Music Throwback Saturday: Cuba

“The mix of disco beats, Latin percussion, soulful vocals and a catchy tune propelled” Cuba by Gibson Brothers to #1 in several countries, but not the US.

gibson.bluegrassAs I have noted, I bought a lot of the Warner Brothers Loss Leaders all through the 1970s, where I would discover all sorts of eclectic music at two or three dollars for a double album (LP) set. There was always a track or three that I had to play repeatedly. My absolute favorite song on the 1979 A La Carte collection was a song by the Gibson Brothers.

No, not those Gibson Brothers, Eric, born October 23, 1970; Leigh, October 11, 1971, in Plattsburgh, NY. The bluegrass music mavens with tight-knit two-part harmonies started performing publicly in 1987 but didn’t really emerge until the following decade. They have been International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year in 2012 and 2013.


THESE Gibson Brothers, the Latin sibling trio, Chris (lead vocals, percussion), Patrick (vocals, drums), and Alex (vocals, keyboards) are the ones I mean. They were all born in Martinique, West Indies, but were based in France when they recorded their first single “Come To America” in 1976,

Their only hit in the US was Cuba, and it’s only got to #81; it was #41 in the UK in 1979, but was re-released in 1980 and got to #12. “The mix of disco beats, Latin percussion, soulful vocals, and a catchy tune propelled the song to #1 in several countries, and earned them four gold records worldwide.”

They had further success in Europe with tunes such as “Ooh! What A Life”, “Que Sera Mi Vida” (which sold over 5 million copies worldwide), and “Mariana”, all of which went Top 11 in the UK. These Gibson Brothers have recorded as recently as 2014, and they continue to tour worldwide.

Of course, those WB albums are not easy to come by these days, so I was happy when the song Cuba appeared on the 2-CD set Island Story 1962-1987, along with an interesting mix of songs, so that others might get turned on to the tune. Unfortunately, that collection ALSO appears to be out of print, though one can buy it from dealers on Amazon.

Listen to Cuba HERE (3:22 running time). Listen to the extended play (c. 7:30) HERE or HERE.

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