Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a Luis Miguel fan. It potentially shows since “El Sol de México” is often credited as one of the more popular singers of the classic song “Cuando Calienta El Sol.” His pop cover was released in 1987 as part of his album Soy Como Quiero Ser

The classic song, however, actually dates back to 1961.

With steamy lyrics like: “Cuando calienta el sol aquí en la playa / Siento tu cuerpo vibrar cerca de mí / Es tu palpitar, es tu cara, es tu pelo / Son tus besos, me estremezco [When the sun beats down on the beach / I feel your body tremble next to mine / It is your heartbeat, your face, your hair / It is your kisses, I shudder],” it’s no surprise that this track became a music classic.

But who wrote it exactly? Here’s the story behind the track.

“Cuando Calienta El Sol,” was originally known as “Cuando Calienta El Sol En Masachapa,” written by the Nicaraguan musician and composer Rafael Gastón Pérez. Pérez was known for his classics such as “Romance” and “Infiel,” which were interpreted by prominent artists like Cheito González, and Los Panchos. 

Curious about the classic’s original sound? It’s considerably different. 

“Cuando Calienta El Sol” first made a mark in the Latin music industry in 1961 when it was covered by the Cuban trio Hermanos Rigual

Los Hermanos Rigual was an active musical group between 1947 and 1965, composed by the brothers Pedro, Carlos, and Mario Rigual. This group is credited to be the one who made the track known in Mexico. Its success opened international success for the group, opening markets in Europe, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

Following this victory, the song then made its way decades later to the pop scene. It’s been sung multiple times by artists like Javier Solís (1965), Rafaella Carrá (1984), and Pablo Montero (1999), but it’s commonly known as one of Luis Miguel’s signature hits.

Culturally, this song made such an impact that Pérez still holds a place in Nicaraguan arts after his death in 1962. 

Archives show that there’s an Association of Artists of Nicaragua ‘Rafael Gastón Pérez, which: “[recognizes] artists and characters who stood out throughout the year inside and outside the country, and who also do altruistic and charitable work that has had great success in their concerts, launching of record productions, literary, theatrical works, among others.”

They also note that: “the purpose of this event is to distinguish men and women who have given the best of themselves to the country and society, through art and national culture, and who have become a source of national pride.”

How’s that for a lesson in music classics?