And how. Before "Macarena," Monge and Ruiz, two childhood chums turned family men (both 48, with four children each) from Seville, Spain, supported themselves for 34 years with a succession of albums and state-sponsored goodwill tours that Monge told Billboard were meant to cheer up "aging, nostalgic Spaniards" around the world.
Only after Europe was already gyrating to the beat did the song begin to pulse its way into U.S. nightclubs, eventually catching the attention of Miami radio and nightclub deejay Johnny Caride, 30, and musical engineer Mike Triay, 32, two members of the Bayside Boys, a Miami-based band. "Every time I played it at the club [in Coconut Grove], everyone went crazy," says Caride. A year ago, with Boys member Carlos De Yarza, 25, singing the lyrics in English, the song was remixed in two days. Caride recalls that less than two hours after playing it on the air, "there were 200 requests for the song." In July 1995 the Bayside Boys sold their version to RCA. "Obviously we're what made the song hit No. 1," says Triay.
Maybe si, maybe no. After all, it was Los del Rio who first made "Macarena" a worldwide hit, and it is Los del Rio who travel most of the year promoting it. "Sometimes we do it two or three times a performance," says Monge. "But who can get tired of a daughter?"
MARISA SALCINES in Miami