“La Macarena”: The song by two Spaniards that impacted the world forever

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Pop duo Los Del Río attends the 13th Edition of Univision’s Premios Juventud at Bank United Center on July 14, 2016 in Miami, Florida.

Photo: Rodrigo Varela/Univision/Getty Images

If pop songs, like hurricanes, were ranked on an objective scale according to their ability to devastate the pop cultural landscape, then the song that reached the top of the American charts on August 3, 1996 it was a category 5 monster “The Macarena”.

It first made landfall in Florida as a rumba in spanish seemingly harmless, but in the hands of a couple of Miami record producers, it soon morphed and grew stronger into something called “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix),” a song that blew away all the competition during a record-breaking run at #1 that started on this day.

The group that gets credit for the song that spent the longest on the Billboard Hot 100 (60 weeks) than any other in history was Those from the riverbut their hit record received critical assistance on its way to the top of the charts.

Los Del Río was the name by which two middle-aged Spaniards called Anthony Romero Y Raphael Ruiz They had been performing together since 1962.

In 1992, while attending a private party for political and cultural heavyweights in Caracas, Venezuela, Romero was inspired to improvise a spoken verse in honor of a flamenco dancer named Diana Patricia after a spectacular live performance.

Addressing her by the name “Magdalena”, a reference to Mary Magdalene connoting sensualityRomero said: “Give your body joy, Ma’dalena, because your body is to give you joy and good things”.

When they later recorded a song based on this verse, Los Del Río changed the name of Magdalena for “Macarena”, the name of a neighborhood in her native Sevillebut otherwise the chorus remained the same: “Give joy to your body, Macarena, for your body it is to give joy and good things.”

Los Del Río’s original recording of “Macarena” was a success in Latin America and gained some degree of popularity in North American pocketbooks, but when a DJ named Jammin’ John Caride on Miami’s Power 96-FM asked to add the song to his rotation, station managers told him their policy was no play songs sung exclusively in Spanish.

That is why the producers Carols De Yarza andMike Triay, who wrote and recorded English verses for Macarena’s female voice and remixed the tune to make it more club-friendly. Within days, his version of the single, now called “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” was a local hit.

Thirty-three weeks later, with the help of New York radio station WKTU, as well as a popular music video and a dance so easy anyone could do it, “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” reached No. No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart dated August 3, 1996.

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