Perucho 52

For young salseros, with other sounds, what has been history in salsa, some are passionate about it and delve into it, and others are not.

Among those poking around is Roberto Ernesto Gyemant, Beto, a young journalist based in Panama, who made a long trip from the US to Caracas solely with the objective of interviewing Ray Pérez. Eliel Rivero, from Bailatino, and this servant made Beto's task easier. There are many works about Ray and Perucho Torcat taken from that extensive interview that do not give credit to the author, something that we thought was eradicated from salsa, at least.

With the questions he asked Ray Pérez about Perucho Torcat, Roberto Gyemant clarified the situation a lot; and it turns out that this Sunday, May 26, salsa and our country will celebrate 52 years without the magnificent art of Perucho, that of Carúpano, the one who only lived 25 years, the first interpreter of 'Voy a reir un poco' by Ricardo Quintero (Venezuelan also), that of 'The Almighty', its composition. This and Ricardo Quintero's were recorded by Héctor Lavoe, perhaps as a tribute to the late vocalist and composer.

Perucho was the star singer of Los Dementes and Ray told Beto: "My surprise is that one day, at noon, they called on the phone—collect—, and I accepted... It's Justo Betancourt: 'Ray, come look for Perucho's body.' .  

“Nelson Pinedo tells me that they went to play in Boston. And it's cold in Boston. When they returned from the dance, Justo tells Perucho to stay at his house. But Perucho stayed downstairs, and when he felt cold, he went to the car, closed the windows, and started the engine. When they opened the car in the morning, he had died from monoxide. That was accidental. They didn't kill him, he died from inexperience. Maybe he was tired from work, from dancing…”

52 years after his departure, we pay current tribute, without forgetting, to Perucho Torcat.


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