Charlie Rodriguez - A Promoter's StoryBorn in Newark, New Jersey attended elementary, Jr. High and High School in Miami Dade County. 60's in Newark was a time of racial tensions, 70's in Miami was a time when you could leave your front door open. A time where Latinos were the minority and the subject of jokes with the Bubas which dominated South Florida. A time where night clubs, open house partys were a weekly occurance, and guys would settle there differences in a parking lot and call it even. We can't bring those days back but we can bring that spirit back through our music.
After arriving in Miami, as hard as it was then, I quickly became a fan of the Dolphins and watched them become the only undefeated team in the history of the NFL. In retrospect, that same winning season year also played a vital educational role for me. I learned by watching coach Shula then that with hard work and training and undivided commitment, anything was possible. Soon after the 1972 winning season, we found ourselves in the midlle of "Saturday Night Fever". The Miami night life was predominantly Disco, and I loved every moment of it. After a brief absense serving our country in the Marine Corps. I returned to Miami in 1981 - I knew that I had missed a special time in Miami that I could never replace. That was the begining of my promotional hobby. With no experience I jumped into the night club promotion business in South Beach. With not many promoters giving compitition, I had enormous success from day one. Promoting and bringing acts into clubs such as Cameo Theater, Club One, and Club Nu seemed to easy. The fun and money was rolling in.
In 1990, I began experimenting in concert promotions. I visited with Power 96 Radio and pitched an idea to the promotions director then, Kenny Burnstein. It was called Power 96 Cop-Aid Concert. It was a benefit concert at the old Hialeah Race Track. Kenny approved with the blessing of the general manager, Greg Reed and the rest was history. During that period the late "Cox On The Radio", Don Cox, Bo Griffen, Kid Curry and the legend Leo Vela were the "on air" radio DJ personalities. We delivered the biggest Freestyle artist performing live on stage in the middle of Hialeah at the world famous Hialeah Race Track. We began with a modest 5,000 freestyle fans initially attending, to more than 20,000 fans in late 1994. TKA performed there last performance on my stage. During the 70's and early 80's, the Disco era really reigned locally. The middle 80's and 90's were were special times for the young Latins in Miami. We grew up with the love for the feel good music of Freestyle and are now in our 40's and 50's. The music of our past helped define us as the people we are today.
As part of my extended career, I began to promote live shows in local nightclubs in Miami and South Beach in the late 80's/90's. I asked the most popular radio personality in Miami, Power 96's DJ Leo Vela if he would be my on air radio personality and host my concerts and speacial events - Leo and I immediately clicked based on our love for the music and energy that carried that fan base. Leo had a gift of communicating with people through the microphone like no other, and it still holds true. We promoted everything from the Divas of Disco like France Joli, Viola Wills, Celi Bee and even Kool in The Gang, Sugar Hill Gang, Shannon, GQ, Willie Chireno, and many more.... in addition, I also promoted local bars such as Rick's Bar and Charcols in Miami Lakes.
I like to produce theme concerts of the past. They bring back memories of old and give us an opportunity to share it with our children and hopefully they will also enjoy it and past it on to there children. There is nothing like music to bring family and friends together. It is my intent to provide this enjoyment to the entire Miami community and beyond, the same music I was was lucky enough to have grown to love and make a part of my life - See you at the next show.
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