|About the Book|
The first English-language biography of the singer known as the Cuban SinatraThis new book about ‘El Bárbaro del Ritmo’ celebrates the life and music of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.--Grammy award-winning musician PaquitoMoreThe first English-language biography of the singer known as the Cuban SinatraThis new book about ‘El Bárbaro del Ritmo’ celebrates the life and music of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.--Grammy award-winning musician Paquito DRiveraAnybody with hot blood in their veins who has ever found Cuban music irresistible, and who believes that jungle-crazy mambo is the real thing, will feel indebted to John Radanovich’s fascinating chronicle of Benny Moré’s life. Wildman of Rhythm is more than a biography--it’s a huge window into one of the richest, most creative cultures on earth.--Bob Shacochis, National Book Award finalist for Swimming in the VolcanoAn important and highly entertaining book that tells the story of the great and troubled Cuban singer Benny More. Helps roll back the curtain that often comes between American audiences and their appreciation of the great musical cultures to the south.--Sam Charters, author of A Language of Song: Journeys into the Musical World of the African DiasporaAn informative and compelling chronicle on the life of Cubas most dazzling singer, Benny More, tidily strung together as a series of small bright story-jewels.--Ann Louise Bardach, author of Cuba ConfidentialBenny More (1919-1963) was one of the giants at the center of the golden age of Cuban music. Arguably the greatest singer ever to come from the island, his name is still spoken with reverence and nostalgia by Cubans and Cuban exiles alike.Unable to read music, he nevertheless wrote more than a dozen Cuban standards. His band helped shape what came to be known as the Afro-Cuban sound and, later, salsa. More epitomized the Cuban big-band era and was one of the most important precursors to the music later featured in the Buena Vista Social Club. Even now, to hear his recordings for the first time, it is impossible not to be thrilled and amazed.Journalist John Radanovich has spent years tracking down the musicians who knew More and More family members, seeking out rare recordings and little-known photographs. Radanovich provides the definitive biography of the man and his music, whose legacy was forgotten in the larger scheme of political difficulties between the United States and Cuba. Even the exact spelling of Mores first name was unknown until now. The author also examines the milieu of Cuban music in the 1950s, when Havana was the playground of Hollywood stars and the Mafia ran the nightclubs and casinos.