Tito Rodriguez was the archetypal suave Latin nightclub singer. His distinct, resonant voice floated crystal-clear above the dense sound of his large orchestra. Born in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez came to New York City in 1939, where he sang with the eminent bands of Xavier Cugat and Noro Morales. His recognition established, he ventured off on his own in the late '40s. It was the age of the Mambo, and his gigantic band became a favorite that competed with Tito Puente and Machito for top billing in the '50s. His recordings usually contained boleros, slow romantic ballads and dance tracks. United Artists signed him in 1960 and his success quickly spread though all of Latin America.