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Radio & Musica Convention
Los Angeles 1997

From February 12-February 15, 1997, Latin music lovers were treated to several days of incredible performances, panels and "shmoozefests" at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, all as a part of the annual Radio & Musica Convention. This event is put on by the trade publication, Radio & Musica, which is based in Englewood, New Jersey, and in addition to the events mentioned above, also features an annual awards ceremony, honoring artists, radio stations and station personnel in a variety of categories, including large and small market, Regional Mexican format, Tejano Format, Tropical Format and of course Contemporary Format, which includes the increasingly popular "Rock en Espanol" genre, as well as pop balladeers. A complete list of winners is below.

The event kicked off on Wednesday evening, with a showcase sponsored by Sony Music at which Alfredo Alonso, President of Radio & Musica welcomed everyone to the event, noting that this was the seventh year of the convention, and introduced Oscar de Leon, who is the President / GM of Sony Discos. Mr. De Leon welcomed everyone to the showcase, and noted that sitting in the room at the moment were most of the influential people in the Latin Music business, in all types of music, station personnel, artists, label personnel etc. He then introduced the Sony video presentation, which was very complete, and took the opportunity to familiarize the attendees with the fact that Sony is now divided into three distinct formats- and corresponding labels, in order to provide individual artist attention in each genre of music. Sony Latin is the label which will handle the pop and rock artists, Sony Discos will handle the Tex Mex type of music and Sony Tropical will handle, what else? Tropical!

The video presentation began with Sony Latin, which includes such artists as international superstar Ricky Martin, whose 1995 release A Medio Vivir has received over 32 platinum and 29 gold records worldwide! Other stellar artists noted by Sony Latin were the always multi platinum Julio Iglesias; for his latest release (11/96) Tango; Shakira, a Columbian artist, whose 2/96 release Pies Descalzos is 4x platinum, Luis Enrique, whose Genesis (10/96) is Gold, Mexico's Ricardo Arjona, whose (8/96) Si El Norte Fuera El Sur is platinum; Chayanne, one of Puerto Rico's most popular pop singers, whose 9/96 release Volver a Nacer is almost platinum, and Ana Gabriel, one of Mexico's most reknowned female soloists, whose 9/96 release is platinum.

Other artists being supported by Sony Latin are the crossover / dance artists such as Mexico's Fey, whose 11/96 Tierna la Noche is still rising on the charts, fueled by the single Azucar Amargo, as well as artists such as Lisa M, Nayobe, Merenbooty Girls, and Dr. Noize.

The next part of the presentation focused on Sony Discos, the Tex Mex label, which currently hosts an impressive roster of artists such as La Mafia, whose 1/96 Un Millon de Rosas is double platinum, and the group has garnered 3 Grammy nominations! Also on Sony Discos are Eddy Gonzalez, whose 7/96 release is still climbing the charts; Jay Perez whose 12/96 No Limits is just gaining momentum, Shelly Lares, a young female tex-mex singer who also performed at the showcase, Los Palominos- whose album Duele El Amor was released in 8/96 and is Gold. Sony Music has recently hired Eduardo Cortez as the new Director of Promotion on the East Coast to focus solely on the Regional Mexican genre of music and he is already having success with such core Sony Discos artists as Vicente Fernandez, whose 5/96 Vicente y Tus Canciones is already double platinum, Alejandro Fernandez, whose 12/96 release is almost double platinum, and the very popular Los Tiranos Del Norte, who have sold more than a million albums in the US alone, a number not achieved by many mainstream acts, let alone Regional Mexican!!

Sony Tropical's roster features a diverse and established group of artists including Gilberto Santa Rosa, young multi platinum superstar Jerry Rivera, international superstar and multi platinum icon Gloria Estefan, Cuban sensation Albita (nominated for a Grammy this year), Ray Ruiz, Ruben Blades, Mily, Victor Manuelle whose 1/96 release is already double platinum, Trina Medina, Grupo Mania, whose Esta de Moda, featuring single Linda is already double platinum as well as well as up and comers DLG (Dark Latin Groove) whose platinum release was also nominated for a Grammy this year, Johnny Caban, set to be one of the youngest tropical stars ever; Kaos, featuring newest member Charlie Masso. Sony Tropical has also just acquired the very established J & N Records label, and is looking forward to even greater success this year.

The presentation of Sony Music continued with a tango by Julio Iglesias being played and supported by four couples dancing the Tango. This was followed by a live performance by Shelly Lares, from Texas, who performed two songs, including a cover of Everlasting Love. Next was another short video presentation which included a song from Giro Me Enamore and Fama Tan Facil. Alux Nahuel, a Rock en espanol group from Guatemala next performed a short set including their single Duende, and this was followed by a viewing of the latest video by Ricky Martin Volveras, which is currently at #6 on the Billboard Latin Chart, and is the 8th single from the album A Medio Vivir. The showcase concluded with a set from the incomparable Luis Enrique, followed by a set by Los Tiranos Del Norte, and the crowd was on their feet.

Sony Music proved with their opening night presentation that music of all genre can be enjoyed by all, and that with the reorganization of the company in order to allow more specialized attention to each of their talented rosters of artists, Sony will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

Special thanks to Raquel Escudero and Sony Music for their hospitality!!

On Thursday, 2/13/97, attendees were treated to panels including topics such as "Record Pools", "How Stations compete for the Large Audience", "How to Utilize Hispanic Radio for Promotion", and showcases by Caiman Records, RMM Records and in the evening, a showcase by Fonovisa Records.

On Friday, February 14, panel discussions included "Relations with Non BDS Reporting Stations," "The Crossover of Tropical Music," and "How to Create Effective Commercials" and showcases by Uno Productions, and in the late afternoon, Arista Records Showcase. Platinum artists La Diferenzia opened the showcase (their new album Canta Conmigo comes out in April - with first single Mundo Sin Guittaras) and were followed by Nydia Rojas (who picked up the award for Regional Mexican Revelacion del Ano the following night at the Radio + Musica Awards) accompanied by Mariachi Juvenil, who surprised the audience by beginning their set in the back of their room, and weaving their way through the crowd while serenading audience members! Angelica, another new artist performed next, intriguing the audience with her special blend of latin pop with a blend of all types of music - even some samba rhythms! (Her self titled album Angelica will be released on April 15 and was produced by Anibal Pastor and Carlos C. Junior and includes first single and accompanying video "Vaya") Angelica was followed by Nydia Rojas again performing two songs. Ruben Gomez, formerly of teen pop sensation Menudo, who has matured into an incredible balladeer, and whose eagerly awaited solo album entitled Ruben Gomez is set for release on May 20 and is sure to be a huge crossover success was the next exciting performer. Me Vueleves Loco is the first single from the album which was produced by Daniel Frieberg (producer of Mexican pop sensation Cristian), and will be released in April with an accompanying video. Nydia Rojas closed the showcase by performing once again with the mariachi band, and then performing La numero uno, her cover of Blondie's The Tide Is High, which is the pop cut on her mainly mariachi album and is enjoying success at radio.

The evening's events were concluded by the BMG US Latin Showcase, which featured artists such as Dee y Grupo Valiente, Jessica, Ruth, Tradicion del Norte and an incredible performance by BMG Argentina's premiere male artist Diego Torres. This dynamic artist captivated the audience througout his entire set, which lasted about 40 minutes. Diego performed several songs from Luna Nueva, as well as the title track from his previous release, Tratar de Estar Mejor. See separate Diego Torres concert review this issue.

SPECIAL THANKS TO Elena Mejido, Eduardo Alvarez, Angel Zamora, Angel Trejo, Gaby Aranda, Maribel Mejia, Carrie Prince and of course Lafitte Benitez from BMG for being SOOOO accommodating!!

On Saturday, panels included "How to Utilize the Press Efficiently", "How to Promote Rock En Espanol", a matter of increasing importance here in the US, and abroad, and the Sellos Independientes Showcase, as well as a Polygram Showcase featuring Mexico's incredible Pedro Fernandez. The festivities were concluded by the Radio & Musica Awards, and a complete list of winners follows. Radio & Musica is definitely one of the most important events of the year for the Latin Music community, and each year the dedication of the labels, stations and artists grows to a new level. Thanks to Radio & Musica for an interesting and exciting event.

SPECIAL THANKS TO ROSEMARY PIEDRAS FROM RADIO & MUSICA!!

Radio & Musica 1997 Award Winners
(Reprinted with Permission of Radio & Musica)

Artist of The Year
  • General Regional Mexican: Bronco (Fonovisa)
  • General Tejano: Bobby Pulido (EMI Latin)
  • General Tropical: Marc Anthony (RMM)
  • General Contemporary: Enrique Iglesias (Fonovisa)
Artist Revelation of the Year
  • General Regional Mexican: Nydia Rojas (Arista)
  • General Tejano: Eddie Gonzalez (Sony)
  • General Tropical: Illegales (BMG)
  • General Contemporary: Enrique Iglesias (Fonovisa)
Song of the Year
  • General Regional Mexican: Que Pena Me Das (Marco A. Solis)
  • General Tejano: Te Voy A Amar (Bobby Pulido)
  • General Tropical: Entre Tu Cuerpo Y El Mio (Milly y Los Vecinos)
  • General Contemporary: Por Amarte (Enrique Iglesias)
Composer of The Year
  • General Regional Mexican: Marco A. Solis (Que Pena Me Das)
  • General Tejano: Bobby Pulido (Te Voy A Amar)
  • General Tropical: Gustavo Marquez (Entre Tue Cuerpo Y El Mio)
  • General Contemporary: Enrique Iglesias/R. Morales (Por Amarte)
Radio Awards (Large Market)
General Regional Mexican
General Tejano
General Tropical
General Contemporary

If you wish to print this review, we have a printer friendly version.

We also have 416 other articles/reviews of artists from US, California in our archive:

Station of the Year
KTLN /Houston
KXTN/S.
WSKQ/NY
KLVE/LA
PD of the Year
Juan Carlos Hidalgo /KLAX
Antonio Bob Prado/KXTN
Mario Andres/WSUA
Pio Ferro/KLVE
Radio Awards (Small Market)
General Regional Mexican
General Tejano
General Tropical
General Contemporary
Station of the Year
KIWI/Bakersfield
KJBZ/Laredo
WONQ/Orlando
KBNA/El Paso
PD of the Year
Eduardo Leon/KIWI
Cynthia Guerra/KJBZ
Tito Galarza/WONQ
Guillermo Prince/KVRG

Copyright © 1997 Allison Winkler e-mail address

If you wish to print this review, we have a printer friendly version.

We also have 416 other articles/reviews of artists from US, California in our archive:

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