Pachanga is a genre of music which is described as a mixture of son montuno and merengue. This type of music has a festive, lively style and is marked by jocular, mischievous lyrics. The name came about to describe the genre in Cuba in 1959.
Charanga a style of music in Cuba played with violin, flute and drums as danzón, danzonetes and chachachá, as well as the . In Cuba in 1955, Los Papines fused the violin-based music of charanga with the trumpet-based music of conjuntos Eduardo Davidson's La Pachanga, recorded in 1959 by Orquesta Sublime (which was confusingly in the USA). But, after Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba in 1959, the epicenter of Cuban music moved to other islands and USA.José Fajardo brought the song La Pachanga to New York but in the Cuban charanga genre. The confusion of the words arose because Johnny Pacheco called pachanga the dance that people dance to Fajardo's charanga orchestra.
Eduardo Davidson's tune, La Pachanga, with rights managed by Peer International (BMI), acheived international recognition in 1961 when it was licensed in three versions sung by Genie Pace on Capitol, by Audrey Arno in a German version on European Decca, and by Hugo and Luigi and their children's chorus. Billboard commented "A bright new dance craze from the Latins has resulted in these three good recordings, all with interesting and varying treatments."
As a dance, pachanga has been described as "a happy-go-lucky dance" of Cuban origin with a Charleston flavor due to the double bending and straightening of the knees. It is danced to the downbeat of four-four time to the usual mambo offbeat music characterized by the charanga instrumentation of flutes, violins, and drums.
^Billboard - 1961 March 20 p99 "LA PACHANGA (Peer, BMI) GENIE PACE (1:54) Capitol 4552 AUDREY ARNO AND THE HAZY OSTERWALD SEXTET (2:36) DECCA 31238 HUGO AND LUIGI (2:15) RCA Victor 7868— A bright new dance craze from the Latins has resulted in these three good recordings."
^Ballroom DanceBook for Teachers. Betty White. 1962. David McKay Company, Inc. page 327. Library of Congress Number 62-18465