While you’re 1-2-3-hopping your way across the dance floor, you’d be surprised to know that bachata was once considered vulgar and the “music of the barrios.”
Bachata was born in the Dominican Republic after the death of dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961. The first artist to record a bachata song was Jose Manuel Calderon, who introduced his single “Borracho de Amor” in 1962. Back then, the genre was known as a “variant of bolero”; later it was known as “amargue,” and ultimately “bachata.”
In the ‘70s, bachateros were not allowed to perform at high-end venues and were censored on live television and the radio because their musical style was associated with lower classes and crime. However, despite the lack of support and promotion, artists such as Marino Perez and Leonardo Paniagua helped the genre be on the forefront, ultimately becoming more popular than merengue.