Wildman of Rhythm- The Life and Music of Benny More
(University Press of Florida, 2009)
Ever since he heard Benny More's ultimate big band descarga ("jQue bueno baila usted!") at a dinner party in New Orleans, back in 1993--while smoking his first Cuban cigar--John Radanovich become obsessed with the life and music of Cuba's "Barbaro del Ritmo" (Wildman of Rhythm), the incomparable vocalist/composer /bandleader Bartolome Maximiliano More, better known as Benny More (Santa Isabel de las Lajas, 1919-Palmira, 1963) and regarded by most connoisseurs as the greatest Latin American singer of all times. Back in the 1980s, I came across another Benny More biography ("Benny More: Perfil Libre", UNEAC, 1985), written in Havana by a Cuban scribe named Amin Naser, but it turned out to be rather brief and frail.
It must be noted that I found multiple errors in Radanovich's biography, like identifying the late Nuyorican singing bandleader Tito Rodriguez as "Cuban-born" (p. 53), or declaring that by the end of 1950, "nearly 6 million (Cubans) lived in Havana" (p. 58), or pointing out that the following statement made by Silvestre Mendez revealed...