By Héctor Ramírez Bedoya
In Las Antillas, a batey is a small agricultural town dedicated almost exclusively to the cultivation of sugar cane. And it is in the Palo Blanco batey in the town of La Romana, Altagracia province of the Dominican Republic, a sharp and powerful crying, coming out of a small throat, broke the air: Alberto Amancio Beltrán announced his arrival in the world on Saturday, May 5 of 1923. When his mother died prematurely when Alberto turned eleven, he was embraced by helplessness with all its consequences. With his two older brothers he drifted suffering from the abandonment of the father, without other relatives to mitigate an avalanche of needs. His friend Alcides Peguero, Peguerito, takes him to work as a salesman at Dulcería El 19, owned by Leyda Pou, Juan’s sister, future general and chief of police. From this time the number 19 would bring luck. With his friends Rafael, Navito, John Luis and Peguerito, he formed a troupe to sing and make the fuss with music at parties, serenades and evenings. For the simple fact of working without reaching the age of majority, he was imprisoned without mitigating for 15 days in La Fortaleza prison. After this messy and raging night, he goes out with his coffin and disgust at his lips, and embarks on a journey on foot to San Pedro de Macorís. His pockets did not keep a penny. Macilento, eating sugarcane along the way, like an inoperative, shepherded his hunger during the two days that the weary journey lasted, although his annihilating gurbia did not give a damn about the disorientation he was in. There, as a foreigner, he gets a position in the harvest, because he couldn’t get the hang of it I cleared and collected. When he is harassed by the hardness and unproductiveness of this work, dejected and wandering, he returns to his city with the hope of rebuilding his life. His mind was a mass of worries.
Knowing his vocal faculties, he eagerly sought to emancipate himself from his misfortunes. With his 14 years he ran to sing as an amateur in the Voice of Yuna. This station then changes its name to La Voz Dominicana and in 1942 Alberto returns to sing there. He gets a place as a singer of the Ensemble of Emilio Valdés, working from 7 PM to 7 AM. His salary was $ 1.25 pesos per night. He then went to the Crescencio Solano group and increased his remuneration to four pesos per dance. At the end of this year, he performed at the Teatro Julia in Ciudad Trujillo (Santo Domingo) with the Lidia Morales Company. His performance was promising. Then with the Sexteto Angelita de Ulises de los Santos and the Alma Vegana Ensemble by Marcos Osuna, he appears on the radio station HIT In 1946 he joined the Toño Ballet Quintet of Santo Domingo. For your happiness, It is his turn to attend a presentation by Daniel Santos, who was already demobilized from the United States Army after the Second World War. He had heard it since when he sang with the Flores Quartet (1939-1941) and turns his admiration into idolatry. With his youthful voice he began somehow to imitate him. The radio station Progreso de La Habana, with its short wave, penetrated all the coasts of the Caribbean countries, so Sonora Matancera with her singers was well known to Dominicans. The daily performances of this group were heard and for Alberto it was an illusion to be able to see him personally at some time. He had heard it since when he sang with the Flores Quartet (1939-1941) and turns his admiration into idolatry. With his youthful voice he began somehow to imitate him. The radio station Progreso de La Habana, with its short wave, penetrated all the coasts of the Caribbean countries, so Sonora Matancera with her singers was well known to Dominicans. The daily performances of this group were heard and for Alberto it was an illusion to be able to see him personally at some time. He had heard it since when he sang with the Flores Quartet (1939-1941) and turns his admiration into idolatry. With his youthful voice he began somehow to imitate him. The radio station Progreso de La Habana, with its short wave, penetrated all the coasts of the Caribbean countries, so Sonora Matancera with her singers was well known to Dominicans. The daily performances of this group were heard and for Alberto it was an illusion to be able to see him personally at some time.
A la Voz Dominicana returns on Sunday, December 14, 1946 and still sings as an amateur. There they were as musicians, Gilberto Muñoz, Pepín Ferrer and Avelino Muñoz. Compete with Ñiñí Vásquez, Tony Curiel, Ángela Vásquez, Lucía Félix, Joseíto Mateo, Crucito Pérez and José Nicolás Casimiro. They offer you warm applause. Windy winds accompany him and a patron appears in his career, Rafael Landestoy, Bullumba, his countryman (from La Romana), pianist and composer of high flight. Bullumba led a program for amateurs at the La Voz Dominicana station, owned by Arismendi Trujillo Molina, army general and president’s brother, Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. He ruled the nation since 1930 and now in his third re-election he had the people down a dictatorial aegis. On one occasion, Alberto Beltrán appeared at one of the auditions of such a station. The interpretation he made of the well-known Granada caught the attention of maestro Bullumba and recommended it to Arismendi Trujillo. The black without crouching, without a hint of pavement, thundered his voice to the military. Good news! After hearing it, he noticed the torrentiality of his throat and told him to put himself at the command of his edecan who would be responsible for managing a sponsorship to educate his voice. It also grants you a contract in the mentioned station. Alberto, tempered, begins to think seriously about his profession as a singer and starts music lessons with Argentine teachers, Carlos Crespo, lyric tenor and Vlady Silva, pianist. He also began to improve and assimilates his primary studies, because he was illiterate at this point in his life.
After 1946, Beltrán works with the group of Medardo Guzmán, his compatriot and author of the merengue El negrito del batey. At this time the subject was recorded with little diffusion by Joseíto Mateo, a Dominican voice too. In 1950 he formed his own group called Dominican Boys. According to data from the Dominican Circle of Music Collectors, which agency the live recordings, Alberto appeared on August 28, 1950 in La Voz Dominicana, seconded by an orchestra conducted by Tavito Vázquez. That time he sang: Having you would like me, Only you, There are no friends and Traveler. Later and from the same station, the following pages sung live were recovered, on April 28, 1953, accompanied by the Television Set led by Porfi Jiménez: Cinnamon Skin, Love, Miguel, Much Heart and Báilame el Mambo.
In 1951, in Puerto Rico and for the missing Mardi label, he recorded his first two numbers: Sabrosura and El 19. He was seconded by the Diablos del Caribe group, led by Puerto Rican threeist Mario Hernández. Soon he returns to Santo Domingo and enrolls in the San José Super Orchestra, which he played according to the temperament of the Trujillo dictatorship. With them he made his next two recordings in bolero rhythm, authored by two compatriots: Blessed Love (Welcome Brens) and Until When (Babín Echavarría). Criticism gives him qualifications such as La Sensation, Revelation and La Voz de Oro Dominicana. This allowed him to be hired to perform at the Jefferson Theater in New York, alternating with the trio Los Tres Diamantes de México. These Diamonds are eternal. They still enjoy good health and interpretive skills today,
In the investigation of other musical horizons, he arrives in Santiago de Cuba on July 15, 1954. He rides on a bus and travels 868 kilometers to Havana. All disoriented when he arrives, he looks for his countryman Tirso Guerrero, a well-received singer in the capital’s entertainment. In those days, Tirso had his live performances from 6:00 to 7:00 PM on the Radio Progreso station. After two days of testing his work possibilities, Guerrero recommends it with the seasoned Rogelio Martínez, director of the Matancera Sonora, whose musical smell was proverbial, who understood that by hiring foreign figures interpreting original compositions of their countries, he consolidated his ambition to obtain international dissemination for your whole. While awaiting a concrete response from the Yumurino director and also at Guerrero’s suggestion, Alberto Beltrán is called to collaborate in La Hora del Sabor from 10 to 11 PM, broadcast by the new radio station Radio Mambí, inaugurated in 1952 in the middle of Paseo del Prado. He alternated with Myrta Silva the jacaranda boricua. After one of his performances there, Don Rogelio approached on a night in early September and imperishable for the Dominican. He proposed to sing with the Matancera Sonora as a guest artist. The next day at the beginning of the rehearsal, Beltrán presents several scores of Dominican songs. Severino Ramos, Refresquito, the arranger of the group, receives them to structure them in the Sonora format. There was an extraordinary coupling between Sonora Matancera and the singer. In September 1954 they present their first page to the radio audience: Although it costs me my life. Three days later they had reached the offices of Radio Progreso over five thousand letters praising the subject and advising its prompt recording. That was when they took the acetate of 78 RPM, the boleros of their countrymen Although it cost me my life, of Luis Kalaf and Ignoro your existence, of Pablo de la Mota. The first was, according to Alberto, a musical tromba. Thus, Sonora Matancera and Alberto Beltrán conspired to ecstasy and say our ears. by Luis Kalaf and Ignoro tu existencia, by Pablo de la Mota. The first was, according to Alberto, a musical tromba. Thus, Sonora Matancera and Alberto Beltrán conspired to ecstasy and say our ears. by Luis Kalaf and Ignoro tu existencia, by Pablo de la Mota. The first was, according to Alberto, a musical tromba. Thus, Sonora Matancera and Alberto Beltrán conspired to ecstasy and say our ears.
Its interpretive quality became relevant in Cuba. And it was a whirlwind when the other numbers followed: I look at you and The 19. Separate chapter deserves El negrito del batey, recorded on Tuesday, November 16, 1954, which consecrated it definitively. The bold, rested but vivacious, tuned into his pocket. This meringue was set as a sales record for those calendars and internationalized it. It is the theme that Sonora Matancera has sold most profusely in 82 years of history. It was first recorded by Joseíto Mateo in Santo Domingo, when he was dying in the forties. But nothing happened with him. Beltrán’s interpretation with the Sonora won the glory. Alberto rightly said:
Many times the pigeon is not the one who sells it but the one who kills it.
The recordings of the Matancera throughout its history, which have set sales records at the time and in their order are:
1. The negrito del batey, original of the Dominican Medardo Guzmán, in the voice of Alberto Beltrán.
2. Burundanga, from Cuban Oscar Muñoz Bouffartique and sings Celia Cruz.
3. Ay cosita linda, from the Colombian Pacho Galán, singing Carlos Argentino.
4. Total, by Cuban Ricardo Perdomo, sings Celio González.
5. Cat’s mustache, from the Cuban Jesús Guerra, singing Daniel Santos.
6. Cinnamon skin with authorship and singing by Bobby Capó.
7. On the seashore, by Cuban musician José Berroa Rivera, in the voice of Bienvenido Granda. This transcendental page was previously credited to the authorship of our excellent Colombian composer José Barros. Even he, and we don’t know why, told a journalist the story leading to his inspiration. Scholars have confirmed that it is from the Cuban.
8. The earrings of the moon, by the Cuban musician José Dolores Quiñones, bolero sung by Vicentico Valdés.
9. I’m going to Havana, played by Nelson Pinedo, with his arrangements to the composition of the Colombian José María Peñaranda.
10. Maringá, in the voice of Leo Marini with the authorship of Joubert de Carvalho and Manuel Salina.
In December 1954 at the events of a presentation, the prestigious Cuban animator and broadcaster Germán Pinelli, for the popularity of the subject, instead of calling Alberto Beltrán on stage, shouted El Negrito del Batey. Automatically made Alberto Beltrán’s name disappear as the first option. He remained juxtaposed. Later, the Quequeyan recorded the Lovers’ boleros and the portent of the expressive love, which with refinement becomes a poem with the name of Everything I like about you. This theme is known in some latitudes under the name of Spellgio and its author Cuto Estévez was a trumpeter who had worked with the teacher Billo Frómeta. On Tuesday, January 18, 1955, Beltrán joins his voice with that of Celia Cruz to record his last song with the Sonora: Answer to even if it costs me my life. In the first week of February he embarks on his first tour to Latin America in the company of Sonora Matancera, with Laíto and Celia Cruz. They perform in Barranquilla, Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. After this first tour to our country, Alberto Beltrán, with the stentorian voice that gave him his 32 years, the smile of fame at his feet, his ego above makes him look. And violating his desires, in one morning when his neurons dawned in a reed, while the Matancera made a short national tour, he is scammed by a well-known commentator-humorist with a squeak of businessman and in a jiffy, when the Sonora returns, he finds him singing with the Casino Set. It was April of 1955 and Beltrán falls apart from the Yumurino collective. This absurd decision was always deplored by El Negrito del Batey. The same happened to many singers. When they left the group, they never found that cusp of glory again. I dare to affirm that Alberto Beltrán, was the singer of the Matancera who, with fewer recorded songs, gained greater celebrity.
Alberto, with The Champions of the Rhythm, validates another second and consecutive error, as it is to record again some of the songs that made him famous with the Matancera. Examples: The bold of the batey and I like everything about you. Obviously, nothing happened with them. Almost never the re-recordings are appetizing. But within the discography with the Casino Set, it is conducive to mention for its unquestionable invoice, a superb version of the bolero of the Cuban composer Mario Álvarez, who since 1941 has been the source of not a few tears among lovers: Return me to love. With the Casino Ensemble, he also recorded in the second half of 1955 a chachacha merengue that, according to the Cuban master of musical research, Cristóbal Díaz Ayala, was heard neatly in his time as an example of the street proclamation turned into a musical proclamation. This is the Mantecadito page, original of the Cuban composer Rudy Fanneity, with original verses from the street vendor Filiberto Hurtado, resident in Placetas, province of Las Villas. Beltrán was also seduced by interpreting this number in his personal performances and recorded it three times: with the Casino Set, with Mariachi Mexico and with the Sonora de Lucho Macedo in Peru.
At the end of 1956 in Cuba, with the orchestra of his countryman Billo Frómeta, he made several recordings. At that time, Billo set his Havana era, after being banned by the Venezuelan musicians union. Among the recordings with Beltrán, stand out the boleros Paradise Dream and Evocation. During this brief seven-month Cuban internship, Billo also recorded with Carlos Díaz and Pío Leyva Cubans and with Víctor Piñero, Adilia Castillo, Olga Teresa Machado and Héctor Murga.
After 1957, Beltrán begins a relentless musical drift through numerous countries and orchestras. He works with Roberto Faz, who had already emigrated from the Casino Complex to form his own group. Then he returns to his Santo Domingo and in that same year of 1957 he records for the Montilla label with the Super Batey Orchestra, led by J. Conquet and Emilio Chiripa Aracena, future trumpet player of the Matancera. Alberto also during this year records with a typical ensemble and with the group directed by the trumpeter Héctor de León. There he patented one of his most applauded boleros such as, No, I will not be back, previously recorded by Bobby Capó and the magic of the composition of that Dominican musical giant called Welcome Brens. At the end of the year he goes to Venezuela and with the Chucho Sanoja Orchestra embarks on a journey through the important cities of the patriotic soil. They also arrive at acetate, and they enhance boleros like Lie and Nelly and deserve it like Come here my love and The rhythm of love.
Alberto Beltrán takes a compass from his blog, a compass that points him beyond the Caribbean, which, as a musical walk, would travel from Ceca to Mecca to perfect his deed with the forcefulness of his voice. It is Mexico from 1958 its place of work. Performs performances in cabarets, radio and television. With the grouping of the Cuban teacher Alejandro (Alex) Sosa forms a fertile team. Of the numerous recordings they made, it is worth mentioning for their transcendence: Morena, Thousand things, I still have a heart, Rip my life, Bitter crying, Misery, There are no more friends, Lost love, I live my life, Limousine of love and Amazement. Then, with Pepe Villa’s Mariachi Mexico, he reiterates previously recorded numbers: Turn me off the candle, El negrito del batey, Caña brava, Mantecadito and Fiesta cibaeña. It is 1959 an auspicious year to reap new applause in the land of Bolívar. He arrives at the acetate again with the Billo´s Caracas Boys, to leave us among other topics: La lisa, Misiá Juanita, Batacún, Mi novia de Nayguatá. Take advantage of your stay and record with the Caracas Sonora for the most traditional seal of Venezuela, that is, Discomoda.
In three sessions between May 5, 1960 and January 12, 1961, Beltrán recorded in New York, for the Seeco house, a good number of pages with the orchestra of the Cuban pianist and composer René Hernández. They leave to the memory the predominant pages: Wife, Maribel, Papa Boco, Absence, Mother and Compassion. Again, in this same year of 1961 it is required by the patriotic hobby. This time he enjoyed his stay in Caracas recording with Los Megatones de Lucho, a set that climbed steps in tune. From this work, let’s evoke the interpretations of: Tony Fergo’s typist, My honor of Pedro Flores, You are being cheated by Simó Damirón, and in a unique way, Ernesto Lecuona’s afro, Lamento Slave. In this intervention, Beltrán’s voice is displayed majestically.
The Latin colony of La Gran Manzana claims it in 1962 to delight them with a new repertoire. He performs in cabarets and that is when he is associated with Puerto Rican master Willie Rosario, postmaster timbalero and conductor. There is empathy and they agree to unite their talents in recordings. It is sponsored by the Seeco label and that is when the LD entitled I want to know appears on the market. This work lasts until today, already in the compact disk format and its main success was undoubtedly the Haitian guaracha of the public domain Haida Huo. Incredibly in our stations, we still listen to it with moderate frequency. In 1963 up to Peru, where traditionally singers who have worked with the Matancera, have enjoyed splendid acceptance. As it used to happen in those times, It was accompanied by the best sound group that the Incas had. We refer to the Sonora de Lucho Macedo who survived actively for several decades. In the third stage of his relevant musical production, again in Mexico, he becomes acquainted with the music performed by Sonora Salomón, by the Venezuelan director Salomón Jiménez. For eight years from 1966, he recorded many pages that circulated on the Latin American stations. Among them we detail the most attached: You were late, Without you, I still have a heart, Lady of the night, Winter and Perfidy. Alberto Beltrán records many acetates for the Musart label in 1970 in the Mexican capital, with the Chucho Rodríguez Orchestra. Let’s mention Lady of the Night, The Worst of Defeats, Daniel lost Linda and Don’t go dear. In 1971 Beltrán compiles an LD with La Charanga Brass, a group stationed in Mexico for the recordings of the Musart label. From there came two successes: We and Ashes. In the arrangements the characteristic wisdom of the teacher Salomón Jiménez is perceived.
In some of the interviews with El Negrito del Batey, around 1986, he told me the following:
— Chico, in 1972, I was taken by a businessman whose nationality I don’t remember, nothing more and nothing less than to show up at a Paris night club. Look at the City of Light boy. Of course, the clientele was a Latin American majority. I worked for three weeks, from Thursday to Saturday. I earned some good dollars. I had a lot of fun and met a lot of people. Notice that one night, the businessman told me that we were going to record. With whom? I asked. And he replied: Careless, I will form a group of Caribbean musicians who live here, with the address of one called Pancho Cataneo. That was the origin of the LD that was called Alberto Beltrán with Pancho Cataneo and his Matecoco in Paris. It should be noted that these recordings do not appear on Beltrán’s total discography, because as he pointed out to me at the end of this anecdote:
— Don’t worry, boy, I don’t know them either. I recorded the work and two days later I came to the Dominican Republic. I had no chance to hear it. I have asked, but nothing.
In the same year he presented in Madrid at the Cabaret Riviera Club and then made presentations in the province of Santander. In 1976 he pays tribute to the Cuban composer Salvador Veneíto, with the support of the Impacto Ensemble and the direction of Papi Peña for the ADA label (name of the composer’s daughter). The ten songs are authored by Veneíto, who was also proud that Celia Cruz also recorded him. Two of them monopolize the applause: the chachachá Linda matancera and the bolero Amargo crying. With Vicentico Valdés, in November 1978 he appeared at the Medellin Exhibition Palace, with the accompaniment of Sonora Matancera and his new singer, Puerto Rican Jorge Maldonado. There was also the floor singer Yayo El Indian. The opening groups were Los Éxitos and Robert and his Band. On the part of the members of the Board of Directors of the Sonora Matancera Social and Cultural Club of Antioquia, they received the Antioquia Matancera award in an emotional ceremony.
When the eighties began, Beltrán conquers a longing. He recorded an LD with the hits of the Cuban Panchito Riset, one of his musical idols (so was Daniel Santos and Celia Cruz). The accompanying orchestra was conducted by his countryman Ramón Emilio Aracena, Chiripa. We realize the validity of his voice on issues such as: The little room, Cigar in Cigar, Citation at six, Abandoned and They say they say. However innovations do not resist any comparison with the originals. On a tour promoted by Nelson Pinedo as producer and singer, he returns to Colombia. This time he escorts Orlando Contreras, Celia Cruz and Pinedo himself. It was December 1981. Cuco and Ramón Orlando Valoy present Alberto Beltrán. It is the name of the work done in 1986 for the Fonosón label, with the arrangements of Luis Pérez. The accompanying orchestra is called La Tribu. Sonora Matancera appeared again in Medellín for three memorable days in August 1986. The solo star was El Negrito del Batey. They alternated with the Lucho Bermúdez Orchestra and that of Fruko and his Tesos.
El Negrito del Batey, to close his musical career, as far as recordings are concerned, produced in 1989 a work called Boleros Siempre Boleros, for the Sono-Rodven label. Two orchestras are involved, one led by Jorge Taveras, and the other by his countryman Ramón Orlando Valoy. Although Alberto strives boldly to sing in his customary tone, the passing of the almanacs has done his infallible work of pasting his vocal cords. At 66, the withering of his voice for the recordings certifies that the withdrawal is close. He had many years left to be called young. In his extensive and fruitful musical life, Beltrán recorded eight songs with the Matancera and 298 with other groups.
He could not give up the appointment of the 65 years of Sonora Matancera in 1989 in New York City; the memorable reunion with his old colleagues and friends.
This commemoration was organized by the influential Puerto Rican music announcer and promoter, Gilda Mirós. We have already argued that it was the apotheosis for all and the earthly goodbye for several. In August 1991 he came to Colombia and specifically to the city of Cali in the company of Nelson Pinedo, Celio González and Daniel Santos with Sonora Matancera. The University of Santo Domingo, in 1993, awarded him the Honoris Causa Degree in Music and Art. We infer that this filled him with pride, as it is hardly logical to suppose, since it constitutes the maximum tribute that is made to a living artist in the Dominican Republic. In April 1996, he delighted the Barranquilleros again with his voice flow in decline. He was a person careful of his health. We could summarize her family life as follows: Five marriages and four children: Ana María Beltrán Romero, born in the Dominican Republic in 1950. Alberto Beltrán Pérez, born there in 1954. Berta Beltrán Cuevas, who was born in the Dominican Republic in 1954. Gloria Beltrán Cuevas, born in 1962 in Mexico. His last partner and housekeeper was Ángela Vásquez Zarzuela, who affectionately told Morena or La India. With his flowery 21 years, he assisted him on his tours, and was in all his needs. She was his partner during the last six years of his life. And he was paying in all his needs. She was his partner during the last six years of his life. And he was paying in all his needs. She was his partner during the last six years of his life.
During the business periods he loved watching television, movies and recording music videos. Refugious, to get started, he would end up endless hours in his delight. Miami was the headquarters of his residence in the eighties. From there he marched to the countries where they requested his presence. Then, disenchanted with the city, he definitely stressed in Santo Domingo, home of his last years. He had a small museum there where he exhibited the trophies and honors collected during his career. Like few artists, he collected his recordings with care, on 78 RPM, LD and cassette discs. When I did not have a job, I spent a life of recoleto. Gently he delighted in feeding his animals that he jealously guarded: fish, pigs, birds and chickens. I had a well-furnished and better located apartment in Miami:
–I have my savings in the bank. That’s why when I spend months without work, I don’t worry, ”he said.
To promote himself in the world of entertainment, he distributed his folder among artistic entrepreneurs. This was announced in 1986:
Alberto Beltrán. Batey’s Negrito. Dominican artist.
Dominican Republic: Hotel Jaragua, La Fuente, Hotel Embajador, El Mesón de la Cava and TV channels 4, 7, and 9.
United States: Hilton Hotel, Palladium, Cabo Rojeño, New York Casino, Borinquen House, TV Channels 41 and 47.
Mexico: Club Pigal, Carpa México, Teatro Blanquita, Teatro Lírico, TV Channels XEW 2 and 4.
Cuba: Radio Progreso, Club Alí Bar, Sierra Club, CMQ TV 2, 4 and 6.
Venezuela: Pasapoga, Ánfora de Oro, Antigua Caracas, TV Channels 2, 4 and 8.
Panama: Saraci Club, Hotel Panama, Club 61, Channels TV 2 and 4.
Peru: Hotel Continental Canal TV 4. Argentina: Pinks Club, Canal TV 7.
Honduras: Honduras Maya Hotel, Bocaccio 3000 Club.
Colombia: Hilton Hotel, Paletara Club, Caribe Hotel, Radio Pilot, Radio Cadena Nacional, El Toro Sentao, La Media Torta, Intercontinental Hotel, Medellin Covered Coliseum.
Spain: Riviera Club, Nueva Romana Club, Radio Madrid, Folly Club.
France: Balcley records.
Costa Rica: Balmoral Hotel, Orquídea Club, TV Channels 4, 7 and 9.
Puerto Rico: Flamboyán Club, TV Channels 2, 4 and 11.
Ecuador: Letugan Club, Los Cisnes, TV Channels 4 and 10.
Uruguay: Pygmalion Club, Canal TV 4.
Curacao: Isla Verde Club, Canal TV 4.
The fellow singers he admired were Daniel Santos, Panchito Riset and Orlando Vallejo.
When he was in Santo Domingo on January 19, 1997, a stroke left his right side of his body paralyzed and his conscience compromised. Soon his children resident in Miami attended, where he was transferred to provide him with a more advanced medical treatment. But unfortunately it was complicated by pneumonia and God arranged that at 11 pm on Sunday, February 2, the Marian Celestial Choir marched, in the company of Welcome, Lino, Caíto, Daniel, Vicentico and their other friends who were waiting for him with a blissful melody very rehearsed. His body was transferred to his Dominican homeland, where his relatives gave him a Christian burial, accompanied by his friends from the show business and his unconditional fans.
To summarize the personality of Alberto Beltrán, let’s say that his voice, stentorian and ostentatious, had he had the opportunity to educate her for cultured music, would have created hierarchy. And without any doubt, against all odds and to the detriment of Latin American popular music, we would have been orphans of their interpretative quality. Case similar to that of Puerto Rican Yayo El Indio Pegueros. It is not necessary to be a doctor in music, to admire without fail the Dominican voice of Alberto Beltrán. Powerful, clear and overwhelming. In his daily life, Beltrán reconciled the unease with optimism; disenchantment with hope; Disappointment with success. He was humble in his daily routine. In love with women in extreme. He was never an economically ambitious artist and did not become as a singer of the continental hierarchy of Celia Cruz, Daniel Santos, Leo Marini, or Welcome Granda. But he behaved like the elite of the Matanceromania, who lavished the musical fanatic of the second half of the last century. Glory to her with the Matancera Sonora, realizing that this would be enough for her name to be named in posterity. It was from Quisqueya, the most continental voice of popular music born in the last century, although we have enjoyed the interpretive quality of: Antonio Mesa, Dioris Valladares, Negrito Chapuseaux, Lope Balaguer, Joseíto Mateo, Ñiñí Vásquez and Johnny Ventura . With the generational changes that we have to live, it is possible that for the cultivators of new music, the simple and plain name of Alberto Beltrán, provoke a mutis in musical terms. But without blushing, they will ratify that in some loophole of their lives, they will have unexpectedly heard the resounding appeal of El Negrito del Batey. For this reason, it is worthy that by evoking his songs, quartered in the treasure of our memories, we continue to keep him a unique affection. That for him is enough.
The Voice of the Caribbean.
Alberto Beltrán, Pride of the Dominican People.
The Golden Voice of the Caribbean.