Music Profile: Billos Caracas Boys
Few things inspire me and get my heart going like Billo's Caracas Boys. My favorite song of theirs is El Brujo, and it reminds me of one summer when my family I listened to their greatest hits album on loop while we drove through New England, exploring.
I was only seven years old, but I distinctly remember liking the song because it reminded of my grandparents dancing at our annual New Years Eve party. Now that I think about it, all of the happiest moments of my life, likely have a song from Los Billos.
I decided to do a little digging on the history of Billo's Caracas Boys. I know far too little about a band that moves me so much.
HERE'S THE SCOOP.
BILLO: Billo's Caracas Boys was founded by Jose María "Billo" Frómeta in 1940, and he directed the band until his death in 1988. Billo was originally Dominican, but spent the majority of his life and career in Venezuela.
THE MUSIC: The group's signature sound was caribbean music, without a doubt, and it was particularly influenced by rhythms from Caracas, Colombia and Cuba.
WHO ELSE WAS IN THE BAND?: A lot of musicians would come and go, leave the group. Integrate. Leave. Come back.
THE END: After 28 years of nonstop success, Billo was to be receive the highest musical honor in renowned the Teresa Carreño theater, but unfortunately, he died tragically the night before from a stroke.
THE IMPACT: Billo's Caracas Boys had a huge impact in the way Venezuelan communication evolved. The band had their own radio show, called "A Gozar Muchachos" and they did many, many promotional jingles for big brands like Coca Cola and Palmovile, amongst others. They have had the longest trajectory of a musical group in the history of the country. This was all unprecedented, and to me this sounds like they were the Kardashians of their time, minus the buttocks.
CONCLUSION: It's been over 60 years since the band was born and more than 20 since Billo left the living, but Billo's Caracas Boys still remains alive through all Venezuelans. It's considered the band from yesterday, today, and forever.
A band that has been with Venezuelan families for so long, it's hard to imagine what a celebration would be like without their music.
FINAL REMARKS: Today, "El Brujo" is my power song on Nike run.