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.
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).
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.
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)