LatinaLista — Ramón Luis Ramírez Toro was born in 1941 in Santurce, Puerto Rico and died, murdered, in New York City, in 1983. However, Toro’s voice didn’t die with the man. Better known as Chamaco Ramírez and heralded as one of Puerto Rico’s most talented soneros (improvisational singers) of salsa, Ramírez voice and talent lives on in a new documentary in production titled “Alive and Kicking.”
Wanting to dispel the urban myth that has evolved around the life of Chamaco Ramírez, the filmmakers strive to present a balanced view of a life blessed with great talent and marred by deadly violence took his life and that to this day has gone unsolved.
“Chamaco belongs in the pantheon of the great popular music legends of the world like Jim Morison, Jimmy Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, Pedro Infante and Felipe Pierla…These artists lived short but intense lives and changed popular culture,” said writer and journalist Hiram Guadalupe.
According to Wikipedia:
He recorded eight albums with this orchestra ( La Primerisima Orquesta de Puerto Rico) which are now considered classics of the Salsa genre. Besides his vocal work which was marked by his ability to improvise, he was also a gifted composer who wrote the Salsa classic, Trucutu, later covered by Marc Anthony. Among his other hits include “Plante Bandera” (which was later covered by reggaeton artists Tego Calderon and Tempo Alomar) and “Evelio Y La Rumba” (which was later covered by salsa group Los Soneros Del Barrio).
After leaving Tommy Olivencia’s orchestra, Ramirez moved to New York City where he worked with the orchestra of Kako Bastar. Later he would move to Los Angeles where he worked with two minor local orchestras. In 1979, he released his first and only solo album, titled Alive and Kicking.
The film is currently in fundraising mode with just a few days, as of this writing, left in the campaign.