Ferrer's belated recognition prompted the re-release of several of his early recordings, for which he had never been given credit.
He toured Europe with Alonso's group in 1962 and continued to work in his own country, mostly as a backup singer.
But Havana's music scene declined during the early years of Fidel Castro's government, and Ferrer had to supplement his meager musician's pay with jobs as a carpenter, painter and dockworker.
"I sold peanuts and shined shoes to earn a living," he once said, "but I was always singing. I really, really like singing."