The Legends: Héctor Lavoe
Héctor Lavoe's distinct sound left a lasting impression on Latin music in the US. LATIN MUSIC USA airs Friday, April 28 and Friday, May 5 at 9/8C on PBS (check local listings). Image credit: Joe Conzo, Jr.
SMITS: Lavoe sang with the full flavor of rural Puerto Rico.
He was from the countryside,
a jíbaro, and proud of it.
He was the most popular of all the singers at Fania
because he was a real Puerto Rican, a real jíbarito,
and he always, he never... he said,
"That's me and that's the way I want to be."
And the people loved that.
We kept working together and finally we got this, you know,
chemistry where I really got to know him and understand him
and I learned a lot from him.
He taught me Spanish, I taught him English.
And it was great.
I had the Bronx street stuff going
and he had that-that, uh, country,
Puerto Rican folkloric thing
and it was a great combination.