machucambos discography page


       Southern Native Americans made an instrument called a charango from the skin of an animal known in Latin America as a machucambo. Together, Rafael Gayoso, Mathias Romano Zanotti and Julia Cortes are the Machucambos.

        Rafael Gayoso had been studying at a music conservatory and travelled in Cuba and Mexico. In Paris he was one third of the Trio Acapulco; they would perform at a bar called L'Scale. With Rafael in this group was Peruvian Milton Zapata and a Mexican man, name unknown. One day the Mexican man could not make it to the show and Costa-Rican singer Julia Cortes, who was also a performer at the bar, was asked to fill in. She put on a female charro suit (typical folkloric Mexican dress) and they started to perform. The crowd loved them and they were such a success that the trio was born. The original Machucambos founded by Rafael, Milton, and Julia, recorded a couple of records together, and had won the 1959 Grand Prix du Disque de l'Academie du Disques Francais, but after that Romano Zanotti replaced Milton Zapata for unknown reasons. Zanotti had toured for three years with a musical group called the "Guaranis" before joining Los Machucambos. Before this he studied at the College of Fine Arts in Rome followed by a study tour of Central America. The Macucambos' recording of Pepito with Zanotti in the group was a hit all around the world, selling six million copies.

        With a wealth of instrumental and song material from Central and South America, and Mexico, Los Machucambos became international stars for their high quality live performance. Transcending cultural and language barriers they played both the Albert Hall in London and The Olympia in Paris; from Europe to the Middle East to all the Americas, the Machucambos were in demand. Their recording career coincided with the viability of stereophonic reproduction, and those with new stereo hi-fis needed stereophonic discs to play on them. Along with RCA, Capitol/EMI and Columbia, one of the major releasers of quality early stereo records was London/Decca. One of their most reissued albums has to be 1961's Percussive Latin Trio, still usually the first Los Machucambos item most people come across. This landmark album, while it's stereo effects are somewhat more crudely produced than their next subsequent Phase 4 titles, continues to captivate listeners through the sheer exhuberance and dazzle of the three main Machucambos. Accompanied by two tracks spotlighting Paraguayan harpist Ignacio Alderette, almost every one of the ten other tracks is the best of it's kind. The familiar "Adios" composed by Madriguera evokes horse travel through twilight ranges. "Subo Subo", an Aztec lament with a modern Machucambos arrangement and powerful three voice harmony is simply unforgettable. Another standard of the day, covered by everyone from Chet Atkins to The Ventures and The Shadows, "Perfidia" is also given new arrangements. "Pepito" among it's many other attributes is also a classic of the cow-bell; no wonder people couldn't get enough of it! "La Bamba" as arranged by Los Machucambos is possibly the definitive recording musicians still refer back to alongside Ricardo "Ritchie" Valensuela's rock guitar masterpiece. "Granada" soars upward like the green mountains of it's title only to bring you back with earthy rthyms and lush harmonies. Then a new, now a durable cha-cha, "Otorino Laringolo", shows off all three vocalists intricately. "Amor Amor", a delicate romantic classic has Romano Zanotti in the lead giving Mel Torme or Dean Martin some competition. The galloping "La Palomita" shows off the famed charango in a new Machucambo arrangement. And lastly, but first on the LP, "La Cucaracha", if any tune south of the Rio Grande is worn out then this is it, but even this sounds good when done in a percussive based way by Los Machucambos.

       The subsequent ten and then twenty channel stereo recordings all have a wealth of acoustic marvels of their own, and even some original compositions from Zanotti and Gayoso. In 1971 their live performances of "Songs and Dances of Latin America" continued for two months at Paris' Olympia theater. Due to health problems making travel a hardship, Julia Cortes unfortunately had to retire from the touring group but did continue to record sporadically. It would take two voices to try to fill Julia's shoes; Mariana "Anna" Venegas-Montalvo and Maria Licata. While corporate backed semi anonymous "disco" steamrolled a continent, back in Europe the Machucambos had hits with Bossanova and Salsa compositions. Marchinha Pra Angela Davis was particularly popular. In 1978, the group won the Grand Prix d'Interpretation at Tokyo's World Song Festival and toured Japan. In Recent years Los Machucambos CDs have begun appearing, including a reunion of the original three great Machucambos! New fans of the group are still being made because they simply knock people out with their fantastic, powerful vocals and tight complex instrumentation!

- Rebecca Jansen

London LPs

        All the London albums seem to have had a near simultaneous or preceding release in England or France under the Decca label albeit in different lighter weight sleeves, and with differing graphics and photos at times.

Folklore Of The South
SW 99002 (1961)

Side 1:
1. La Bamba*, 2. Poncho De 4 Colores,
3. La Bahuala, 4. Soy Tolimense,
5. Quireme

Side 2:
1. Duerme Negrito, 2. El Aventurero,
3. El Pobrecito, 4. Macongo,
5. La Leyenda De Los Volcanes

Notes: La Bamba is a different recording from Percussive Latin Trio, perhaps earlier and a bit wilder.
Percussive Latin Trio
SP 44012 (1962)

Side 1:
1. La Cucaracha, 2. La Palomita,
3. Amor Amor, 4. Pajaro Campana,
5. Otorino Laringolo, 6. Granada

Side 2:
1. La Bamba, 2. Pepito,
3. Perfidia, 4. Cascada,
5. Subo Subo, 6. Adios

Note: Released in U.K. as "In Phase 4" PFS 34006
Dansez Avec Los Machucambos (No.2)
MLP 10028 (1962)

Side 1:
1. Non Monsieur, 2. El Silbido de ese tren,
3. Samba de Minha Terra, 4. El Choclo,
5. Cuando Calienta el Sol, 6. Samba de Perroquet

Side 2:
1. Dona Rosa, 2. Purito,
3. Fabulosa, 4. Espéranza,
5. El Proffesor, 6. Samba Torto

Note: Stereo edition exists, SLP 20028
Los Machucambos
MLP 10039 (1963)

Side 1:
1. La Lune, 2. Professor Bach,
3. Mira Mirame, 4. La Bamba de Colas,
5. La Chinqua, 6. La Mamma

Side 2:
1. Quand je Danse avec, 2. Marie Elena,
3. Ciel de Lit, 4. El Watusi,
5. Melinda, 6. El Pescador

Note: Different version of Maria Elena from Mucho Machucambos.
Mucho Machucambos
SP 44055 (1964)

Side 1:
1. Cachita, 2. Adios Irene,
3. Misionera, 4. Maria Elena,
5. El Tren, 6. Naranjita

Side 2:
1. El Rancho Grande, 2. Yo Vendo Unos Ojos Negros,
3. Ojos Verdes, 4. Valsecito,
5. Reservista, 6. Adios Pampa Mia

Notes: Decca U.K. is PFS 4056
SP 44084 (1967)

Side 1:
1. El Cumbanchero, 2. El Manicero,
3. La Parranda, 4. Concierto En La Llanura,
5. El Caiman, 6. Brazil

Side 2:
1. Alma Llanera, 2. Tico-Tico,
3. Cielito Lindo, 4. La Playa Colorada,
5. Manana, 6. Garota De Ipanema

Notes: Decca U.K. is PFS 4089
Mucho Gusto
SP 44117 (1969)

Side 1:
1. Mas Que Nada, 2. Mahna De Carnaval,
3. Maracaibo, 4. Corcovado,
5. Puerto De Barranquilla, 6. Babalu

Side 2:
1. A Man And A Woman, 2. Baia,
3. Paraguajita, 4. Taripai Cha Cucharata,
5. How Insensitive, 6. Carnavalito Humahuaqueno

Notes: Decca U.K. is PFS 4155
Sing The Music Of Venezuela
TW 91434/SW 99434 (1969)

Side 1:
1. Nau Nau, 2. Los Garceros,
3. Amalia Rosa, 4. Nuestro Amor,
5. Jose Maria, 6. Un Setoconao

Side 2:
1. Alma Llanera, 2. Muchachita Sabanera,
3. Ay Josefina, 4. Madrugada Llanera,
5. El Guapo, 6. El Polo

Stereo and mono editions exist
Sing The Music Of Argentina
TW 91435/SW 99435 (1969)

Side 1:
1. Los Ejes de Mi Carreta, 2. Carnavalito Humanuaqueno,
3. Angelica, 4. Tarpai Cha Cucharata,
5. Soy Libre, 6. Viene Clareando

Side 2:
1. La Toloeria, 2. Viva Jujuy,
3. Vioala del Culampaja, 4. La Loca,
5. Mama Vieja, 6. Hasta Otro Dia

Stereo and mono editions exist.
Sing The Music Of Peru
(Oct. 1969)

Side 1:
1. Quiereme, 2. La Traidora,
3. Si Me Quieren Quiero, 4. Fina Estampa,
5. Negro Tamborilero, 6. Sol De Cuzco

Side 2:
1. El Huaquero, 2. Yo Te Ame Con Locura,
3. Sauce, 4. Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir,
5. Deja La Rosa en Boton, 6. Bailen Ninas

Stereo and mono editions exist
Musica Latina And Love
SP 44165 (1971)

Side 1:
1. El Condor Pasa, 2. Noche De Ronda,
3. Frenesi, 4. Ti-Pi-Tin,
5. Maria La O, 6. Adios Mi Chaparrita

Side 2:
1. Tristeza, 2. Acercate Mas,
3. Ay Cosita Linda, 4. Solamente Una Vez,
5. Tres Palabras, 6. Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado

Notes: Decca U.K. is SP 44238
Machucambos Today
SP 44280 (1977)

Side 1:
1. Cuando Calienta El Sol, 2. Guantanamera,
3. Pepito, 4. La Cucaracha,
5. Eso Es El Amor, 6. La Bamba

Side 2:
1. Chevere, 2. Te Recuerdo Amanda,
3. Paseando Por La Sabana, 4. Samba En Preludio,
5. En Noche De Enero, 6. Aquellos Ojos Verdes

Notes: All are new recordings. Titled Machucambos '77 on some editions with the photo inside and artistic lettering on the front.

Decca France Four Song EPs

        These French released 'Super 45s' have wonderful photo covers along with a protective inner sleeve. I will not list the early 10" or various compilation LPs released in France as they contain nothing that is not found in the above London or Decca albums, or in these EPs.

450.875 (1959)

  • Duerme Negrito
  • El Pobrecito
  • La Bamba
  • Soy Tolimense

  • Reissued as 460.875
    450.877/STO 95.500

  • La Chanson d'Orphee
  • Adieu Tristesse (Felicidade)
  • Guajira
  • Macongo

  • Du film "Orpheu Negro"
    450.884 (Dec. 1959)

  • Dos Horas De Balazos
  • Sauce
  • Casamiento De Negros
  • De Terciopelo Negro

  • Also: STO 95.503
    Monophonic & Stereo
    450.960 (June 1960)

  • La Petenera
  • Piedra Y Camina
  • Recuerdos De Ipacaray
  • Chaparralito

  • Standard/Monophonic
    450.999 (Sept. 1960)

  • Cancao Dos Jangadeiros
  • Isto Aqui Nao Esta Bom
  • Vae, Agora Vae
  • Na Bahia Tamben Tem

  • Du film "Os Bandeirantes"
    451.009 (Dec. 1960)

  • Pepito
  • Negra Maria Esther
  • Dimelo En Septiembre
  • Luna De Benidorm

  • Reissued as 460.009
    451.069 (July 1961)

  • Contigo En La Distancia
  • Otorrino Laringologo
  • La Cucaracha
  • La Boa

  • Reissued as 460.069
    451.102 (Feb. 1962)

  • El Choclo
  • Yira Yira
  • Perversita
  • El Professor

  • Reissued as 460.102
    451.123 (May 1962)

  • Chico Cha Cha Cha
  • Teresita
  • A Dubliu
  • En Un Lugar Del Mundo

  • Reissued as 460.123
    451.127 (1962)

  • Granada
  • Perfidia
  • Amor, Amor
  • Adios

  • Reissued as 460.127
    451.140 (1962)

  • Tabou
  • Pepe, Porro
  • La Palomita
  • Alegre Pescador

  • Reissued as 460.140
    460.767 (Oct. 1962)

  • Cuando Calienta El Sol
  • Esperanza
  • Non Monsieur
  • Fabulosa

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.769 (Feb. 1963)

  • Quand Je Danse Avec
  • Purito
  • Triangulo
  • El Silbido De Ese Tren.

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.770 (Dec. 1962)

  • Dona Rosa
  • Samba Da Minha Terra
  • Samba Torto
  • Samba Do Perroquet

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.774 (June 1963)

  • Professor Bach
  • El Ascensor
  • Mira Mirame
  • La Chinqua

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.775 (July 1963)

  • El Watusi
  • El Osito
  • Malaga
  • Mi Son Innamorato Di Te

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.803 (Nov. 1963)

  • Ciel De Lit
  • La Lune (Yo Soy La Luna)
  • La Bamba De Colas
  • Otra Bamba

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.809 (Dec. 1963)

  • La Mamma
  • Maria Elena
  • America
  • Melinda

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.860 (July 1964)

  • Sapore di Sale
  • Guarare
  • Guantanamera
  • Adios Irene

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.891 (Dec. 1964)

  • Angelito
  • Pollera-colora
  • Tartamudeando
  • Le Grand Voyage

  • Standard/Monophonic
    460.897 (1965)

  • Valsecito
  • Cascada
  • Pajaro Campana
  • Missionera

  • Stereo

  • Garota de Ipanema
  • Despenada
  • Al Paso
  • El Camaleon

  • Standard/Monophonic

  • Cielito Lindo
  • Brazil
  • Tico-Tico
  • Manana

  • Standard/Monophonic

    Other Recordings

    70.941 (Feb. 1964)
    Decca France

  • Mexicana
  • Capitan Paco Chico

  • Mono
    79.500 (Mar. 1967)
    Decca France

  • La Banda
  • El Pato de Hojalata

  • Stereo
    79.520 (Feb. 1968)
    Decca France

  • Adoro
  • No

  • Stereo
    79.566 (June 1970)
    Decca France

  • La Pierre Friable
  • La Couleur De Ta Peau

  • Stereo
    79.581 (Dec. 1970)
    Decca France

  • Hasta Siempre, Comandante
  • Recuerdos de Calaguallo

  • Stereo
    79.586 (July 1971)
    Decca France

  • La Piragua
  • Allegre Pescador

  • Stereo
    83.011 (Nov. 1971)
    Decca France

  • Alo Madrugada
  • Leao De Coleira

  • Stereo
    84.163 (1973)
    Decca France

  • Indio
  • Le Radeau de L'aventure

  • Stereo
    Notes: Illustration by R. Zanotti
    3.567 (1973)

  • Samba Tragique
  • El Indio Llora
  • 84.221 (1974)
    Decca France

  • Chevere
  • Te Recuerdo Amanda
  • 85.026
    Decca France

  • Camina, Camina
  • Puerto Rico En El Corazon
  • 86.023
    Decca France

  • Mi Ochum
  • Chevere
  • 86.551
    Decca France

  • Cuando Calienta El Sol
  • Paseando Por La Sabana
  • 16.698 (1979)

  • Donde Volabas
  • Caria Elena

  • Stereo
    Los Machucambos/Los Indios
    Universal/Super Majestic SBBH 1.760 (1963)

    Side 1:
    Deixa De Tristeza, Buenos Noches*,
    El Rodeo, La Bamba*,
    Cabeza Inchada, Rinquincalla*

    Side 2:
    A Mi Palomita*, La Casita,
    Quatre Preguntas*, Caminhemos,
    El Huazo*, Me Estoy Congelando

    Note: * = Machucambos tracks circa 1959 with Milton Zapata.
    The other six tracks are by Los Indios Tabajaras.
    A L'Olympia
    Decca France 110.020 (1971)

    Side 1:
    Si Me Quieren Quiero, Pancho De 4 Colores,
    Recuerdos De Calaguallo, El Condor Pasa,
    Hasta Siempre Comandante, Quiereme,
    La Piragua

    Side 2:
    La Llorona, Amalia Rosa,
    Los Garceros, La Bamba,
    Samba Da Minha Terra, Samba En Preludio,

    Olympia 1973
    Decca France 115.142 (1973)

    Side 1:
    El Canelazo, Vasija de Barro,
    Bailen Ninas, Pataruzca
    Sol de Cuzco, Hasta Siempre Comandante

    Side 2:
    Los Ninos de la Guerra, A Felicidade
    Leau de Coleira, Saudade de Bahia
    Alo Madrugada, La Mamma

    El Canto Libre
    Decca France 115.283 (1974)

    Side 1:
    1. Es La Libertad, 2. Voy Pa La Ciudad, 3. En Noche De Enero,
    4. Mi Ochun, 5. Felicidades Para Ti

    Side 2:
    1. Chevere, 2. Es Cando, 3. Ae Elegua,
    4. Bajando P'al Mar, 5. Perdoname Jesus
    London 115.256 (1975)

    Side 1:
    1. Samba Da Rosa, 2. Me Deixa Em Paix, 3. Canto De Oxum,
    4. Tarde En Itapoan 5. Che Cosa C'e, 6. Tio Maravilha

    Side 2:
    1. Rosa 25, 2. Apelo, 3. Marchinha Pra Angela Davis,
    4. Aguafuerte Del Brasil, 5. A Tonga Da Mironga, 6. Samba Da Benedicao
    Liberte Sans Colere
    Sonopresse (France) 2S 068 16696 (1979)

    Side 1:
    1. Donde Volabas, 2. Crece El Rio, 3. Taureau,
    4. Rey De Esperanza, 5. Jones Town

    Side 2:
    1. Caria Elena, 2. Urubamba, 3. La Luna,
    4. Libertad Sin Ira, 5. La Spiaggia Di Sabbia
    La "Salsa"
    Arion (France) 34583 (1980)

    Side 1:
    1. Salsa de Tomate, 2. Rio Manzanares, 3. Al Vaiven de mi Carreta,
    4. El Hijo de Elegua, 5. Que yo me Pongo Celoso, 6. Duerme Negrito

    Side 2:
    1. Quimbara, 2. Se que Tu, 3. La Vista,
    4. Santa Isabel, 5. Salsa Maionesa
    La Fiesta
    Polydor 7178035 (1983)

    Side 1:

    Side 2:

           I presently have a limited number of these records for sale, email for information including Machucambos in the subject line and your location.

           If you know of some recordings not listed in this discography which you feel should be included, or have any information to add/correct, please feel welcomed to email me at the link below.

    Additional information and images welcomed.

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