Rhapsody App for
Rhapsody International, Inc.
Joe Bataan


Afro-Filipino Joe Bataan was the premier Latin Soul performer of the 1970s Salsa scene. Raised in New York's Spanish Harlem, Bataan began singing Doo-Wop on streetcorners in the '50s before a prison stint, during which he taught himself piano. He first hit the Latin charts in 1967 with "Gypsy Woman" and "Subway Joe." Merging R&B with Salsa, he can be credited for introducing the double-time handclap break -- something that later became a standard Disco technique. Bataan's 1972 release St. Latin's Day Massacre, a huge hit with low riders, remains a masterpiece to this day, and his following release (Salsoul) mixed Funk with Latin rhythms to huge, influential success. His last hit, 1979's "Rap-O, Clap-O," is credited as the first rap hit in parts of Europe. He later claimed he was simply mixing elements of the music he heard and loved, but ultimately he was blazing a trail many would follow. Humorous, street-savvy, and possessed of a natural voice, Joe Bataan's music foretold the future.

Similar Artists

Rhapsody app on your desktop or mobile device.

Listen to the songs you love. Anytime, anywhere.

14 day free trial, then just $9.99/month for Rhapsody Premier. View all plans