Johnny Ventura (born Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano, March 8, 1940, La Romana, Dominican Republic) is a Dominican merengue composer and singer, the first to achieve widespread fame outside of the Dominican Republic. He is known throughout the world as the legendary Merenguero, "El Caballo".
Ventura and his orchestra, the "Combo Show", added rock and roll elements to the genre in the early 1960s, influenced by the early stars of American rock (including Elvis Presley). His hits include "Patacón pisao", "Pitaste", "El elevador", "La agarradera", "Capullo y Sorrullo", and "El tabaco," and has recorded over 100 albums. He continued to record into the 1990s.
Ventura became involved in politics in 1962, joining the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). He was Vice Mayor of Santo Domingo under Dr. José Francisco Peña Gómez from 1982 to 1986, and was Mayor from 1998 to 2002.
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