Today’s joyous offering fills my heart with sunshine and I love it very much. It’s happy vibe, accentuated by radiant vocals and whistles, is particularly prominent given that it was written in the wake of tragedy and its authentic sound is testimony to the powerful spirit of the band members that came before its conception. Regarded as one of the most important bands from Pucallpa, Peru, Juaneco y su Combo were formed in the early 1960’s and were highly regarded and most well-known for their “cumbia selvática” (cumbia from the jungle).
The band’s original line-up consisted of Juan Wong Popolizio Juaneco on keyboards, El Brujo Noé Fachín on first guitar, Wilindoro Cacique on main vocals, Rosendo Hidalgo on timbales, Walter Domínguez on bass, Juvencio Pinchi on the congas, Wilberto Murrieta on second guitar, Jairo Aguilar on bongo, and Juan Carlos Subiate on animation. They were the first musical group formed in Pucallpa and were subsequently known as the pioneers of eastern cumbia in Peru. Their music was dedicated to bringing the sound of their homeland to life and their chicha sound (a style of music exclusive to Peru) buzzed with a heady mix of electric guitars and a strong musical appreciation of the modern Amazonian sounds of Brazilian Carimbo, Cumbia and Rock n Roll. Their songs were modern, but always drew influence from the traditional sounds of huayno (a genre of popular Andean music) and other key elements of Peruvian culture.
On May 2, 1977, when the band was returning from a Labor Day presentation in the city of San Ramón , Chanchamayo, five members boarded the plane that would take them back to their hometown, Pucallpa . The aircraft suffered a malfunction and crashed, causing the death of all its occupants. After the death of most of its members, the group was recomposed and the second generation of musicians such as Fernando Mora Insúa entered the first guitar.
La Cumbia del Pacurro was written shortly after the accident (which also killed creative leader, Noe Fachin) but the track, with it’s huge wah-wah guitar and striking percussion, still retains all the key elements of a classic Juaneco cut. It was issued on the Infopesa label and released as the b-side to La Chica Del Beso in 1978.