Arsenio Rodríguez

Arsenio Rodríguez (born Ignacio Arsenio Travieso Scull; 31 August 1911 – 30 December 1970) was a Cuban musician, composer and bandleader. He played the tres, as well as the tumbadora, and he specialized in son, rumba and other Afro-Cuban music styles. In the 1940s and 1950s Rodríguez established the conjunto format and contributed to the development the son montuno, the basic template of modern-day salsa. He claimed to be the true creator of the mambo and was an important as well as a prolific composer who wrote nearly two hundred songs.

Despite being blind since the age of seven, Rodríguez quickly managed to become one of Cuba's foremost treseros. Nonetheless his first hit, "Bruca maniguá" by Orquesta Casino de la Playa, came as a songwriter in 1937. For the following two years, Rodríguez worked as composer and guest guitarist for the Casino de la Playa, before forming his conjunto in 1940, one of the first of its kind. After recording over a hundred songs for RCA Victor over the course of twelve years, Rodríguez moved to New York in 1952, where he remained active, releasing several albums. In 1970, Rodríguez moved to Los Angeles, where he died of pneumonia shortly before the end of the year.

Birth and Death Data: Born August 31st, 1911 (Matanzas), Died December 30th, 1970 (Los Angeles)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1935 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, trés, composer, lyricist, songwriter

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-95552 10-in. 10/22/1935 No he mentido Aida Cuarteto Machín Vocal and instrumental quartet composer  
Victor BS-95556 10-in. 10/22/1935 Amargos sufrimientos Cuarteto Machín Vocal and instrumental quartet composer  
Victor BS-95582 10-in. 10/25/1935 No vuelvas por aquí Cuarteto Machín Vocal and instrumental quartet composer  
Victor BS-98021 10-in. 11/1/1935 Pobre mi Cuba Septeto Machín Vocal and instrumental septet composer  
Victor BS-010933 10-in. 6/17/1937 Bruca manigua Orquesta Casino de la Playa ; Miguelito Valdés Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-010937 10-in. 6/17/1937 Ben acá tomá Orquesta Casino de la Playa ; Miguelito Valdés Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-017383 10-in. 12/9/1937 Bruca maniguá Alfredito Valdés ; Xavier Cugat Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-021968 10-in. between 4/1/1938 and 4/11/1938 Funfuñando Orquesta Casino de la Playa ; Miguelito Valdés Dubbed recording : Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor B-027836 10-in. 9/19/1938 Yo son gangá Orquesta Casino de la Playa ; Miguelito Valdés Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor B-027837 10-in. 9/19/1938 Se va el caramelero Orquesta Casino de la Playa ; Miguelito Valdés Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-035550 10-in. before 4/3/1939 Adiós Africa Orquesta Casino de la Playa ; Miguelito Valdés Re-recording : Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-037049 10-in. 7/13/1939 Mirar subyugante Boricuas ; Augusto Coén Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor MBS-092764 10-in. before 5/1/1951 Qué pasará Beny Moré ; Orquesta Rafael de Paz Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor CU-177 10-in. before 12/7/1939 Todos seguimos la conga Orquesta de Cheo Belén Puig ; Alfredito Valdés Re-recording : Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor CU-444 10-in. before 9/12/1950 Ten valor Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés, composer, lyricist  
Victor CU-445 10-in. before 9/12/1950 Con un amor se borra otro amor Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés, composer, lyricist  
Victor CU-446 10-in. before 9/12/1950 Juventud de Cayo Hueso Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés, composer, lyricist  
Victor CU-447 10-in. before 9/12/1950 Todo terminó Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés  
Victor CU-448 10-in. before 6/29/1950 La sandunga del son Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Vocal and instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, trés, composer, lyricist  
Victor CU-449 10-in. before 6/29/1950 Con reciprocidad Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Vocal and instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, trés  
Victor CU-474 10-in. before 8/8/1950 Anabacoa Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés  
Victor CU-475 10-in. before 8/8/1950 Cárdenas Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés, composer, lyricist  
Victor CU-478 10-in. before 11/9/1950 'Ta Benito Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez ; Estela Rodríguez Scull Instrumental ensemble, with female vocal solo leader, instrumentalist, trés, composer, lyricist  
Victor CU-479 10-in. before 11/9/1950 Aquí como allá Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez ; Estela Rodríguez Scull Instrumental ensemble, with female vocal solo leader, instrumentalist, trés, composer, lyricist  
Victor CU-480 10-in. before 11/9/1950 Te mantengo y no quieres Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés  
Victor CU-481 10-in. before 11/9/1950 Cree lo que tú quierás Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés  
Victor CU-482 10-in. before 11/15/1950 El que no tiene no vale Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés  
Victor CU-483 10-in. before 11/15/1950 Quizás con los años Conjunto Arsenio Rodríguez Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal trio leader, instrumentalist, trés  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rodríguez, Arsenio," accessed November 28, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105970.

Rodríguez, Arsenio. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 28, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105970.

"Rodríguez, Arsenio." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 28 November 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105970

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