The legendary Puerto Rican salsa duo Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz are preparing to celebrate their 55th anniversary on February 23 with their great concert “One Last Time” at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, which premiered with another great presentation in September 2004.
The act will mark the return of Cruz to the stage, since he announced last year his retirement from them, unless some producer compensated him with some economic offer that he was interested in, as he admitted in an interview with Efe.
But, it seems that the Puerto Rican producer Rafo Muñiz offered him the duo of salsa hits, such as “Agúzate”, “Juan en la ciudad” and “Sonido bestial”, a tempting economic reward to present himself to his people.
“When I said I was retiring, I said that anyone who pays me what I want and with the work I want to do, took me out of retirement,” said Cruz, who also said that he was once called to appear in Dubai, but due to the many hours of flight, which rejected the offer.
Ray, for his part, maintained that despite the fact that both artists are over 70 years old, the music they have enacted around the world continues to be interpreted in the same way since their beginnings in New York, where the genre originated and in turn, the term salsa, of which the duo assures that they were invented.
“This is already part of one, the music is in one, in the heart, the mind, one feels when he was 19 or 20 years old, but what happens is that the body is not the same,” he said in a funny way. Ricardo Maldonado Morales, real name of Ray, one of the main pianists of the Caribbean genre.
Ray’s musical genius about the keys shaped them into salsa themes, such as adding measures of the song “Estudio Revolucionario” by the Polish pianist Fryderyk Chopin, in “Sonido bestial”, released on the self-titled album in 1971.
Ray, a faithful admirer of Beethoven and Bach, mentioned that this idea of including classical music notes in salsa themes, comes from his musical studies at the Performing Arts School in New York to become a concert performer.
“We started with a vision, we attacked on all fronts and we worked hard, and then we took the theme ‘Comején’, the trick on that theme is that it starts slow and then goes fast, each number had a trick,” he said.
Ray and Cruz began their career as a duo composing songs inspired by the Puerto Rican singer Ramito and with the influence of genres they heard from their Latin American friends, such as guaguancó, chachachá, boogaloo, mambo and even classical music.
That musical creation was what led both artists to compose some of the most famous songs in the history of salsa, such as “Agúzate”, “Juan en la ciudad”, “Mi bandera”, “Bestial sound” and “La zafra” “
Records such as “Jala jala y Boogaloo” (1967), “Los durísimos” (1968), “Agúzate” (1969) and “Bestial Sound” (1970) were great successes of the first Ray and Cruz era, but fame began. to pass the bill in the form of addictions and controversies.
Ray explains that the problems were increasing until in 1974 he felt that he should follow the Christian path.
The popularity and the sales of the salseros diminished, but the song “Juan in the city”, sauce version of the biblical parable of the prodigal son included in the disc “Reconstrucción”, of 1976, returned to conquer the hearts of his followers.
However, the duo, known as “Los durísimos”, paused in the music, which lasted for 20 years, and in which they devoted themselves body and soul to religious life.
The first church they founded was in Miami (Florida, USA), followed by another in Ireland and another in Mexico City.
After its conversion, the duo of Ray and Cruz continued taking productions, among them, “Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz Viven” (1977), “The sound of the beast” (1980), “Again the durísimos” (1980) and “When I was a child” (1999). (EFEUSA) .-