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Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe


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Hector Lavoe began playing with bands in New York like Kako and his All Stars. He later met and worked for two weeks with the great Dominican bandleader, Johnny Pacheco. Pacheco introduced Hector to a young, up-and-coming bandleader named Willie Colon. Willie was playing Latin jazz and boogaloo. The established musicians of the time considered Willie a kid with a bad sound. Pacheco was getting ready to have Colon record his first albumn for the Fania label. Willie who was looking for a lead singer liked Hector’s clear voice, impeccable enunciation and stylistic abilities. In addition, Hector had an enormous talent for improvisation. That introduction led to a very successful musical union—one that was nearly instantaneous.

Pacheco created an image for Willie that was one of a bad boy, gangsterish, thug. The image caught on and was embraced by the public. In 1967 Hector and Willie recorded their first album for Fania, El Malo. Willie’s band was young; mostly teenagers. They had a new sound and Hector in addition to being a great talent, was very charismatic. Audiences loved him. Hector was comical in his repartee with the audience and within his improvisations.

Colon gave Hector the option of keeping the musicians together. With a commitment from Jose Mangual Jr., a percussionist with the band, to keep the orchestra in tact, Hector launched his solo career. Willie Colon who dearly loved Hector despite his shortcomings would produce Hector’s first album as a solo artist and many others. Their friendship and love never wavered.

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  • carpote

    Willie Colón canta Héctor Lavoe: tremenda dupla.

    29 Nov 2009 Reply
  • rockbogard

    Hector Pérez Martínez conoció a Willie Colón y a Johnny Pacheco, co-propietario del sello Fania Records y formó parte de la banda del primero logrando varios éxitos debido a la calidad interpretativa de la banda de Colón y el sonido especial que el puertorriqueño le imprimía a sus interpretaciones

    2 Oct 2007 Reply

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