Felipe "La Voz" Rodriguez canta: "El Bardo"


This is a beautiful, haunting, love song sung by Felipe Rodriguez……..

Luis Felipe Rodriguez, better known as Felipe “La Voz” Rodríguez, (May 8, 1926 May 26, 1999) born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, was a singer of boleros. He is regarded as the most popular Puerto Rican male singer of the 1950s based on record sales and live audience records. Many of Rodríguez’s recordings are often considered to be classics in Puerto Rico.
Rodríguez was born in the Savarona section of Caguas, the son of a sharecropper and a midwife. He had a rough childhood; his father died before he was born. In 1930, his mother Carmen moved to Santurce and settled in Barrio Obrero, a working class district of San Juan. There Rodriguez went to school and practiced his singing skills during his free time.
Julito Rodriguez(no relation to Felipe), another bolero singer, heard Rodriguez sing and invited him to form a singing duo; they later they formed a trio called “Los Romanceros” (The Romantics) and he first took part in a radio program, the popular amateur showcase “Tribuna del Arte”, hosted and produced by Rafael Quiñones Vidal.
In 1950, Rodriguez left the trio and tried different projects, such as forming or joining other trios (particularly the Trío Los Antares), duos (he formed the “Dúo Pérez-Rodríguez” with his then wife, and continued his professional relationship with her long after their divorce) and singing solo. He was given the nickname, “La Voz” (The Voice), a name which was to stay with him for the rest of his life, by Puerto Rican radio announcer Mariano Artau.
all of which became hits and are now considered as classics in Puerto Rico. Rodriguez went on tour in the United States where he broke the previous attendance and ticket records set for the Hispanic audience by Argentine singer Libertad Lamarque. In 1954, Rodriguez met Pedro Ortiz Davila “Davilita” and formed a very successful duo. Even though “Davilita”‘s voice was not as sharp as it was when he was younger, they were able to have many hits together, particularly the Pedro Flores song “La Rosa Blanca” (The White Rose). In the 1960s, they, together with Rafael Cortijo and El Gran Combo confronted the new wave of rock music which was invading the island head-on.
In 1959, Rodriguez became the first Puerto Rican to sing the Puerto Rican national anthem, La Borinqueña, at a sporting event, celebrated at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where fellow Puerto Rican Carlos Ortiz won the World Jr. Welterweight boxing title and, which was televised coast to coast in the United States. Rodríguez, as a matter of fact, was an amateur boxer in his youth, was an occasional referee at amateur boxing matches, and was a scout for young boxing talent.
Back in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez landed his own radio program at radio station WITA-AM in San Juan, called “Éste es tu disco” (This is your Record). In 1973, Rodriguez and Davilita paired again to record “Canciones de Pedro Flores” and in 1974, “Canciones de Rafael Hernandez”. Also in 1974, Felipe Rodriguez, Davilita and Pellin Rodriguez (no relation to Felipe) recorded atrilogy which also are considered as Christmas classics in Puerto Rico. These were “La Protesta de los Reyes” (The Protest of the Wisemen), “Parranda parrandera” and “Navidad” (Christmas).
In the 1980s, Rodriguez continued to record and had hits with “Por Primera Vez” (1983) (For the First Time) and “Juntos otra Vez” (1986) (Together Again). In 1987, he was able to realize one of his dreams when he performed at the Luis A. Ferre Center for Performing Arts in San Juan.
In the 1990s, Rodriguez continued to be active as a singer and when not singing he would be at the recording studio producing. He suffered a fall from a step ladder in his Carolina, P.R. home, which hurt his back. Eventually the fall complicated with a pneumonia and contributed to his death. Felipe “La Voz” Rodriguez died on May 26, 1999 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The city of Caguas named the main auditorium of its own Center for Performing Arts as the Felipe Rodriguez Hall. A book written by music historian Pedro Malavet Vega “La Vellonera esta directa” has been written, chiefly about Rodriguez’s life, and using his career trajectory as a backdrop and timetable for many other cultural and sociological events that occurred in Puerto Rico between the late 1940s and early 1960s. (Courtesy of Wikipedia.com)


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