Buena Vista Social Club
About Buena Vista Social Club
Producer Ry Cooder originally intended to record Malian musicians and Cuban locals, but the Africans were unable to obtain visas, so he made an album of Cuban son instead.
∙ The original Buenavista Social Club was an actual place—a ’40s-era members-only club in Havana, exclusively for Afro-Cubans.
∙ In 1970, singer/guitarist Compay Segundo gave up music and returned to rolling cigars, which had been his livelihood in the late ’30s.
∙ The album was recorded in Havana’s historic EGREM studios, which still had much of its pre-revolutionary equipment dating back to the ’40s and ’50s.
∙ The album was recorded in six days, with sessions lasting only eight hours.
∙ Although most of its songs come from prerevolutionary Cuba, the album’s closing track, “La Bayamesa,” dates back to the turn of the 20th century.
∙ The band was the subject of a 1999 Academy Award-nominated documentary, Buena Vista Social Club, directed by Wim Wenders.
∙ In 1998, Buena Vista Social Club won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album.