I know, that is a weird combination -John Denver being the hippie folk singer and Hector LaVoe the rockin’ salsa singer, but there is a method to my madness. I would say that these two musicians really encapsulate what people think of when they think nostalgically about Colorado and Puerto Rico. And…I like them both.
Before my mom moved from California to Colorado to be with my dad who was from here, she would sit and listen to “Rocky Mountain High” over and over. I understand her longing because now, I sit around (or dance around) and listen to salsa music- Hector LaVoe in particular and think about Puerto Rico.
Rocky Mountain High
There are definitely plenty of other great musicians from Colorado (Big Head Todd and the Monsters, 303, Glenn Miller, Yonder Mountain String Band, India Arie etc) and from Puerto Rico (Daddy Yankee (or Yanqui-lol), Calle 13, Willie Colon, Ricky Martin, Tito Puente, Jose Feliciano), but John Denver and Hector LaVoe represent Colorado and Puerto Rico respectively, to me. -On a side note, Jose Feliciano (Feliz Navidad singer) was born in Lares, Puerto Rico!
It’s interesting that both Hector LaVoe and John Denver changed their last names. LaVoe is actually a French name that means “the voice” and he sings a song called “Soy La Voz” or “I am the voice” and of course John Denver’s last name is the capital city of Colorado. They both died untimely deaths with Denver flying and crashing his airplane while flying drunk and LaVoe from drug use that led to AIDS. I don’t know if there is a movie out about John Denver, but El Cantante starring JLo and Marc Anthony had a lot of great music in it.
Here’s a great Christmas salsa song:
Aires de Navidad
Other songs that remind me of Puerto Rico and Colorado at this time of year are: Esta Navidad by LaVoe and Colorado Christmas by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Click to hear more from Hector LaVoe with La Murga de Panama.