Before he became a extremely popular bolerista and baladist, especially in the Dominican republic, where he is considered one of the fathers of bachata, Odilio had begun his teenage career taking part in rural music radio contests and earning the title of “Jibarito de Lares” – the name of his native village, in the heart of Puerto Rican mountains. He was only 18 when he records his first LP, where several plenas stand out for their combination of a jíbaro style of singing and the tropical group instrumentation such as Cortijo’s.
Odilio moved to New York in 1955, reinforcing his prestige as a child prodigy in the Latino theatres of the Big Apple. In 1962, his interpretation of the bolero ‘Celos sin motivos’ by Ismael Santiago opened the doors to success throughout Latin America. He established himself in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, where his impact on the jukeboxes in the country made him one of the fathers of bachata.