Publisher: Audio-Scriptions Inc., WJZ Radio, New York
Publication Year: 1936
Catalog Number: NA
Format: 12 Inch, 78RPM, Aluminum
This is a live radio broadcast recording of the Uruguayan classical guitarist, Julio Martinez Oyanguren, playing a song written by a Paraguayan classical guitarist named, Agustin Barrios Mangore. The track was recorded, via WJZ Radio, onto an aluminum transcription disc during a live performance for the Pan American Union Concert held on April 4, 1936. Aluminum records are quite rare, owing to the fact that most of them were melted down during the scrap metal drives of WWII, and also because aluminum proved to be a very poor recording medium and was quickly surpassed by lacquer coated discs.
The song, Himno “26 de Julio”, was written by Augustin Diaz Cartaya. It Commemorates the failed attack of a military barrack in 1953, and calls for the sweeping away of undesirable rulers and insatiable tyrants. The “26th of July Movement” became the chosen name of Fidel’s revolutionary organization that eventually overthrew Batista in 1959. The song was first recorded secretly in the Winter of 1957 at a studio in Havana. The details of the first recording state that there was percussion, trumpet and trombone accompaniment. The track presented here is a cappella, so must have been recorded at a later date. Information about the publisher, Cubana de Discos, is very scant. The few records I’ve located were all produced in the early 60s. Some information suggests that the company was disbanded by 1964, or perhaps “nationalized”. I was unable to find anything at all about the band, Grupo Folklorico de Aficionados de Cuba. The remaining tracks on this record, some of which were written years before the revolution, all reflect the same passionate pro Cuba sentiment.
Notes: The sleeve that was found with this record does not appear to be the correct match. The sleeve was produced sometime after 1965, and almost certainly contained a recording of Fidel Castro reading the famous goodbye letter from Che Guevera, who left Cuba to support uprisings in Congo-Kanshasa and Bolivia, before his capture and execution in 1967.