Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Su Alegre Despertar

The Guinness Book of World Records has only a handful of records in the area of radio. Several of the records are held outside the United States. On December 10, 1898 Puerto Rico became a part of the United States, thus making this record indisputably American. Tu Alegre Despertar is translates literally to "Its Happy one to Awake." But the real meaning is more like "Joyful awakening." The Guinness Book record is for the following:
"Longest running daily radio programme - same host. The longest-running daily solo radio programme is Tu Alegre Despertar , originally Despertar Colgate presented by José Miguel Agrelot (Puerto Rico), first broadcast in January 1949."
Host Giuseppe Michael Agrelot was known as Don Cholito; and "The Puerto Rican Bob Hope" by journalists. He was born in San Juan in 1927 and he started working in radio when he was 14 years old. He was on WITA, WIAC, WKAQ, WPAB, WKJB and others. It was at WIAC-AM that Don Cholito debuted his first long-running comic character: Torito Fuertes. Fuertes was ostensibly 8 years old and so popular Agrelot became the center of a new program El Profesor Colgate, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive of course. In this program Agrelot portrayed Tommy Muñiz, a schoolteacher.Agrelot and his Torito character crossed the street to WKAQ-AM, where he partnered with Luis Vigoreaux on a program named Torito & Company. This was all while he was still in school. He didn't get his Bachelors Degree until 1949. But before finishing college Agrelot began the program Tu Alegre Despertar which would win him a world record. Other characters were played by Orlando Rodríguez and Aurora Previdi. But only Agrelot is eligible for the award. Previdi joined the program in 1958, nine years after the start and Mr. Rodríguez died in 1991 leaving Agrelot the sole senior voice. Agrelot was on the program voicing character for over 54 years only stopping when he died in 2004. the program was canceled upon his passing.

But why is his picture on that car registration?