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Book of Salsa

A Chronicle of Urban Music from the Caribbean to New York City

César Miguel Rondón

Publication Year: 2008

Salsa is one of the most popular types of music listened to and danced to in the United States. Until now, the single comprehensive history of the music--and the industry that grew up around it, including musicians, performances, styles, movements, and production--was available only in Spanish. This lively translation provides for English-reading and music-loving fans the chance to enjoy César Miguel Rond?n's celebrated ###El libro de la salsa#.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v

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Translator’s Note

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pp. vii-xi

César Miguel Rondón’s The Book of Salsa, published here in English for the first time, is a transnational and pan-Caribbean history of the production, reception, and circulation of salsa music from the 1950s through the late 1970s. For this edition, Rondón, a Venezuelan journalist, writer, media...

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Chapter 1. Salsa Zero: The 1950s

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pp. 1-10

Though located on Broadway and Fifty-third Street, an area famous for music and theater, the Palladium, an immense ballroom capable of holding a thousand couples on its dance floor, was in decline by 1947. It seldom filled to capacity as fewer and fewer white couples went...

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Chapter 2. The 1960s

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pp. 11-16

Two important factors of the Cuban revolution shaped the development of Caribbean popular music. First, the blockade imposed by the United States and the Organization of American States closed the doors to an island that had...

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Chapter 3. Salsa’s the Thing

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pp. 17-27

For most of the renowned and prestigious Caribbean musicians of the 1950s there was no such thing as salsa. To them, it was merely old Cuban music played with some innovative touches. To the Cubans particularly, who...

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Chapter 4. The New York Sound

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pp. 28-40

One of the greatest assets of the Cuban son is its permeability. Its form is open to enrichment and to absorbing diverse types of popular music while remaining solidly well defined. The young New York musicians quickly recognized...

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Chapter 5. Our (Latin) Thing

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pp. 41-61

The Cheetah was more like an enormous barn than a ballroom. While it had a great location on Fifty-second Street—the area featuring the most famous clubs of the golden age of jazz in the 1950s—it was set up in the most rudimentary...

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Chapter 6. The Thing in Montuno

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pp. 62-91

Much has been said about the peculiar fact that New York City was the birthplace of the sound and style that came to define salsa. As many have noted, other Caribbean cities were home to as many or more Latinos than this U.S. city...

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Chapter 7. The Boom

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pp. 92-237

In the fall of 1973, the Fania All Stars gave the largest salsa concert ever in New York, so large it was held at Yankee Stadium. The audience still had memories of the Cheetah event, and the four albums that came from it had become...

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Chapter 8. Another Thing

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pp. 238-282

In 1974, a group of young musicians in the Bronx formed a band that came to be called Conjunto Anabacoa. Amid the regular work that salsa required, their idea was to do nothing but get together and jam, to develop freely the music...

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Chapter 9. All of the Salsas

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pp. 283-308

In 1979 another salsa album by a singer without any special talent or connections was produced in New York. I did not buy the album but looked at the cover. There was the singer, dressed elegantly in the style of a model advertising men’s...

Basic Discography

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pp. 309-312


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pp. 313-340

E-ISBN-13: 9781469603803
E-ISBN-10: 1469603802
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807831298
Print-ISBN-10: 0807831298

Page Count: 352
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2008