He performed and recorded his music in much of the Caribbean and the United States, and his music was in the repertoire of artists like Nelson Pinedo and La Sonora Matancera. At least two of his successes, "Se Va El Caimán (The Alligator Is Gone)" and "Me Voy Pa' Cataca (I'll Go To Cataca)" (later recorded by La Sonora Matancera as "I'll go to Havana"), are known worldwide. He distinguished himself for his spicy lyrics dual sense of humor, which was daring for its time, but moved the responsibility to the listener to interpret the equivocal.
Of humble origin, he began working in various trades: bricklayer, plumber, electrician. But then he began singing with guitar or tiple. The accordion come later, and fame came to him in 1941 when, inspired by a coastal legend, he wrote "El Hombre Caimán (The Man Cayman)" which later became known worldwide as "Se Va El Caimán (The Alligator Is Gone.") The reptile came to have a double political meaning, as incarnate heads of state known to be long-lasting, then go.
In his younger years he toured Colombia with the string quartet 'Peñaranda Y Sus Muchachos' accompanied by musicians Gabriel Garcia and barranquilleros Movilla, Abigail Salcedo Cassiani, Nicolas Ortiz and Jose De La Cruz.