'Puerto Rico Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' Inductees 2012

First group inducted to the Puerto Rico Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in December 2012. El Indio - rhythm guitar, keyboards and vocals, and Cuco - drums, were there to receive the honors.

The Sonsets (or Los Sonset) were undoubtedly one of the best bands in the early years of Rock in Puerto Rico. A powerful sound provided by Cuco on drums, and the unique pristine voice of Dino and rough and ready voice of El Indio gave them their unmistakeable sound. Although they went through various guitarist changes from Manny Lopez, Tommy Huerta, Billy Desoto and the great guitarist Orly Vázquez who kept them going, that Sonset sound always prevailed. Orly is also known as Don Jíbaro, and runs a very well known page by the same name that we invite you to visit HERE.
The Sonsets were stars of TV shows and Movies (Virgenes de La Nueva Ola) and will always be remembered here in Puerto Ric

Indio, Cuco, Dino and Manny in the left picture

Story by Orly Vázquez

I was drummer for the "Ventureland Boys" in 1964 in Cataño, Puerto Rico when my guitarist, Quique, told me about a club in Old San Juan called the "Quiet Village" that had live rock bands. We went there and saw "The Sunsets" as they were called then... later they became Los Sonset.  The band was also referred to as The Sonsets, Los Sonset, Sonset, Sunsets...

I was impressed by the drummer, Cuco, because of his strong "in the pocket" beat. Dino was on bass and falsettos, Indio was on rhythm guitar and "wobbly" leg shaking (his signature move), and Manny, a humble yet great guitarist was the lead axe. They played their theme "Quiet Village" (for the Club's ambiance) and Indio's "kaw-kaw" noises made the place feel like a little jungle... complete with straw and bamboo all throughout. You can hear Indio’s kaw-kaw in the audio clip on this page.

Later on, I worked in a little music store in Bayamón called Sentif’s and Manny came to order a "new" red Hofner electric semi-hollow body... a super hot guitar, the thinnest hollow bodied guitar in those days. We ordered it from Germany and Manny waited for a few days with anticipation. It finally arrived... The Sunsets had a new sound.

The reasons why Manny left the band are not clear but he did, and Billy Soto, a Newyorican soul-man came to the scene. The band recorded an album with Alfred D. Herger and had a minor hit... "Dulce Ayer". Billy was great and I had the pleasure of becoming friends with him. Many decades later I saw him in Los Angeles, and gave him a Bible. That led him to the Lord and into a church where he formed a fantastic Funk Worship band.

By this time Indio was still shaking his leg profusely but traded his guitar for an  organ... a Gulbransen as big as a house within a house. Now he'd have to come out from behind the organ to shake his leg to the perplexed and amused audience! Later Billy left to join the Living End and I was called to join Los Sonset after a successful stint with the The Telstars, one of the best loved bands in the San Juan area and PR. By then The Sunsets had changed the name to Los Sonset, namely because we were now on T.V catering to a  Spanish speaking audience..."El Show Del Medio Día" and "La Discoteca Pepsi" with Chucho Avellanet and Lissette, both with Alfred D. Herger as MC. Those were the glory days.

With Los Sonset I also got to travel to many Puerto Rican inland towns and played in Plazas and Fiestas Patronales which are celebrations for the feast day of a town's patron saint. We all traveled in a Volkswagen mini bus van with me laying flat on top of the organ, because I was the skinniest. Uuf!

Around that time there was a famous Mexican movie producer in PR named Fernando Cortes shooting a film, "Virgenes De La Nueva Ola".  He needed a Rock band that could also act. That was us! We got the gig and now we were movie stars too. After that I left the band because I needed a venue for my acid rock guitar style, one that didn’t go well with the Sonset mellow style.

All in all….I have to say that Los Sonset was one of the first Super Groups in Puerto Rico. They did it all, in big time, and left their mark as one of the  Top Bands ever.

Listen to some of Los Sonset big hits





Los Sonset was one of the first Rock bands in Puerto Rico in the 1960's, and the Miramar Center was THE place to go on the weekends to listen to the local bands and dance.



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