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Grupo Pegasso

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Biography

Mexican regional artists Grupo Pegasso from Nuevo Leon are considered legends due to their invention of the cumbia pegassera style. They have undergone many personnel changes, permutations, and splits over four decades, but have maintained the signature sound they founded. The band issued its self-titled debut offering in 1980. While the album received little attention, its single "Los Dos Amantes" became a regional hit. The band followed it with "Se Tambalea," the title track of their 1982 album; the track proved a commercial breakthrough. Personnel changes began almost immediately, however, when the keyboardist and drummer left. After Grupo Pegasso issued its third album, 1983's El No Te Quiere, they had become an established entity known throughout northern Mexico for their danceable style, and were also touring the United States. In 1985, Grupo Pegasso split into two different bands. All but Frederico Esteban carried on under Emilio Reyna's leadership with the original name, while founding member Frederico Esteban was forced to start over as Pegasso del Pollo Esteban. He wasn't going without a fight, however. He began a court battle that lasted a decade as Reyna's Grupo Pegasso racked up regional hit after regional hit even as Pegasso dell Pollo Esteban had their own success. (The public didn't mind at all; they had two excellent bands to dance to.) In 1995, Esteban proved victorious, forcing Emilio Reyna to cede the name and continue his group as Pega Pega de Emilio Reyna. They debuted with Cosas del Amor in 1996, followed by Reencuentro in 1997. On the other side of that same year, Pegasso del Pollo Esteban -- its name restored to Grupo Pegasso -- recorded Rompiendo el Silencio. Esteban's Grupo Pegasso combined early tropical-style cumbia with rancheras and mariachis resulting in several hit singles for radio, solid regional sales, and two best-selling hits collections -- 30 Exitos and 30 Exitos, Vol. 2 in 2004 and 2005, respectively -- that landed on the Top Latin Albums charts. Though numerous members have come and gone, Esteban's Grupo Pegasso continue to play to large crowds while their now-infrequent recordings sell respectably. 2017's career overview Inmortales del Grupo Pegasso landed on streaming and other digital charts. ~ Drago Bonacich
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