture sleeves for Peruvian 45 RPM releases are rare because few were made, or because few survived the past four-and-counting decades, either way here is a rarity. The A Side is somewhat similar to the Juaneco track Vacilando con Ayahuasco or the Los Orientales track Sonia La Sexy, with some sultry spoken female vocals (I’m fairly certain the vocalist on those two tracks is the same woman). I wonder if this was released around the same time. The B Side does not provide an author name, and as listed as an instrumental although it has some minimalist vocals.

A sample of this early release from Los Tic Tac’s oeuvre is below, enjoy: