Whoever said a jack of all trades is a master of none wasn’t Latino, and they certainly did not know of Walter Mercado Salinas. Aside from being an esteemed astrologer, Mercado was a dancer, writer, actor and – a qué no lo sabías – a recording artist. According to reports from the early ‘90s, music was amongst the Puerto Rican legend’s bright and varied armory of responses to this thing called life. Albeit a brief dance with the art form, his contribution is yet another gift to us all.
He always kept the main thing the main thing, though. In fact, the underlying higher purpose in even pursuing music in the first place was to further refine his craft. “The songs will help my astrology,” the iconic gender non-conforming household name told the Orlando Sentinel in 1992. “I am not leaving one for the other.”
A quick search makes it seem like the album itself (rightfully titled Walter Mercado, the album) never existed. Throughout the decade in which the album came to life, Mercado rolled out a series of guides and horoscopes as collections via Sony Music. His soothing voice served as one of reason and peace with insight on everything from signs of love to how to attract more money and more.
His album, it seems, was a way to share parts of himself beyond what we knew from his televised readings. It includes a salsa number dedicated to the island that raised him. “Sueño Con Volver” is a testament to his love for his homeland of Puerto Rico.
“Nunca te olvido isla mía, tu eres parte de mi ser,” he sings. “Sueño con volver… a la tierra del amor (a Puerto Rico)/donde siempre brilla el sol (a Puerto Rico)/donde todo es paz y amor (a Puerto Rico).”
Unsurprisingly, Mercado shone on this medium as much as he did any other.
“It has been a new experience,” he said, “like giving birth to a child, like giving birth to something beautiful.”
And with that, Walter Mercado leaves behind more than one message we won’t soon forget.
Como soñamos que volvieras, Walter. Que en paz descanse.