Lessons in History: August 3, 1996 “The Macarena” begins its reign atop the U.S. pop charts

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If pop songs, like hurricanes, were rated on an objective scale according to their ability to devastate the pop-cultural landscape, then the song that reached the top of the American pop charts on this day in 1996 was a Category 5 monster. It first made landfall in Florida as a seemingly harmless Spanish-language rumba, but in the hands of a pair of Miami record producers, it soon morphed and strengthened into something called “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix),” a song that laid waste to all competition during a record-setting run at #1 that began on August 3, 1996.

The group that gets credit for the song that spent more time on the Billboard Hot 100 (60 weeks) than any other in history was Los Del Rio, but their smash-hit record received some critical assistance on its way to the top of the charts. 

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