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The Salsa Revolution

Chapter 7: Salsa's International Success

FADE IN

NARR Ultimately where the label struck gold was outside of the United States.

[FOOTAGE: Fania All Stars touring — getting on a plane and having a jam session on the flight]

By the mid-seventies, the Fania All Stars, with Celia Cruz, were touring the world, ambassadors of Salsa, developing markets and fueling an explosion in Fania's international sales.

[FOOTAGE: Fania All Stars' jam session on the flight]

[FOOTAGE: Celia Cruz and Fania Allstar Africa concert]

J. MASUCCI: (Archive Interview) When we were really doing the great concerts with the Fania All Stars we would do more business in Latin America than the Rolling Stones.

[FOOTAGE: Celia Cruz and Fania Allstar Africa concert]

J. MASUCCI: (Archive Interview) We had the President and the generals of Panama meeting us at the airplanes with Fania All Stars buttons on.

[FOOTAGE: Celia Cruz and Fania Allstar Africa concert]

J. MASUCCI: (Archive Interview) It was ridiculous. They used to tear the doors down, metal doors down to get in.

[FOOTAGE: Celia Cruz and Fania Allstar Africa concert]

[FOOTAGE: Home movies: Fania All Stars in plane sleeping; view from window]

J. MASUCCI: (Archive Interview) (VO) We did Japan, we did Africa, we did England, we did all of South America. And wherever we went we never had a loser, (OC) it was always big.

[FOOTAGE: Home movie of the All Stars messing around in a swimming pool]

The All Stars were on the crest of a Latin wave, touring, and indulging, like Rock stars.

[FOOTAGE: Home movie of the All Stars messing around in a swimming pool]

WILLIE COLON, TROMBONIST & MUSIC PRODUCER: (VO) We had Rolling Stone and Craw Daddy all kind of Rock and Roll (OC) magazines and stuff covering us. We understood it was something else. (VO) But it was nuts, the Fania All Stars it was you know, all of these guys are geniuses and by the same token they're just mad, crazy, crazy mad. But it was great, it worked, it elevated a lot of us to a position where we could really earn a living at this (OC) a respectable living and I think it created a market that just wasn't there before.

[FOOTAGE: Jerry Masucci getting into his Rolls Royce. License Plate: SALSA 1]

Fania had become a international Juggernaut with Jerry Masucci riding high at the top. But its greatest success was still to come.

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