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Published on Nov 6, 2009
"Tu Almohada" de Julio Rodríguez Reyes. Julito Rodríguez born October 5, 1925 in Santurce, Puerto Rico and died July 27, 2013 in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Julito was a bolero singer, guitarist & composer. Rodriguez was acknowledged to be a child prodigy in music, becoming interested in this topic since his early childhood. His father encouraged him to study the violin and soon, he joined the Banda Hatuey as a substitute. After moving across the island to Ponce, a town located in the south coast, he organized the "Orquesta Hatuey de Ponce". Julito Rodriguez got his first guitar as a present from his mother. He returned to San Juan in 1946, to study at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, there he joined the ROTC band directed by Rafael Alers. By 1947, Rodriguez had found a new musical passion in the "trio" music. His first "trio" was named "Los Romanceros". The group enjoyed considerable success until 1950, when Rodriguez decided to join the United States military. Rafael Hernandez helped Rodriguez decide to join the world famous trio, Los Panchos, in 1952. With Los Panchos, Rodriguez's fame expanded beyond Puerto Rico and the rest of Latin America, as the group made several tours that also included Spain, Portugal, Italy and even Israel and Lebanon in the Middle East. Julito Rodriguez became an idol in Mexico as well, recording 122 songs as a member of Los Panchos in that country. Rodriguez, as a composer, wrote one of the classics of the Latin American bolero repertory: Mar y cielo (Sea and Sky). -...el mar y el cielo, se ven igual de azules, y la distancia parece que los une...-. Julito Rodríguez was succeeded at Los Panchos by Johnny Albino. Nevertheless, he continued active in trio music, forming the "Trio Los Primos" group. In 1961, this group became the first Puerto Rican trio to perform at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The group later changed its name to "Julito Rodriguez and his Trio". By 1975, Rodriguez had once again moved on, this time around to form "Los Tres Grandes" ("The Three Great Ones"), alongside Tato Díaz and Miguel Alcaide. The trio recorded nine LP albums, and remained together until 1983, after which Rodriguez returned to a more private life. Rodriguez and Albino were joined in 2000 during a series of concerts, to commemorate their respective eras as members of Los Panchos.There were numerous trios, throughout Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States during the golden age of the bolero. However, the Trío Vegabajeño stands apart as the most beloved and representative of Puerto Rico - an institution that touched the national nerve. The trio was initially an informal group formed by civilian employees on a United States military base in Puerto Rico, in 1943: Benito de Jesús, Fernandito Alvarez and Octavio González. They soon were performing for radio broadcasts in Puerto Rico on the Rafael Quiñones Vidal show. When Octavio González was drafted into the military in 1945, he was replaced by gifted singer and composer, Pepito Maduro. It was with Maduro that the group became as popular as it did for the many years it has delighted music fans. Their first recordings of songs such as Lucerito de plata, El amor del jibarito, Fichas negras and the classic En mi Viejo San Juan (lyrics), firmly established them as the premier trio at a time when trios were kings. Moreover, their style was copied by others - the most sincere flattery. Fernandito Alvarez, was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico on 6 May 1914 and initially began his music career singing tangos. The leader of the group, his style and voice was one of the most distinctive among the various Latin trios. de Jesús was born on 25 October 1914 in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, and was one of the best regarded composers in the island. His compositions were known throughout Latin America, even today, as evidenced by the recent recording of his song Nuestro Juramento by the young Colombian artist Charlie Záa. The legendary Felipe Rodríguez recorded his song La Copa Rota many years ago but was likewise recorded recently by Puerto Rican artist José Feliciano. The third member of the trio: Maduro, was born on 30 May 1908 in Humacao, Puerto Rico waqs a talented composer and was blessed with a marvelous voice. The trio and others, performed and recorded many of his compositions, such as: Lindo querubín, Luto en el alma, Ave sin rumbo, Alegre amanecer, Triste camino and Cosas de ayer. The trio added a fourth member, the talented Jorgito Hernández who hailed from Aibonito, Puerto Rico, to play the requinto, 1952. The addition was a hit and added immensely to the the groups legendary popularity. Their popularity paved the way for performances throughout the island and in the United States, particularly, New York City, where there was and still remains, a large community of Puerto Ricans.