Thursday, April 17, 2008

All Hail Pérez Prado!

You know how you get an earworm? Some song won't leave your brain no matter what? Isn't that annoying?

Not necessarily.

I've had a little instrumental tune from my youth stuck in my head for several days now. I've heard it about a jillion times in my life. Being an instrumental makes it tougher to track down on the internets. I sang it for my class on Thursday night and one of my students, who is probably older than I am, said "Pérez Prado!"

Are you sure, I asked? I thought it might be one of his, but it certainly wasn't Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White. With that clue, I went to iTunes and searched.

The earworm is in fact Patricia, written by Pérez Prado and performed by The Man himself, known in his day as the King of The Mambo (though other musicians called him "El Cara Del Foca", Spanish for Seal Face) and one of the coolest of the Cuban bandleaders, which makes him one of the coolest people EVAH!

You are not certain of the coolness of Pérez Prado? Let me say this with love, gentle reader. If your initials aren't Samuel L. Jackson, you do not get to question the coolness of Pérez Prado.

Here are some of the places where Patricia shows up in pop culture.

* Fellini's La Dolce Vita
* the film version of Goodbye, Columbus
* the episode Some Enchanted Evening of the The Simpsons
* TV commercials for the Royal Mail in the UK between 1996 and 2003
* The end credit song for HBO's Real Sex Series

And this level of pop culture saturation happens with a variation on an eight bar theme.

'Cause he's so damn cool.

This song makes me want to dance the mambo with a big nasty redhead.

Do you have a big nasty redhead in mind, Matty Boy?


Good question, hypothetical question asker.


Okay. This one will do.

This one will do nicely.

And from this non-random but extremely cool starting point, we get to this week's Random 10.

Patricia Pérez Prado
The Masquerade Is Over Etta James
Polovitsian Dance # 17 Borodin
Born Under a Bad Sign Albert King
It Makes A Fellow Proud To Be A Soldier Tom Lehrer
O Leggiadri Occhi Belli Cecilia Bartoli
Sixteen The Buzzcocks
Some Are Phillip Glass
Half Heaven Gene Pitney
Hello Mabel Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

This is known in baseball jargon as the ability to hit to all fields. There is absolutely no underlying theme to all these tunes, but still, it gives some rough idea of how much territory my iTunes collection covers.

And now I am off to my dreamy dreams where I take the cigarette away from Christina Hendricks, draw one cool puff for myself and make her mambo.

Mambo hard!

'Cause I'm so damn cool.


FranIAm said...

Perez Prado? You are killing me man- I love him.

CDP said...


Karlacita! said...

He's so cool! And what a gorgeous hunka man!

dguzman said...

You're definitely a five-tool guy, Matty Boy.

My current earworm is the Buffy musical soundtrack. It's killing me, but I'm loving it!

Matty Boy said...

Karlacita! Lovin' the nickname, hun!

Yeah, Pérez is definitely working the facial hair. Even the sideburns are perfection.

dg, you get a whole musical soundtrack! All I get is eight bars repeated over and over. But it's the variations on the theme that keep it fresh!

Everybody mambo!

Anonymous said...

I'll stay with the Redhead. WOW!

Ed said...

Since you have both Tom Lehrer and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band on this list, I'm going to have to look into that Pérez Prado dude.

Matty Boy said...

Hiya, Ed. If you drop on over to iTunes, there are many versions of his hits. If you listen to 30 seconds of Patricia, and you've heard it before, you'll think "Well, that's stuck in my head now for good, I might as well buy the damn thing!"

And 99 cents well spent it will be.