Right from start, Fania Records and its subsidiaries exceeded everybody’s expectations. The label was created in 1964. It penetrated the market so successfully and became so popular at the international level that its executives decided to broaden its talent in order to reach an even wider audience. The result? The wildly successful Fania All Stars, a group that brought together several of the label’s most popular artists. This move would further solidify the label’s standing in the international music scene.
The Fania All Stars’ first concert, “Live at the Red Garter,” was a promotional experiment designed solely to test the waters. The all-star cast included Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Ricardo Ray, and Bobby Cruz, and resulted in a live double album. The experiment couldn’t have been more successful. In 1971, the band revolutionized salsa as a genre with “Fania All Stars at the Cheetah,” a concert that was filmed and recorded live. In 1973, following a successful tour, the band made its first appearance at Yankee Stadium in New York. The stars performed before countless fans that had caught the fever and were swooning in the presence of consecrated performers of the genre such as Willie Colón, Johnny Pacheco, Bobby Valentín, Ray Barreto, and Mongo Santamaría.