As you gear up for the biggest NYC street party of the summer, aka the 52nd Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 14, take a minute to honor the late, great king of our musica, Tito Puente. Just released from RCA/Sony, Dance Mania: Legacy Edition is a double CD featuring el rey’s seminal Dance Mania (1958) and Dance Mania Vol. 2 (1961), plus additional bonus tracks for a total of 55 digitally remastered songs.
Tito, who recorded more than 130 albums in his lifetime (and gave Carlos Santana his biggest hit with “Oye Como Va”) defined the 1950s mambo-crazed era—and all of the Palladium-ready platforms and miniskirts that were an essential part of it. I wish I could have been there myself to dance to hits like Tito’s party anthem “Pa’ Los Rumberos,” but alas, I’m a child of the 80s. But that doesn’t mean I can’t go back in time through his music.
*Don’t miss Tito Puente Jr. at this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, where he’ll perform songs from his dad’s legendary repertoire.