Dámaso Pérez Prado

Dámaso Pérez Prado (December 11, 1916 – September 14, 1989) was a Cuban bandleader, pianist, composer and arranger who popularized the mambo in the 1950s. His big band adaptation of the danzón-mambo proved to be a worldwide success with hits such as "Mambo No. 5", earning him the nickname "King of the Mambo". In 1955, Prado and his orchestra topped the charts in the US and UK with a mambo cover of Louiguy's "Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)". He frequently made brief appearances in films, primarily of the rumberas genre, and his music was featured in films such as La Dolce Vita.

Pérez Prado began his career as pianist and arranger for the Sonora Matancera, an internationally successful dance music ensemble from his hometown of Matanzas. He later established his own group and made several recordings in Havana in 1946, including "Trompetiana", a self-penned mambo and one of the first examples arranged for big band. He then moved to Mexico where he developed this particular genre in multiple forms, including bolero-mambo (with María Luisa Landín), guaracha-mambo (with Benny Moré) and two forms of instrumental mambo he created: mambo batiri and mambo kaen. The success of his 1949 recordings landed him a contract with RCA Victor in the US, which led to a prolific career in the 1950s. His number 1 hit "Cherry Pink" was followed by other charting singles, such as a cover of "Guaglione" and his own "Patricia", both released in 1958. In the 1960s, Pérez Prado's popularity waned with the advent of other Latin dance rhythms such as pachanga and, later, boogaloo. Despite several innovative albums and a new form of mambo he called "dengue", Pérez Prado moved back to Mexico in the 1970s, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1980. He died there in 1989. His son, Pérez Jr., continues to direct the Pérez Prado Orchestra in Mexico City to this day.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 11, 1917 (Matanzas), Died September 14, 1989 (Mexico City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1946 - 1953

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, composer, piano, performer, arranger, songwriter, vocalist, lyricist

Notes: Name sometimes appears as Dámaso Pérez Prado, D. P. Prado, D. Pérez Prado, Prado, or Perez. Also known by nickname "El Rey del Mambo."

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 126-133 of 133 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor CU-1412 10-in. before 3/4/1946 ¡Ay, qué bueno! Conjunto Pérez Prado ; Myrta Silva Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble leader  
Victor CU-1413 10-in. before 3/4/1946 La flauta de Bartolo Conjunto Pérez Prado ; Myrta Silva Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble leader  
Victor CU-1414 10-in. before 3/4/1946 El tumbaíto Conjunto Pérez Prado ; Myrta Silva Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble leader  
Victor CU-1564 10-in. before 11/20/1946 Suavecito pollito Orlando Guerra ; Pérez Prado Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor CU-1565 10-in. before 11/20/1946 Caballeros, abran paso Orlando Guerra ; Pérez Prado Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Victor CU-1566 10-in. before 11/20/1946 Trompetiana Pérez Prado Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer, leader  
Victor CU-1567 10-in. before 11/20/1946 Rumbambó Pérez Prado Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer, leader  
Columbia CO43911 10-in. 6/8/1950 Mambo jambo Xavier Cugat ; Xavier Cugat Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
(Results 126-133 of 133 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Pérez Prado, Dámaso," accessed April 24, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116415.

Pérez Prado, Dámaso. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 24, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116415.

"Pérez Prado, Dámaso." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 24 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116415

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