The Peanut Vendor (El Manisero)

Cuban composer Moisés Simons is credited by some for creating the rumba ‘craze’ in the US and Europe with his song “The Peanut Vendor” which he wrote in 1927-28.  According to Wikipedia, “The Peanut Vendor” has been recorded more than 160 times, sold over a million copies of the sheet music, and was the first million-selling 78 rpm of Cuban music.”

During a time when songwriters could be poorly paid, by 1943, he netted $100,000 from this popular song.  I like it because for many reasons, including that it is a song written to capture nothing more than the cajoling and enticing cries of a peanut vendor on the street (a pregón).  This song has been recorded by many, and has been a ‘hit’ several times.

Here is one of many versions of this song, recorded about the time it was written:

And here is a fun version of the song by the group “German Brass”, a quintet founded in 1974.  They use this song to demonstrate the sounds made by various sizes of trombones.


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