Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Oye Como Va

Written and first recorded by Tito Puente & His Orchestra (1963).
Inspired by “Chanchullo” by Israel “Cachao” Lopez (1937).
Hit version by Santana (US #13/MOR #11/R&B #32/CAN #7/MEX #9/AUS #13/GER #29 1971).
Also recorded by Natalie Cole (2013).

From the wiki: “‘Oye Como Va’ is a song written by Latin Jazz and Mambo musician Tito Puente in 1963. The fact that the phrase ‘Oye como va’ is the title of the song and is sung somewhat separately from the phrase ‘mi ritmo’ makes for its interpretation as ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ However, the first sentence is actually ‘Oye como va mi ritmo,’ meaning ‘Listen to how my rhythm goes.’ Israel ‘Cachao’ López’s 1937 recording, ‘Rareza de Melitón’ (later changed to ‘Chanchullo’), inspired Tito Puente’s signature tune. Puente had previously recorded ‘Chanchullo’ in 1959, for his album Mucho cha cha.

“The song was popularized by Santana’s rendition of it on the album Abraxas (1970). ‘Oye Como Va’ was released as that album’s second promotional single in 1971, helping to catapult Santana into stardom. Santana’s recording was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. NPR also included the song in its ‘NPR 100: The most important American musical works of the 20th Century‘.

“Natalie Cole recorded the song in 2013 on her #1 and Latin Grammy-nominated album Natalie Cole en Español.

“Due to its multinational origins — Cuban, Puerto Rican and American — and its many versions by artists from all over the world, ‘Oye cómo va’ has come, according to music historian Deborah Pacin Hernandez, in her book Oye Como Va!: Hybridity and Identity in Latino Popular Music (2009), to represent ‘the interconnectedness, hybridity and transnationality’ of Latin music in the United States.”

Cachao Orquesta, “Chanchullo”:

Santana, “Oye Como Va” (1970):

Natalie Cole, “Oye Como Va” (2013):

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