My uncle and stories of listening to Elvis in Cuba at La Universidad de La Habana

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By this time in 1956, my Uncle Jose (or Tio Pepe as we called him) was starting his career in Cuba. He graduated as an architect, practiced a bit in Cuba, married Tia Carmen and eventually ended up in Puerto Rico where he had a firm. He passed away in 2008 and she died in 2018.

Over the years, my uncle was a huge source of Cuban stories, specially the non-political ones.

Back in 1956, my uncle and his friends started listening to Elvis and rock. He told me that Elvis was very popular along with Bill Haley, Chuck Berry and some of the others.

Elvis Presley’s international career began on this day in 1956 with the release of “Heartbreak Hotel” on RCA Records. Elvis had recorded for Sam Phillips and Sun Records in 1954-55.

Heartbreak Hotel” became his first # 1 on Billboard USA and introduced the world to the man we call the “King of rock”.

The B-side “I was the one” got some airplay, too.

Elvis never made it to Cuba because of the events of 1959.

Wonder if he’d made a movie call “Fun in Varadero” or “Viva Havana” if things had turned out different?  My guess is yes!

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