23 May 2022

New York, Spanish Harlem

A classic chunk of New York Spanish Harlem a massive record

Acá les traigo está joya de la música latina, así es...Jesús "Chuito" Santiago, y su Orquesta The Latin Uniques...el cual nos deja estupendo trabajos musicales pal´bailador, con el estupendo Piano del Maestro Auther Puerto...quien con sus magníficos solos nos deleita los oídos...Grabado para el Sello Speed Records de NY.

'Indemand and rare Latin Soul Boogalo LP on the New York 'Speed' label. Killer streetwise latin soul bombs on this stunning LP. 'Spanish Maiden' is even popular with the Northern Soul crowd.'

'The Speed label out of NYC released quite a few gems in its day, in different styles. This one from 1968 is a Latin Soul / Boogaloo LP of some merit. It is mainly famous for the track "Spanish Maiden" as sung by Tony Middleton who features on the LP as a singer. Other nice tracks are "Hey Funky Mama" and the beautiful ballad "Wish I Could". The Spanish language tracks are also pretty funky.'

'This is a special record. What makes it special are the singers Danny Agosto, Norberto Carrasquillo, and Tony Middleton; they lay down some of the most soulful and moving vocals I’ve ever heard on a Latin soul record.

On “Wish I Could,” Danny Agostoa laments his lost loves and loneliness while longing to love again. His pain is pure and real and should resonate with anyone who’s known the terrible burning heaviness of heartbreak.

Tony Middleton offers up his own story of pain and heartbreak on “Spanish Maiden.” Perhaps because of the impossibility of asking/accepting her back after the deep hurt she caused him, Tony aches simply to know why she left, “leaving [him] in such misery and grief.” He attempts to reason with her, begging her to remember the good times, yet knowing deep down that those heart-warming memories that once filled their worlds are now merely eroding islands in an ocean of hurt.

Not to be outdone, Norberto Carrasquillo displays his beautiful and very versatile voice on sonically spectacular songs like “Si Tu Me Quieres A Mi,” “Ponte A Sonar,” “Candela,” and “Aqui Llego”—almost stealing the show with his first sublime verse on “Si Tu Me Quieres A Mi” alone.' -Reynaldo

'Labels don’t come much speedier than Speed Records. In the space of one year – 1968 – the little label put out seven full lengths and a bunch of 45s before making a mysteriously swift exit. Oliver Wang picks out ten essential titles on Speed, many of which have matured into boogaloo and Latin soul holy grails. 

Words: Oliver Wang | The Vinyl Factory

I’ve long been fascinated by Speed Records, Stan Lewis and Morrty Craft’s short-lived Latin soul label from the mid-1960s. There’s the overall quality of the catalogue, featuring some of the best boogaloo talent of the era including Bobby Marin, Louie Ramirez and Bobby Matos. There’s also the appealing compactness of Speed’s LP catalogue: just seven official releases, all of which have been reissued at this point. In that sense, Speed feels both special yet accessible, a rare combination, especially in a collector’s world. Here’s ten key titles to help kick-start your own Speed addiction.

Chuito & The Latin Uniques
“Wish I Could” from From The Street
(Speed Records, 1968)

Jesus “Chuito” Santiago was originally a timbalero, who, like Nieves, came to Lewis’s attention. The subsequent From The Streets album would become the most overtly soulful of the Speed LPs, not the least of which is because it featured three different vocalists: Norberto Carrasquillo, Danny Agosto and Tony Middleton. The latter, an R&B singer, formerly of The Willows, powered the vocals on “Spanish Maiden,” which became the album’s hit single. However, I personally have always favored the mournful “Wish I Cloud,” which features Agosto singing a classic tale of young heartbreak. (Warning: If any single Speed title is likely to tax your wallet, it’ll be this one since it heavily appeals to both soul and Latin collectors).

Trivia Note: Bobby Marin recruited Middleton, on the spot, to sing on “Spanish Maiden” after running into him on the sidewalk. In that sense, Middleton literally came in “from the streets” to record on the album.'

1. Spanish Maiden [Vocals – Tony Middleton] 3:11
2. Ponte A Sonar 5:54
3. Dixie Peach 4:38
4. Si Tu Me Quieres A Mi 4:22
5. Candela 5:31
6. Hey Funky Mama 3:09
7. Yo No Consigo Tu Amor 7:03
8. Wish I Could 4:45
9. Aquí Llegó 4:41
10. Stan's Stamina 3:09

Directed By – Bobby Marin
Leader, Timbales – Jesus "Chuito" Santiago
Producer – Morty Craft, Stanley Lewis

jesus"chuito" santiago - leader, timbales
norberto "benbe" carrasquillo - lead latin vocals
danny agosto - latin cord-engiah vocal
robert maldonado - conga
charlie torres - bongo - bell
eddie ruperto - bass
auther puerto - piano
jay torres - 1ra trumpet
irving alaman - 2nd trumpet(solo)
denisio santiago - 1rt trombone
richie colon - 2nd trombone(solo)


speed records 25 a divicion of latin showcase production. ltd  west 58th street, new york N.Y. 1001