When MTV started in the early 1980s, I thought to myself, “what a great platform for reggae and the fledgling world music scene. Well, that was a big disappointment. MTV went for commercial stuff only.
On the contrary, youtube carries endless discovery and fascination. Thank goodness for youtube. My Cuban friend Humberto Capiro–also my interpreter when I do radio interviews with Cuban musicians whose English isn’t good—-sent me this video. Los Zafiros–The Sapphires–were a unique group from 1960s Cuba–they didn’t do the prevailing styles, son, cha cha, or mambo, but did a combination of those infused with doo-wop, then still very popular in the U.S. The band was popular but didn’t last long…..two many American influences that weren’t in favor with the new Castro government. They probably should have left La Isla and joined the exodus to Miami. The rest is a sad story; some members drank themselves to death, the band broke up after just a few years. The last surviving member, Manuel Galbán, recently died. Ry Cooder did a cool cd with him called Mambo Sinuendo. This video is pure fun. So is their cd called Bossa Cubana, which is still available. There is also a film documentary on the group in which I participated. Despite their short-lived career and sad ending, their music is pure joy, as you’ll see in this video.
Enjoy this lovely video to know them better and remember them. It’s called “Y Sabes Bien”, which means “You Know it’s True”