East Harlem Online Discussion Forums

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Jose 04-27-2001 11:59 PM

East Harlem Music
Salsa and Latin music are all the rage around the world, London, Japan and Europe loves the music. Some of the musicians are from East Harlem, Johnny Colon and Marc Anthony for example. We may even get a Salsa Museum on East 111th Street and Third Avenue. What is your favorite music, musician, band or song?

marthadel 05-21-2001 01:12 PM

East Harlem Music
Jose, do you remember back in the 70's there was a guy who had a band Tony Rojas and the TNT band. He made a few hits. He use to sing in the store front clubs in Harlem. What ever became of him? Is he still stinging or did he finally settle down?

Jose 05-21-2001 02:38 PM

I don't know

I am not familiar with Tony Rojas or his music.
I must confess, I grew up listening to Rock and Roll.
I now listen to Salsa, but still my main music is Rock/Pop.

Can you tell me more about Tony and what type of music he played?

marthadel 05-21-2001 03:10 PM

I also grew up on Rock N Roll. I was introduced to Tony Rojas by Vinny who owed the pet shop on 116th St. I believe it's now called Ideal Pet Shop. Vinny was killed in the 80's. He took me to my first latin club in Harlem. That is where I met Tony Rojas and TNT band.

I don't remember any of the music he played but I know he was well known in the neighborhood of 2nd Ave and 123 street.

If anyon remembers the TNT Band and knows what became of them let us know.

Jose 05-22-2001 06:24 AM

Was Vinny an Italian man with a pony tail? If so, then I remember him. The pet shop was renamed and is now closed forever. We do have another pet store in El Barrio between 107-109. I forget which of the streets its on. It's a big name brand store.

Well, I just ask my daughter and she doesn't wish to talk this early in the morning. Why are some women so moody in the morning? She's all of 17 and just snapped at me. Geeez.

See ya

marthadel 05-23-2001 04:09 PM

Vinny's Pet Store
Hi Jose!

Vinny's pet store was on 116th street. Vinny was a big party person. He had a few kids from the neighborhood work in the pet shop. Before relocating to 116th St. the pet store was located around 123 St and 2nd Ave. I left Harlem in 1974 and that was the last I saw of Vinny. A few years later I was told someone shot him when he was entering the City Bank on the corner. I was in NYC last year I think the pet store is closed now. Vinny was very well known in the neighborhood.

Do you remember in those days a lot of the guys use to fly pigeons on the roof tops. I have a cousin in Brooklyn that has been breeding pigeons for many years. It's a good pass time I gues for those that don't want to get into the internet?

Jose 05-23-2001 06:01 PM

When I was younger (years and years ago), I remember guys flying pigeons from their roofs. I believe the game was to steel pigeons from the other pigeon guys. The two steams of pigeons would fly together, birds got confused and went to the wrong home.

Before the internet, I guess that was the best a guy could do (besides being all over girls).

I also remember house weddings. One of my cousins got married in our apartment (60's) in Jefferson Houses. It was so typically 60s, cake with a big ring on it (hey maybe it was an engagement party) and lots of food and drink. We kids were bored, but the adults looked like they really had a good time.

marthadel 05-23-2001 06:10 PM

I Remember Those Days
I remember those house parties very well. I had my wedding in our apartment in the Wagner projects. It was in August with no AC You can imagine all those people in an apartment on a hot summer day. I remember also my friends in school talking about someone have a dance in their apartment. I think they called it going to a Set or something like that. I never went to any of those dances since I wasnt allowed to go out but, I remember everone talking about it the next day.

Those were the days before computers. How did we ever survive without computers?

Jose 05-24-2001 12:58 AM

I don't know how we survived before the advent of computers. I got into computing in 1984-85. I got online soon after that. Could you believe that I got online (Compuserve) at the amazing speed of 300 buad! Compuserve was a text based system then, so it went pretty fast. It cost $6.00 an hour. One month I received a $70.00 bill For a little over 11 hours of online time.
Those were the days! But I tell you, not many people were online then, and my family couldn't figure out what was so fasinating about computers. Let alone being online.

I get the last laugh, as I've seen each and every one of them getting online within the last 18 months. Guess who they ask when they need to troubleshoot their problems. Me. Ha, ha.

muaddib 06-17-2001 06:41 AM

Apartment Weddings? How retro! Hope the idea takes off. It is better than paying thousands for the rental of a large hall. How couples can spend so much in their very first expenditure if beyond me. I just hope any future wife of mine agrees. You never know the female sex. They love expensive fantasy weddings.

marthadel 06-20-2001 12:53 PM

House Party
I remember those house part's so ell. I hated them. Looking back to those years. Those were the stone age years. Today everything is so different and expensive. We now have Party stores to catere to all our party needs. And, the party's are no longer held in a small apartment. All the baby boomers got hipped and now rent a hall or hotel.

Remember the when a Puerto Rican in the neighborhood would have a party for one of their kids and the kids party winded up being more for the adults. The adults where the ones getting drunk from all the bear and rum they were serving. And the poor kids would only get a birthday cake. After the happy birthday singing was over they would put the kids to bed and continue partying like it was their birthday. You didn't see any clowns or games for the kids at the party only salsa music playing and the adults looking forward to meeting and dancing with the latinas at the party.


Diana 06-21-2001 05:53 PM

Tony Rojas and TNT
Hi Jose,

Long time no speak. Just a little infor on the TNT Band. Their most popular song was Boogaloo Blues. It went something like this...I remember the time when I felt the world was mine...(chorus - LSD gotta hold on me...)

Does anyone remember this song?

As I had said before Jose I slept, ate, and was totally immersed in music from Latin to Soul, and Doowop and some rock and roll.

By the way the pet store you refer to on 109ths street is Petland.

I welcome more discussion on old latin songs. Does anyone remember the Swing Sextette and Joey Pastrana?

Richie_Rumbero 06-21-2001 08:11 PM

Old Bands from El Barrio
Both the New Swing Sextet and Joey Pastrana are still alive and kicking. Pastrana lives in Queens and The New Swing Sextet still play on occassion, albeit with several new members from the original group.

If I'm not mistaken I believe "BOOGALOO BLUES" was recorded by Johnny Colón, who is also alive and kicking and contineus to run the Johnny Colón East Harlem Music School. A school which, might I add, spawned the talents of Tito Nieves and, East Harlem's own, Marc Anthony among others.

One of the last living legends STILL living in El Barrio, Joe Cuba will be performing with his sextet this Saturday, June 23, 2001.

From 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., "The Puerto Rican Cultural Village" will present shows and workshops at the Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive (between 120th and 122nd Streets) in Manhattan. Featuring a clave percussion workshop lead by Jose Rivera (Bomba Y Plena Cafe); Bomba/Plena Dance Workshop with Los Amigos De La Plena lead by Jose Rivera; Applause Dance Group lead by Taina Traverso; The Myths and Mysteries of Taino Indians with Master storyteller Bobby Gonzalez; and The Joe Cuba Sextet.

For more information, visit www.theriversidechurchny.org


marthadel 06-27-2001 10:22 AM

TNT Band
Im glad to hear someone remembers the TNT Band, and Vinnie's Pet Shop from East Harlem. The petshop is Pet Land now. Vinnie was killed. I use to hang out with Vinny in the early 70's. I moved to Florida in 1976. He had gave alot of the neighborhood kids in school jobs during the summer. Was sad to hear he was killed.

As for the TNT Band. When I left for Florida I found out he settle down and wasn't singing with the group any more. I think he should have keep his career as a singer. Looks like he joined the one-time wonder club.

It's wonderfull to remember those days when we were growing up.

Charles 07-23-2001 09:26 PM

East Harlem Music/TNT Band
The TNT Band (Tito Ramos & Tony Rojas) were one of the "Boogaloo/Latin Soul"-era bands that recorded on Cotique Records from about 1968-1970.

Some of their biggest hits were: "Mr. Slick," "Borinquen Bella," Sabre Olvidar," and, perhaps their most popular, "The Meditation."

"The Meditation" could've been considered an earlier form of "sampling"--LOL!!!!! It borrowed, kinda liberally, from two of the biggest "Soul Music" hits of the day, Archie Bell & The Drells' "Tighten Up" and James Brown's "Cold Sweat." The latter had the "give the drummer some" solo lifted by the TNT Band's timbale player during the "Drum Call."

I think the young lady who believed that "Boogaloo Blues" was recorded by them may have gotten mixed up, as Tito Ramos (I believe) was the lead singer on that Johnny Colon track, as he also sang lead on "Judy, Part 2" from that same album ("Boogaloo Blues."

This was my favorite era of Salsa Music (1967-1975), and I'd be glad to talk to anyone about it on this board!!!!


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