|Birth name||Jose Antonio Torresola Ruiz|
|Also known as||El Papá de la Salsa |
March 10, 1958|
Paterson, New Jersey, USA
|Died||August 9, 1998
New York, New York, USA
Ruiz (birth name: Jose Antonio Torresola Ruiz [note 1]) was born in Paterson, New Jersey. His parents moved from Puerto Rico to the United States in search of a better way of life. In Paterson, Ruiz received his primary and secondary education. As a child he enjoyed singing to the tunes of salsa and as a young man joined a local band called The Charlie Lopez Orchestra. With this band he recorded his first song Salsa Buena. In 1974, Ruiz moved to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico with his mother after his parents divorced.
In Puerto Rico, Ruiz became a fan of a salsa band called La Solucion, directed by Roberto Rivera and learned all of their songs. He attended every concert and show. On one occasion, Ruiz's mother asked Rivera to give her son an opportunity to sing in the band, but to no avail. However, as fate would have it, in 1977, Ruiz was present at one of their shows where the lead singer did not show up. Rivera felt that he had no other choice but to give Ruiz a try. He was a success and was hired by Rivera. With La Solucion, Ruiz re-recorded a new version of Salsa Buena. He performed with the band for three years and recorded his first hit single La Rueda.
In 1982, Ruiz joined Tommy Olivencia and his Primerisima Orchestra. His youth and style known as Sensual Salsa helped to bring in a new generation of salsa followers. His first major hit was with the song, Lo Dudo, which was previously recorded by José José. In 1985, Ruiz decided to go solo with his debut album "Solista pero no Solo" which included the major hits "Tu Con El" and "La Cura." He traveled extensively throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. Ironically while still young and in his 30's he would later became known as "El Papa de la Salsa" (The Father of Salsa). Some of his other major hits include: "La Rueda" Tu Con El" " La Cura" "Desnudate Mujer" "Quiero Llenarte" "Deseandote" "Tu Eres" "Mi Libertad" "Bailando" "Puerto Rico" "Mirandote" "Ironia" and many more. Frankie's impact on Salsa particularly the era of "Salsa Romantica" (Romantic Salsa) is undeniable. He helped paved the way for artists such as Lalo Rodriguez, Eddie Santiago, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Tito Rojas Jerry Rivera and many more.
Later years and death
Unfortunately at a young age Ruiz began to use drugs and became an alcoholic. During a flight after one of his concerts he was drunk and attacked a flight attendant. He was arrested and sentenced to three years at the federal prison in Jacksonville, Texas for the incident After his release he sat down for an interview and described the death of his mother in 1975 at the age of 17 as the leading cause to his drug and alcohol abuse and that his 3 years in jail helped him and he would now live a better life. He also released one of his best albums "Mi Libertad" (My Freedom) He continued to tour around the country and South America but soon began to abuse drugs and alcohol once again. His final album "Tranquilo" was released in 1996 after this Frankie would begin to suffer from health problems. In 1998, he recorded his last song "Vuelvo a Nacer", where he describes his errors in life by taking the wrong way and that he declares himself born again. His voice was heard raspy compared to his earlier career due to the effects of his drug and alcohol abuse. Frankie became ill and was hospitalized on July 11, 1998, after performing at Madison Square Garden in New York City. On August 9, 1998, Frankie eventually died from liver failure at the age of 40, a month after his final concert at Madison Square Garden . Before his burial, his remains were taken to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, for a memorial service. He was later interred at Fair Lawn Memorial Cemetery in his native of Paterson, New Jersery
The city government of Mayagüez later renamed an auditorium next to the "Palacio de Recreación y Deportes" in Ruiz's honor. He is survived by his son, Frankie Ruiz Jr, his two brothers, Viti and Nelson Ruiz, and his wife.
|You may listen to a mix of various songs by Frankie Ruiz here.|
With Orquesta La Solucion
- La Rueda
- Salsa Buena
- Separemos Nuestras Vidas
- La Vecina
- La Cabra y la Soga
- Chiquito Corazoncito
With Tommy Olivencia y su Orquesta
- Primero Fui Yo
- Lo Dudo
- Como Lo Hacen
- Cosa Nativas
- No Que No
- Como una Estrella
- Fantasia de un Carpintero
- La Suplicante
- Mujeres Como Tu
|* Solista Pero No Solo (1985)||* Voy Pa' Encima (1987)||* En Vivo y... a Todo Color..! (1988)|
|* Mas Grande Que Nunca (1989)||* Mi Libertad (1992)||* Puerto Rico Soy Tuyo (1993)|
|* Mirándote (1994)||* Tranquilo (1996)||* Nacimientos y Recuerdos (1998)|
Puerto Rican singer Jerry Rivera, who met Ruiz when he was 13 years old and whom he considered his idol, recorded an album titled Canto a mi Idolo...Frankie Ruiz in 2003 with Ruiz's songs as a tribute to Frankie Ruiz. The album cover contains a photo of Rivera and Ruiz that Rivera's father took of them. In 2004, another album tribute to Frankie Ruiz was released featuring various artists. The album was titled Va Por Ti, Frankie. Frankie Ruiz Jr is following his fathers footsteps as a Salsa Singer. He has released 3 singles. -La Despedida (urban) -Provocadora (urban) -Vete ya (salsa).
- Popular Culture
- Unofficial Site - Biography, Discography, Lyrics
- Frankie's Grave at Find A Grave
- Frankie Ruiz - Fan Site