The group is made up of Pilar, Lola, and Lucia Munoz - three sisters from the Andalusia region of Spain. They took their name in honor of their father, a flamenco guitarist known as "El Tomate."
"The Ketchup Song" was a huge international hit. It was #1 in several countries, but took a while to break in America, where it was first played on New York City dance station WKTU. Within 24 hours, it became the most-requested song on the station.
The lyrics are based on snippets of the 1979 Sugar Hill Gang song "Rapper's Delight
The lyrics are in Spanish, but it is Spanish gibberish based on "Rapper's Delight." The version released in the US has some English gibberish mixed in.
The song is about a gypsy named Diego who is very concerned about how he is dressed and loves "Rapper's Delight." Since Diego doesn't understand the English lyrics, he makes up his own raps, which translates into the gibberish in the song.
The Spanish version is known as "Asereje," as in "I Said A Hip," which is a lyric in "Rapper's Delight."
Has it's own dance, involving a kind of hand-jive and lots of gyrations.
This has been compared to the "Macarena," which was also a huge international hit by an unknown group with it's own dance that became a staple of dance clubs, cruise ships, and weddings when it eventually hit the US.
In the US, this got a lot of airplay on Spanish stations as well as the TV show Sabado Gigante before getting much mainstream airplay. It was especially popular in South Florida, which has a large Hispanic population.
Ketchup, or catsup, originated in China in 1690 as a pickled fish sauce called "ke-tsiap." British sailors took Asian catsup or ketchup from Singapore to England but the British were unable to duplicate the recipe so they started substituting other ingredients, including ground mushrooms, walnuts, and cucumbers. Later the first recipe for "tomato catsup" appeared. (From the book Food for Thought: Extraordinary Little Chronicles of the World
by Ed Pearce)
Despite the lyrics being Spanish gibberish, this was the best-selling single in France during the 2000s.