On May 21, 1962, El Gran Combo was heard for the first time on Puerto Rican radio. Later on, they became the in-studio musicians of the live television show, "La Taberna India", sponsored by India Beer.
After their live debut at Hotel La Concha in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Chiquitin Garcia left the orchestra. Vocalist Sammy Ayala, who had also played with Ithier in the Cortijo orchestra, recommended the hiring of Andy Montanez. Felipe Rodriguez, a legendary singer of romantic music, also followed the group's career closely, sometimes even making suggestions to Ithier.