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Beny More

Beny Moré is the greatest singer of popular music Cuba has ever produced. Think Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole and you'll get an idea of how he's perceived in Cuba, and how he should be regarded elsewhere. In the nearly half century since his death, no Cuban vocalist has emerged to fill his shoes, and he remains as close as ever to the hearts of the Cuban people. Few singers in this hemisphere have consistently matched his interpretive gifts, vocal virtuosity, and comfort with a range of styles.

Moré's genius lay in his synthesis of two of the major currents of Cuban song -- Afro-Cuban son and the Spanish-derived guajiro music of the Cuban countryside. He owed at least some of his singing style to a series of soneros who preceded him: Antonio Machin, Miguelito Valdes, and Orlando "Cascarita" Guerra. Moré's intimacy with both the African and European elements in Cuban music allowed him to be comfortable in all different styles. He was equally successful with boleros as with mambos and rhumbas. Most important is what he conveyed with his singing: a tenderness and direct emotional appeal in his boleros, a hip-shaking exuberance in his mambos. Though he could not read music, Moré composed two of his smash hits, "Bonito y Sabroso" and "Que Bueno Baila Usted." He also doubled as a bandleader and assembled a powerful big band comprised of talented musicians like trumpeters Alejandro "El Negro" Vivar and Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, and trombonist and arranger Generoso "El Tojo" Jimenez. His was the quintessential Afro-Cuban big-band sound of the 1950s: brash, multi-textured, dynamic. But unlike New York bands like Machito & His Afro-Cubans, Moré was not pushing the boundaries of Latin jazz. His music was more "pop" than Machito's, but it was anything but formulaic.

Born Bartolome Maximiliano Moré in 1919 in the village of Santa Isabel de Las Lajas in Las Villas Province, Cuba, Moré left for Havana as a teenager and for several years worked a variety of odd jobs while performing as a street singer in the city's port area. His big break came in 1945, when he accompanied the Miguel Matamoros conjunto to Mexico. In the late '40s, Mexico City was a magnet for Cuban entertainers seeking to make it big in the Mexican film industry. After touring Mexico, Matamoros returned to Cuba, but Moré decided to stay behind. Before leaving, Matamoros counseled Moré to change his name since "bartolo" meant donkey in Mexican slang. Rechristened Beny Moré, in a year or two he was discovered by Mario Rivera Conde, the director of RCA Victor Mexico, who paired him with a series of high-caliber orchestras, including those of Perez Prado and Mexican composer Raphael De Paz.

Moré's early recordings in Mexico include a balance of uptempo tunes and ballads; this proportion changed in favor of ballads when he finally fronted his own band. What's striking about the early sessions is the consistent quality and tastefulness of the orchestral accompaniment. Moré sings with five different orchestras on these sessions, yet there are few jarring contrasts. The Perez Prado orchestra is an exception to this rule; Prado's flailing piano style and trademark grunts jar in a marvelous, amphetamine-driven way. Rivera Conde's pairing of Prado and Moré was a masterstroke and produced some of the most high-energy recordings of Moré's career. Moré sang some of his most memorable songs while on his Mexican sojourn -- "Bonito y Sabroso," "San Fernando," "Donde Estabas Tu" -- with the Raphael De Paz Orchestra. But perhaps Moré's best-known song, the bolero "Como Fue," was recorded with neither Prado nor De Paz, but with the orchestra of Ernesto Duarte. "Como Fue" was included in the soundtrack of the film Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, where it added authenticity to an otherwise watery collection of Latin music.

Moré returned to Cuba in 1953 and assembled his own big band, with whom he crisscrossed Cuba until his death. Moré was intensely loyal to his musicians, referring to them as his tribu (tribe). Because he always insisted on having a large band, he was known to have gone out of pocket on his RCA recordings to pay his men. They responded by embellishing his songs with subtle, ornate orchestral playing. While Moré continued to record uptempo smash hits such as "Francisco Guayabal" and "Que Bueno Baila Usted," he focused on boleros, a natural showcase for his vocal and interpretive gifts. Moré had a signature vocal technique, a sort of glissando, that he used everywhere in varying forms. Typically, he would hold a note, then slide up the scale to a higher note and hold it there for a few seconds. It's an impressive, exciting device, and he uses it to build drama on boleros like "Tu Me Sabes Comprender" and "No Puedo Callar." A less frequently used but equally distinctive technique was Moré's seagull squawk, which he includes at the finale of the uptempo "Soy Campesino."

It is unfortunate that Moré never brought his outstanding band to record or perform in the United States, even though he was active during one of the rare moments in U.S. pop music history when authentic Cuban music was in demand. Moré decided to stay in Cuba after the Revolution, but he didn't live long, a victim of his love for rum. All rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, Beny Moré finally succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver on February 19, 1963, in Havana. Moré's recorded output was relatively small, cut short as it was by his premature death. In 1992, BMG Music released the majority of Moré's 1948-1958 recordings for RCA Victor on five CDs for its Tropical Series. Moré never recorded for anyone other than RCA, so all his hits are here. Nevertheless, his earliest recordings with the Miguel Matamoros conjunto are missing, and only some of his songs with the Perez Prado orchestra are included. From a technical standpoint, the discs are terrific (they sound as if they were made yesterday), but three of the five albums have no liner notes to speak of and information about session dates and personnel is either very sketchy or nonexistent, which is shabby treatment indeed for an artist of Beny Moré's stature. Moré's great legacy, though, is clear on the recordings themselves: a voice that can evoke memories of lost romance, or make you dance with joyous abandon. ~ Spencer Harrington, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Benny More Y Su Banda Gigante

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4


Benny more is not from cuba,his from jalisco, mexico.look at his biography.
Benny tu eres El Barbaro del Ritmo! Privilegiada de haber crecido al compas de tus canciones en mi linda Cuba.
Benny More ! The Master of titmouse !!! ;)JC !!!!!!!!
I remember listening to this song when my dad would play his records at the house with friends in Nicaragua in the 70's, I know play for my kids. This music will never die. Love it.
Everyone knew the lirics to his songs...from little kids to abuelitosl His records were being played constantly in every neighborhood corner bar's juke box. Those were happy times and I am SOO glad I could be a part of it all!
cada epoca tiene sus buenas estrellas artistícas y por ello no quiero decir que la epoca del principio del fín de una era sean los mejores, no, porque cada grupo es hecho al momento y a la idiosincraci a de la cultura vivida, pero si puedo expresar que los sentimientos de los artistas de esa bella epoca fueron sentimientos muy acoplados a las expresiones en versos, pohemas y expersiones sentimentale s con la música y el instrumento que mucho de ellos fueron maestros Por enden todos son 1a estrella
Lots of good info...Thank s !!!!!! He was the man.
Verdadera Estrella Eterna!!!!!! !

Que personaje era Benny , le ponia todo su estilo propio que nadie lo pudo igualar , lastima que se nos fue.......
my mom love this music every time , i sea my dance , this beutiful
music , w, my father its a good memory
Si bubiera sido americano no recordaran a Frank Sinatra
Como bolerista uno de losmejores y como sonero el mejor musica p
ara siempre
The greatest singer Cuba ever produced?? That's an insult to past, present and future singers. There is a psycho-socio l o g i c a l study that clearly explains why some singers become popular. i.e., Madonna. The same thing applies to More'. Remember, if it wasn't for Mexico, nobody would ever heard of him. Credit where credit is due.
I have loved the music of Benny More since I was a child in Panama. He visited Panama when I was a child, did not get to see him at the Toldo where he performed for Carnaval. Until this day, he is, and will remain my favorit artist. I refer to him as my late husband. May God bless you, Benny. My late father, also a Cuban knew and worked with the great Benny!!!!!!! Love you Benny, Olga Pinto.
valeriorafae l 5 8 8
really,reall y great .
un tremendo! his music is still a staple at every family get together. :D
bennie.torre s
This sounds like sweet soul to me, only in Spanish!
Love his MUSIC!!! What a distinctive style. The best ever.
the best of the time
love it!!
BENY, we miss you. In this world, there are two words that are the "SYNONYM" of BENY MORE, one is "Lightning" meaning BENY and the other one is "Thunder" meaning MORE. Lightning and Thunder are two thinks in this world that no one can miss and so is BENY's SONGS, MUSIC, STYLE, VOICE and specially his EGO that no one can miss and always perceived when they are around you or reversly, when you are around them. BENY And His BANDA GIGANTE has been, is, and will always remains "UNIQUE". We can also s
I totally agree, Benny More "El Barbaro del Ritmo" of all times!!! I love his music, he is my favorite.
Aunque soy dominicano, puedo decir que benny rompio toda barrera que separa a los pueblos latino americanos con su magnificas interpretaci o n e s !
He was phenomenal, awesome and inspiring with his music. We must credit his band for the great suppor they provided ! His legacy will leave for many generations ! Guajiro Santiagero
Otra de las bellas voces que dio mi patria! Canciones unicas! Que maravilla! Le doy gracias a Dios por havernos regalado voces como esa.
soy mexicano y doy gracias adios por poder seguir escuchando esta hermsa musica de Benny More.
The best rhythm of the world for dancing with a lady and to enjoy this beautiful life at all the levels.
I am very proud to had the privilege of dancing when he was singing in a verbena in my native town of SSpiritus ,Las Villas,u had to see him in the scenario was a real forever in our hearts, Benny.
Magnificent singer and artist from Cuba. Many people put Cuba down. Being such as small island with embargo or not that has hurt mainly the Cuban people, the Cuban people still manage to come ahead in every aspect from medicine to music. I'm a Mexican born person who truly embraces and admire the Cuban people....en o u g h said.
me gustaria q nuestra Pearla sea lo q una vez era
He is and everybody after him still using he music legacy and all this sonero or salsaro of the Fannia back in the 70-80 only copy he style he is the Real Sonero Mayor or Barbaro del Ritmo


OH-OH !!!
The Best
El mejor cantante de la Isla
trujillo5051 2 9
En Cali Colombia cuando se habla de musica con personajes de mi edad es saber hablar de algo que se quiere desde que empesaron los CANTANTES, MUSICOS, -ANTILLANOS Son orgullo de ser Calenio OIS
growing up my mom used to listen and watch old movies that had perez prado and sonora santanera. even as a small child I enjoyed the big band sound. now as an adult i can clearly see the romance and happyness behind it. I only wish i'd had been there at the time to enjoy and fall in love with someone who would appreciate it as much as I. Gracias ma.
The most incredible vocals I have ever heard! Thanks Dad!
my father love his music till the day he pass away,simply the best of all times
This is my first time listening to Benny More's music and I am in awe.
cuando se habla de benny more y de celia cruz es de cuba la bandera y el sabor de nuestra tierra en el mundo entero son ellos el mayor orgullo nuestro raises es mi opinion es himno feliz 2009
La musica de Beny More es parte de nuestra vida, me gustaria que la tocaran en la radio, como antes, este 2008 que se va, empesaremos el 2009 con la mejor musica de Beny More, happy new year 2009 to all Beny More fans.
sinceramente Jose
Beny is one of the greats. He was way ahead of his time. classic music such as his will never fade, and as each generation gets exposed to it they form their own inturpertati o n of it and breathe life into his music as they feel it, therefore paying respect to Beny and making his short stay on this earth a foot print in the sand of time.
eustaquiocol o n
Beny More isnpired "ALL" of our music and musicians all around from Argentina to Spain one of the greatest... that will live for ever in our memories.
I was born in Panama, lived 'till 16 before coming to Socal. This music (not to mention Celia, Manzanera etc etc) was the staple music I was sick of listening to on the radio. Came to US did not hear or listen for 25 yrs. One day listening to KPFK latin hour..sudden l y I was 16 again with all those memories...i t ' s great!
(I plan to stay 16 forever!).. Beny was one of the greatest. Thanks Pandora.
Rolando in Cal - for now
I have loved this music since as far back as I can remember. I have my father to thank for introducing it to me at a very young age. I'm a all around music fan from classical to Indian/Irani a n , spanish to african, jazz to metal. but in the long run this is what makes my day. Thanks Alma in Cali
truly one of the giants. what an amazingly expressive voice.
I loooooooooov e this music...brin g s back memories of my Father, who passed away this year a week before Easter...he used to sing some of these songs while playing his guitar...aft e r a hard day of work ... Te quero Mucho Papi!...miss i n g you right now!
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