Ismael Rivera

Ismael Rivera

Musical Artist
Musical Artist Less

Ismael Rivera

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Description:
Ismael "Maelo" Rivera (October 5, 1931 – May 13, 1987), was a renowned Puerto Rican composer and singer of salsa music.

Early life

Ismael Rivera was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, on October 5, 1931. He was the first of five children born to Luis and Margarita Rivera. His father, Luis, was a carpenter and his mother a housewife. As a child, Rivera was always singing and banging on cans with sticks. He received his primary education at the Pedro G. Goyco Elementary School and then went on to learn carpentry at a vocational school. He also shined shoes to help his family financially and when he was 16 years old, he worked as a carpenter. During his free time he would hang around the corner with his best friend Rafael Cortijo and sing songs. In 1948, Rivera and Cortijo joined El Conjunto Monterrey, where Rivera played the conga and Cortijo the bongos. Rivera was unable to work full-time as a musician because of his work as a carpenter.

Musical career

In 1952, Rivera joined the U.S. Army but was quickly discharged, because he didn't speak English. When he returned to Puerto Rico, he went to work as a lead singer with Orquesta Panamericana, thanks to the recommendation of his friend Cortijo. With Orquesta Panamericana, Rivera recorded and scored his first hits with the songs "El charlatán", "Ya yo sé", "La vieja en camisa" and "La sazón de Abuela". However, an...
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