From Five to Seven was the greatest radio show in 1990s Havana, broadcasting every day, between five and seven and between 1994 and 1999, on Radio Taino. That is the reason why I did a lot of my ethnographic fieldwork there!
It was devoted to Latin music broadly conceived, but as timba grew, the show became its main showcase. Major bands like Manolin El Medico de la Salsa, Manolito (el del Trabuco), Bamboleo and others became BIG because of this show. At times it reached the biggest audience for all radio shows in the city of Havana, after Radio Reloj’s morning news and Radio Progreso’s mid-morning soap opera. From Five to Seven sounded commercial, it included commercial advertisements and played timba music alongside classic salsa (e.g. Fania) as well as the latest in merengue, cumbia and all sort of fusion styles from the Spanish Caribbean and North America. The program ended in late 1999. The program launched young and unknown voices to international fame: some of the hosts that achieved recognition in the show went on to work on radio and television in Europe and the United States, like Ismael Calá, who’s now a famous anchor person at CNN, in the United States.
Now From Five to Seven is back! and today is its first day on the air, at five o’clock central time (6pm Eastern, 3pm Pacific). Its director Juan Cañizares has recuperated the project although not in Havana but in Cancun. His plan is to lure to it some of those who worked with him in Cuba, and Karla is already on board. The show broadcasts daily on Radio Turquesa FM, in Cancun and the entire state of Quintana Roo, and on the internet, playing a lot of Cuban timba and reggeaton. I am hearing a lot of Charanga Habanera, Gente de Zona, Manolito y Su Trabuco, both their latest releases and their by-now classical songs. Along with the music, the fabulous voice of Karla, and the same super arriba energy. El Exitazo Musical del Caribe!!!
Felicidades Juan y Karla!!
HERE you can hear the program promo.
And here one of the songs that were played today, Mentiras by Manolito Simonet:
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