The Music That Immortalised Mambo with the Paladium Era
Written by cbruser on January 16, 2017
Opening of Palladium
When the Palladium opened as a dance studio and dance hall, it had a racially restrictive policy and did not maintain the level of funding needed to operate it. It had a dance floor that could hold a thousand couples dancing at once but had fallen into decline by 1947.
Most of the Latin bands were scheduled for the matinee session, many of which were used as relief bands for the big society bands of the time. Latin bands for the most part played at nightclubs such as The Conga, The China Doll, The Park Palace, and The Park Plaza, located in Spanish Harlem. Manhattan Center, Audubon Ballroom, Etc. The Palladium needed capital to survive, so it opened its doors to Classy Whites, Puerto Ricans and Cubans. All people of different Races and Origin. Everyone was accepted. Private Investors joined in and attorneys from Big Law Firms also participated on this Joint Venture for their friends. Lou Walters and Pioneer Legend Promoter Federico Pagani.
Palladium starts featuring Latin music
In 1948, dance promoter Federico Pagani and Lou Walters owner of the Latin Quarter approached his long time friend and they asked Max Hyman and his wife Ann, an heiress to the Otis Elevator Company fortune, about booking Latin music there and to represent them to manage the Palladium. The Palladium with the idea of Federico Pagani The pioneer and legend in the Latin Music brought the Latin music from Havana Cuba to New York City was the first to start a Latin matinee in a downtown dance hall on a Sunday and Wednesday. The first booking, on a Sunday afternoon, was reportedly a huge success, quickly prompting the club to fill its schedule with Latin music. Among the top acts to appear at the ballroom were:
The band of Arsenio Rodríguez, whose band members included Arsenio’s bassist Alfonso “El Panameño” Joseph, one of the most popular bands to perform at the Palladium;
Machito (born Frank Grillo) and His Afro-Cubans, already an established New York act, with music arranger and sax player Mario Bauzá, Machito’s brother-in-law, and Graciela, Machito’s sister, on vocals;
Tito Puente. Promoter Federico Pagani gave him his big break. Puente organized and played with the Picadilly Boys orchestra which was Federico’s Band. He then left to form a band under his own band name. Federico started to help Tito Puente get booked in the Catskills ( Gross Singer’s ) at a place called El Patio and booked him at the Palladium to help him achieve his dream and he did. Tito always said to Federico Pagani “Pop”, you are the best there is in music ( You will always be my dad. Thank you for the memories.”;
The orchestra of singer Tito Rodríguez (born Pablo Rodríquez). Listen to the song “El Mundo De Las Locas,” recorded in the 1950s, a fast jazz tune that will blow your mind, as well as to the late album “Palladium Memories” (with both Tito Rodríguez and Max Hyman on the cover), recorded in the 1970s. Rodríguez was also booked by Federico Pagani at the Palladium and attained fame in the process.