Have you ever stopped to think what was your favorite year? ... The year when you got married? ...The year you graduated? ... The year when your child was born (of the year when you got a huge promotion)? There is one year I remember in New York; the same year when Elvis died at 42 years of age, the film Star Wars opened to record-breaking audiences, the TV Latino comedian Freddie Prinze (who became an inspiration to millions) took his own life, the Son of Sam was finally captured after terrorizing the entire city, Jimmy Carter became the 39th President, and the Blackout was the biggest Big Apple occurrence.

The year was 1977, but it was none of these events that stayed the most in my mind. What I remember most of that year was the amazing amount of recordings in the Afro-Caribbean genre that stand today as classics.

Looking in retrospect at the past four decades and the history of this great music, we can look at 1977 as a peak in legendary recordings. The year 1976 was a very good one, as was 1978, but this list of 1977 recordings starts with my Top Ten:

  1. Willie Colón/Rubén Blades: Siembra

  2. Sonora Ponceña: El Gigante del Sur

  3. Típica 73: The Two Sides of Típica 73

  4. Puerto Rico All-Stars (their debut)

  5. Celia Cruz & Willie Colón: Only They Could Have Made This Albura

  6. Machito: Fireworks

  7. Johnny Pacheco: The Artist

  8. El Gran Combo Internacional: El 15 to Aniversario

  9. Pupi y Pacheco: The Two Musketeers

  10. Tito Puente: The Legend

During that same year, we were fortunate to enjoy releases by Charlie Palmieri (Con Salsa y Sabor), Cachao (Dos), Fajardo (El Talento Total), Cheo Feliciano (Mi Tierra y Yo), Oscar D'León (El Oscar de La Salsa), Ricardo Marrero & The Group (Time), featuring the debut of Dave Valentín, Willie Rosario (Gracia Mundo), Yambú (African Queen), Larry

Harlow (El Jardinero del Amor, with Junior González on vocals), Ismael Miranda (No Voy al Festival), Tito Allen (Ahora y Siempre), Orquesta Aragón (Aragón 77), Alegre All-Stars (Perdido), Pete and Sheila Escovedo (Solo Two), Juan Pablo Torres (Con Todos Los Hierros), Mongo Santamaría (Amanecer), Roberto Torres (Están En Buenas Manos), Ismael Quintana (Amor, Vida y Sentimiento), Pedro Conga y su Orquesta Internacional (Joaco Muerte), Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez (A Touch of Class), Tommy...

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