Perez Prado: Lupita

I’m gonna go out on a limb and just say it: Perez Prado was not only the king of the Mambo, but the godfather of Mexican Banda.

I cannot think of any musician that played or looked a style akin to the genre Banda before its rise. This influence makes sense on so many levels. After fleeing Cuba, Prado settled permanently in Mexico City, where he gained immense popularity. From film to tv, it seems that Perez Prado became part of the Mexican psyche. To this day countless Mexican bands have covered his songs and have emulated his showmanship. From his over-the-top kenitic sound, to the large matching ensemble. I’m sure there is not a single person from that era in Mexico who doesn’t know who Perez Prado was or what he represented. It only makes sense that the generation after his retirement/death would be strongly influenced by him.  

I selected several versions of the standard Lupita, probably his most famous song in Mexico, and Latin America for that matter. The thing is Prado would constantly try to reinvent himself and it is reflected in all three versions below. Yeah, it may seem a bit redundant and can be said that it was probably motivated by monetary gain. The Mexican music industry was great at repackaging El Rey Del Mambo. But honestly all three version speak for themselves. They are all really good. Enjoy! 

1. Perez Prado: Lupita (1960’s)

2. Perez Prado: Lupita (1970’s)

3. Perez Prado: Lupita (1980’s)

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2 Responses to “Perez Prado: Lupita”


  1. 1 Marcosteño June 28, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I see your point, but I have to disagree with you , my friend. Banda El Recodo was formed in Sinaloa in 1938 by Cruz Lizarraga. Perez Prado didn’t arrive in MX until 1948… perhaps in the arena of showmanship one could draw an analogy, but as far musical form and structure, banda owes more to German polka orchestras than to Perez Prado’s mambo, in my opinion. I wish with all my heart that Perez Prado had been a bigger influence on banda. Mexican radio would be a lot more listenable. What do you think?

  2. 2 josephfranko September 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I have to disagree with you. In 1938 Banda El Recodo was famous in Sinaloa only (perhaps even only in their town). All music and culture was centered in Mexico City before the 60’s and 70’s. Nobody ever heard of Banda El Recordo then. It wasn’t until later that they gained notarity, but that was long after Perez Prado was famous in ALL OF MEXICO (from film and tv). I would bet my life that after 1938 to 1968 Banda El Recodo didn’t sound like they did. I am certain that they were influenced by him at one point. Perez Prado was a cultural elite in Mexico and Mexico City was the cultural window of all Mexico then. With all due respect to you. Con todo respecto hombre.

    Sonido Franko


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