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Ruben Blades: Hot Salsa

RJ Smith, Creem, January 1985

NEW YORK — Ruben Blades grew up watching Rebel Without A Cause and Rock Around the Clock as many times as he could — and not just because movie theaters were about the only places air-conditioned in Panama in the '50s. When Blades was eight he only spoke Spanish, but he memorized the lyrics to 'Heartbreak Hotel'. "We would all do it phonetically, it was something that was viscerally touching to us, scraping our nerves somewhere," he beams.

Total word count of piece: 504

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