Uploaded on Sep 26, 2010
Salsa En La Calle Tribute to Pellin Rodriguez.
Below is a brief history.
Pellin Rodríguez (December 4, 1926 -- October 31, 1984), was a renowned salsa singer. Rodríguez was a member of the musical group "El Gran Combo" and toured with the group all over Europe and Latin America, gaining fame and popularity as a singer. He is also the father of Pedro Rodriguez, the Director of a test laboratory at NASA and inventor of a portable, battery-operated lift seat for people suffering from knee arthritis.
His voice was heard and enjoyed by bandleader Gilberto Monroig, who soon recruited him. In the 1950s, Rodríguez joined Tito Puente's band and went on a New York City musical tour. During his tour he sang at the Palladium Ballroom and other theaters. While on the tour in New York, he met a young lady who worked as a secretary for the American Express Company by the name of Elba Lopez Perez. Rodríguez and Elba were married and in 1953, they had their first child whom they named Pedro. The family was constantly on the go with the band. Rodríguez moved with his family to Chicago and formed his own band. In Chicago, Elba gave birth to their second child, Michael.
In 1960, Rodríguez moved with his family to Puerto Rico. He bought a house for his family in the City of Bayamon where his third child, Tommy was born. Rodríguez went to work for the band of Rafael Elvira. Later he passed to the band of Noro Morales for a short period of time. Rodríguez joined the salsa band "Cortijo's Combo" which was directed at the time by Rafael Cortijo and Ismael Rivera.
In 1962, Rafael Cortijo and Ismael Rivera left the group. Rafael Ithier reorganized the musical group and called it "El Gran Combo", Rodríguez was to tour with the new group all over Europe and Latin America, gaining fame and popularity as a singer. He scored "hits" in the Latin Billboards with songs such as "Que Extraña Es La Vida" (How Strange Life Is), "Amor Por Tí" (Love For You) and "Arrebatadora".
Rodríguez worked with "El Gran Combo" for twelve years. During that period of time the band won many awards and international recognitions. Rodríguez departed from the band in 1972, after recording "Por El Libro" (By The Book). He went on as a solo singer and at times as co-lead singer for Oscar D'Leon's band "La Salsa Mayor".
In 1982, Rodríguez reunited with some of the former members of "El Gran Combo" under the banner of "El Gran Combo Del Ayer" (The Gran Combo of the Past). In 1983, he co-wrote the song "Homenaje (Rafael Ithier)" (Tribute to Rafael Ithier) and he also recorded a boleros album titled "12 Boleros, Collecion de Oro".
Pellin Rodríguez died on October 31, 1984 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Before he died, he had the pleasure of witnessing the graduation of his first born Pedro, who earned a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama while working in NASA. He is survived by his wife Elba, his sons Pedro, Michael, and Tommy, and his grandchildren Kenny, Terry, Marilyn, Pito, Tommy Jr, Elisa, and Rachel Rodriguez.
Puerto Rico has honored the memory of Pellin by naming a street in Santurce after him. In Villa Palmera Santurce there is a plaza named "Plaza de los Salseros", which has a statue and plaque dedicated to Pellin Rodríguez. He is considered one of the original godfathers of salsa.
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