Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TUNES FOR TUESDAY -- A Living Legend

In March 2011, in a copy cat show that the Radio Station La W dares to call Salsa Con Estilo (an alleged homage to the original), the young host interviewed Julio Ernesto Estrada, Fruko, and called him "A Living Legend." That part might be true, he is a legend. And there were several things Fruko said during the interview that caught my attention because of their historical value.

Fruko said that his Great grandfather, Luis Felipe Rincón, came from Santiago de Cuba to Colombia to work on the construction of the famous Colombian railway, the Ferrocarril de Antioquia. Work on this rail began in 1874, and when it was finished in 1929, it finally linked the remote area of Antioquia with the rest of Colombia. The Ferrocarril was hailed as an engineering achievement because as the the people from Antioquia say, their mountainous terrain is only comparable to certain mountain ranges in Mars.

Fruko's great-grandfather helped build the Tunel de la Quiebra. Fruko recalls, "They started one group on one side of the mountain and one group on the other, till they finally met right in the middle. And they did it without computers!"

The tunnel links the town of Puerto Berrio with the City of Medellin. Today, the railroad carts are gone, but the entrepreneurial Paisas have adapted motorcycles which run on the rails and give tourists a taste of its 4 km of complete darkness.


Tunel de la Quiebra - Cisneros

Fruko also said that his musical genome carries Cuban and African genes. "Even as a kid, I wanted to play this happy music", he said. And then he revealed another secret to his musical genome: It was his uncle, Jaime Rincón, who wrote a song, an incredibly embarrassingly Colombian song, called La Cuchilla. And although simply knowing this song shows my social class, I couldn't resist! Here it is,

by Las Hermanas Calle: La Cuchilla.



Why is this so bad? Well, cover your kids' ears and I will tell you. No, I better not. They are just a series of gruesome tongue in cheek threats on an estranged lover's life, and the music reeks of cheap pub . . . but anyone who has taken a bus ride in Colombia will recognize it.


Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pe5pe/2412878121/

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