Johnny Ventura

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Johnny Ventura
Johnny Ventura El Caballo cropped.jpeg
Johnny Ventura, November 2011.
Background information
Birth name Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano
Born (1940-03-08) March 8, 1940 (age 74)
Origin Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Genres Merengue, salsa
Occupation(s) Singer, bandleader, lawyer, politician, author
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1958–present

Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano, better known as Johnny Ventura (born 8 March 1940 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a Dominican singer and band leader of merengue and salsa. He also served as mayor of Santo Domingo from 1998 to 2002.[1]

Early History[edit]

He began his career as a singer when he presented himself with some friends in a program of devotees which was broadcast by La Voz de la Alegria weekly. The young Ventura, only 16 years of age, obtained first place of the participants. A little later, he started appearing in the programs of devotees which were sponsored by La Voz Dominicana. When Ventura Soriano appeared for the first time in the TV show: La TV busca una estrella, that was broadcast Friday night at seven, they rang the bell. In the following week, like a champion, Juan de Dios returned to be welcomed in the same competition. He practiced, worked and was crowned for the hit. Then he won first prize. Thereupon he won a lot of prizes in the devotees programs, until he was finally rewarded with the much desired scholarship which the broadcasting company, property of José Arismendi Trujillo Molina, gave for young talents. With La Voz Dominicana Juan de Dios studied music, vocal techniques and expression. This made Ventura one of the most famous singers in Latin America.

Musical career[edit]

In 1959, Juan de Dios decided to take the name Johnny Ventura. He started his career as a singer in several bands that presented themselves at the dances in La Feria. He worked with the orchestra of Rondón Votau and in 1961 with the band of the Dominican percussionist Donald Wild.

In 1962 he sang with Combo Caribe of Luis Pérez, with whom he recorded Cuidado con el cuabero, of which he was the author, and La agarradera, of Luis Pérez. It was with this band that he recorded his first LP consisting of 12 songs.

In 1963 Johnny Ventura was recruited by the famous musical director Papa Molina to join La Super Orquesta San José, which he was the director at that time. He joined as singer and as player of the güira. For two years Ventura was part of La Super Orquesta with stars like Vinicio Franco and Grecia Aquino. Although no records remain of this group, this period was a landmark in his career.

In 1964, the Cuban impresario Angel Guinea insisted on Johnny Ventura to create his own orchestra, the "Combo Show" which is known as an important part of the history of popular Dominican music.

In 1965, with his orchestra, Ventura recorded for the Fonogram label the album La Coquetona, La Resbalosa and El turun tun t'un. In 1967 he travelled to the United States, where he immediately became a star. He is credited with the song La muerte de Martin, with the voice of Luisito Martí, the Combo Show made their first golden record with Ah no, yo no sé no.

Discography[edit]

  • La Agarradera Vol. 4 (1962)
  • Cuidado Con el Cuabero (1963)
  • El Llorón (El Florón) (1964)
  • 1920 y Otros Éxitos (1964)
  • El Turun Tun Tun (1965)
  • El Boogaloo Está en Algo (1965)
  • La Resbalosa (1965)
  • Siempre Pa' Lante (1966)
  • Figurando (1966)
  • Más Éxitos (1967)
  • Noches en Quisqueya (1968)
  • El Mamito (1968)
  • El Papelito Blanco (1968)
  • Siempre en Órbita (1969)
  • El Guataco (1970)
  • Ah..! Yo No Se... No (1971)
  • ¿Tu Sabes a Que Yo Vine? Te Digo Ahorita (1972)
  • Acompaña a Sus Creaciones (1972)
  • Bambaraquiti (with Joseito Mateo) (1972)
  • Traigo Mi Salsa... Pa' Tu Lechón (1972)
  • Navidades en Merengues y Salves (with Rafael Colón) (1972)
  • El Pingüino (1973)
  • ...De Nuevo Presente (1973)
  • Salsa! (1973)
  • Salsa y Algo Más... (1973)
  • La Protesta de los Feos (1974)
  • Un Poquito Para Atrás: Mamá Tingó (1974)
  • El Hijo del Pueblo (1975)
  • En Acción (1975)
  • 12 Aniversario (1976)
  • ¡El Que Venga Atrás Que Arree! (1976)
  • Solo Para Bailadores (1976)
  • Excitante (1977)
  • El Disco Rayao (1977)
  • 2 Aces al Tiro (with Rolando Laserie) (1977)
  • Navidades Dominicanas (with Luis Alberti) (1977)
  • Amar es Vivir (with Rafael Colón) (1978)
  • Presentando a Mi Nueva Cosecha (1978)
  • En Su 15 Aniversario (1979)
  • Yo Soy el Merengue (1980)
  • Johnny Mucho... Mucho Johnny! (1981)
  • Lo Que Te Gusta (1981)
  • El Sueño (1982)
  • Flying High (Volando Alto) (1983)
  • Y Buena Que Está... María (1984)
  • El Hombre y Su Música (1985)
  • Navidad Sin Ti (1985)
  • Capullo y Sorullo (1986)
  • El Señor del Merengue (1986)
  • Si Vuelvo a Nacer (1987)
  • El Caballo... Una Leyenda (1988)
  • Ayer y Hoy (1989)
  • Quisqueya y Borinquen (1990)
  • Éxtasis (1990)
  • 35 Aniversario (1992)
  • Siempre (1993)
  • Retoñando (1994)
  • El Gran Encuentro del Combo Show (1995)
  • Como el Café (1996)
  • Sin Desperdicio (2003)
  • 103 Boulevard (2006)
  • Volvió la Navidad (2009)
  • El Viejo Ta' En la Calle (2013)

Compilations[edit]

  • 12 Grandes Éxitos (1960)
  • Super Hits (1973)
  • En Alas de Quisqueyana (1976)
  • Super Hits Vol. 3 (1977)
  • Por el Campeonato Mundial! (with Wilfrido Vargas) (1977)
  • 14 Éxitos de Johnny Ventura (1981)
  • Las Tapas (1981)
  • Un Saludo al Diputado: 14 Éxitos Vol. 2 (1982)
  • Classic: Con Su Sabor Original (1985)
  • 16 Éxitos (1987)
  • 20 Éxitos en Salsa (1990)
  • Los Reyes del Merengue (con Wilfrido Vargas) (1991)
  • El Rey del Merengue (1991)
  • 12 Golden Hits (1993)
  • Grandes Éxitos (1993)
  • The Best (1994)
  • Brillantes (1994)
  • Brillantes (with Sergio Vargas) (1994)
  • Vamos a Bailar Merembé (1995)
  • El Rey y la Reina del Merengue (con Milly Quezada) (1996)
  • Cara a Cara (with Sergio Vargas) (1997)
  • 40 Aniversario: En Vivo (1998)
  • Palo Bonito (1999)
  • 20th Anniversary (1999)
  • El Disco de Oro (2000)
  • Merenguero Hasta la Tambora (2000)
  • Oro Merenguero (2000)
  • El Oro del Caballo Negro (2001)
  • 22 Ultimate Hits Series (2002)
  • Serie Azul Tropical (2003)
  • Soy (2005)
  • 10 de Colección (2005)
  • ¡Oye Que Rico Mami... Salsa! (2006)
  • 20 Éxitos Originales (2006)
  • Mis Favoritas (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bush, John. "Biography: Johnny Ventura". AMG. Retrieved 20 May 2010.