Today I’m delighted to be showering you some wild Latin love courtesy of Elena Madera.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Elena Madera’s father was a Philadelphian band leader and her mother, a Cuban-born professional dancer. Being the product of two such performers it is no wonder that Madera went on to be a singer herself.
Moving to the States when she was just two, there is little known about Elena’s life until she became a singer. What I have managed to find out is that over the course of her musical career she sang with musicians like Tito Puente and Duke Ellington, was signed to Decca and had an international hit with her debut single Pepito in 1959. Her vocal style and depth definitely stands out, her voice bold and fierce, roaring with passion and fire. This is a feature which defined her against many other female vocalists of the time, all of whom were fighting to stand out in the fast-paced nightclub scene of the day. But, I regret to add, this did not sustain her career and regretfully she disappeared all-too-soon into obscurity. Perhaps it would please her to know that all these years later she is still revered for her wild, crazed and passionate vocals..I love her!
Pu-Chun-Ga (Sweet One) is the outstanding b-side to Elena Madera’s debut single which was released in 1959…I love, love, love her vocals in this!! Listen above.