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Eric Paul Roorda

a baritone singer of criollas, boleros, merengues, and other Dominican music, was the first internationally known Dominican musical performer, and one of the pioneers of radio performance and the music recording industry in his country. He was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, on 22 January 1906, with the given name Eleuterio, to the unwed parents Julián Álvarez Brito and Liborio Aragonés, and raised by his single mother. He started working with her at a young age in the Venus restaurant, running orders, and grew up as a laborer in a variety of other menial pursuits, such as apprentice to a blacksmith and as a shoemaker, tobacco packer, furniture mover, boxing referee, and, most famously, as a shoeshine boy, an occupation in which he gained attention by singing beautifully as he worked.

Brito met the composer Julio Alberto Hernández in 1926 in the city of Santiago de los ...