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Pop band behind 'quarantine anthem' donate royalties to health service
02 April 2020 @ 12:42


A POP twosome who have been churning out hits on and off for 62 years is raking in the royalties now that one of their catchy '80s numbers has become the national 'Coronavirus quarantine anthem' – but they have donated the whole lot to the Madrid regional health service.

Dúo Dinámico's Manuel de la Calva and Ramón Arcusa – aged 83 and 84 respectively – met in their first jobs in an aircraft engine factory in their native Barcelona, and were 21 and 22 when they launched their music career.

At the time – 1958 – the DJ on Radio Barcelona refused to use their original 'band name', The Dynamic Boys, because it was in English, and instead translated it into Spanish as Dúo Dinámico ('Dynamic Duo').

After numerous appearances on the radio, they finally gave up their day jobs in autumn 1959 to record their first studio EP, with four songs, through Odeón Gramophone, now EMI Records.

The pair's national fame mainly started in 1961, when the film Botón de Ancla ('Anchor Button') was released, using their most popular records as its soundtrack – and shot at a time when both young men were on their compulsory military service.

It was they who won Spain the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968, with their catchy number La, la, la.

After retiring from the music scene in 1972 and focusing on record producing – for artists who included Julio Iglesias – they reunited for a one-off concert in 1978, leading to EMI's releasing a 'greatest hits' album in 1980, and finally, in 1986, deciding they had perhaps not yet finished and signing a contract with Sony Music.

Resistiré, which roughly translates as 'I'll get through this' or 'I will survive', was part of their 1987 studio album En Forma, but was released as a hit in 1988.

And they could never have guessed that, 32 years later, this same record would soar to the top end of the charts again – thanks to a pandemic.

Played on TV and radio, in video tutorials teachers create for their stuck-at-home pupils, from balconies, in advertising, and all over social media, its strong, positive wording and fast-paced pop beats have made it the theme tune for the national quarantine, encouraging the nation not to despair.

As a result, royalties have been flooding in for the octogenarian artists – who have not completely retired, but last performed at the Sonorama Festival in Aranda del Duero (Burgos province) in 2016 – but as they made enough money during their successful career to keep them in creature comforts during their old age, Manuel and Ramón have opted to donate the lot to the regional government of Madrid to fund its health service and support residents who are struggling during the shutdown.

Another song that has become famous during quarantine is Pero a tu lado ('But by your side') – a 2017 re-release by Los Secretos of a song penned by late band member Enrique Urquijo, who died in November 1999.

The band, formed in 1980 and one of the most successful of that decade on the scene, is now formed by Santiago Fernández, Juanjo Ramos, Jesús Redondo, Ramón Arroyo, and singer Álvaro Urquijo.

They, too, have just announced their royalties for Enrique's historic anthem will go to the Greater Madrid region for its health service and to help workers and traders facing financial difficulty due to the national shutdown.



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