Fad-Tastic! The Macarena

    December 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

    There is a reason they are called fads. It’s because they disappeared just as quickly as they blew up in popularity.

    Today’s Subject: The Macarena

    “Macarena” is a Spanish dance song by Los del Río about a woman of the same name. It was popular between 1995 and 1996. The “Bayside Boys Mix” became the most well known version of the song, as it had English lyrics, sung by an uncredited artist.

    Here are some things you might not have known about the Macarena:

    “As a result of their lounge act, Los del Río were invited to tour South America in March 1992 and, while visiting Venezuela, they were invited to a private party held by the Venezuelan empresario (of Cuban descent) Gustavo Cisneros. Many prominent Venezuelans were in attendance that night, including former president Carlos Andrés Pérez.” That all sounds very important even though I zoned out around the second sentence.

    “Cisneros had arranged for a local flamenco teacher, Diana Patricia Cubillán Herrera, to do a small performance for the guests, and Los Del Rio were pleasantly surprised by Cubillán’s dance skills. Spontaneously, Romero recited the song’s chorus-to-be on the spot, as an accolade to Cubillán, but naming her “Ma’dalena” (Magdalena)” ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    “In Andalusian culture labeling a woman “Magdalena” is to give her a faint association with Mary Magdalene’s reportedly seedy past, and more accurately describes her as being sassy or sensuous.” Ohhhhh sassy! Let’s here more about this chick.

    “Being the base for many cruise ships, many visitors to the island were constantly exposed to the song during their stay in Puerto Rico. This may explain how the song spread to — and became a smash hit in — cities with sizable Latino communities in the United States, particularly Miami and New York City.” Guess it’s better than getting the runs. Well, maybe not.

    “After being remixed by the Bayside Boys and having English lyrics written and added by Grammy nominated producer Carlos de Yarza, it became a worldwide hit in mid-1996. The single spent 14 weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, one of the longest runs atop the Hot 100 chart in history.” 14 weeks? Felt like a lifetime.

    “During its heyday, the song was played frequently at professional athletic games, rallies, conventions, and other places.” WEDDINGS! You forgot weddings.

    “Many believe that a world record for group dancing was set in 1996, when a crowd of 50,000 people was dancing the Macarena in Yankee Stadium in New York City.” One of the many reasons I’m glad they tore that place down.

    “In 1997, the song had sold 11 million copies. While having only a 25% take in royalties from the song, Romero and Ruiz became immensely wealthy.” Figured.

    “In VH1’s 2002 documentary 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders, “Macarena” was ranked as #1. “Macarena” was also ranked #1 on a different VH1 documentary, 40 Awesomely Bad No. 1 Songs.” On a side note, I miss Best Week Ever.

    “In the United Kingdom the song was released in June 1996 and peaked at number two on August 17, 1996. It was kept off the number one spot by the Spice Girls song “Wannabe” If forced to listen to one or the other, I’ll choose C, jump off a building.

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