1903, April 8 – BIRTH OF DANIEL LOPEZ BARRETO

Composer, Pianist, Author (Aries) – Tangiers beguiled him and as she had done to William S Burroughs, to Jack Keroac, to Tenessee Williams, to Matisse…she seduced him and so Daniel Lopez Barreto did the unthinkable, he deserted the Argentine Navy and disappeared into Tangiers’ mysterious labyrinths of spys and smugglers…but it was not easy and out of desperation he joined the French Foreign Legion, finding himself oddly at home with its failed revolutionaries and trouble makers from all over the world…but fate had a surpise in store for him, enjoying himself at the “Cabaret Lumiere Du Midi” the night before shipping out, some drunken English sailors suddenly became rowdy for the lack of the promised live music…one of Daniel’s campanions suggested to owner that Daniel play the piano; his debut was so successful that it turned into an eight month engagement…one evening a German couple happened to come in; she was a voice and music professor and was so impressed with Daniel’s talent that she took him under her wing…they took  him to the magical island of Ibizia where through stern, disciplined training she perfected his talent…together they would perform classical music concerts throughout europe in splendor and elegance he had never imagined

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But the call of his native land was strong and against the counsel of his benefactress he decided to return to Argentina where he was immediately arrested; he was sentenced to one year in prison at hard labor…upon his release, for a while, he began earning his living as a boxer and a pianist billing himself as “The Boxing Pianist”….now back in Buenos Aires, he began working in a music publishing house where one day the legendary, Roberto Firpo happened to hear him play piano and asked him to join his orchestra…in 1929 he formed a trio to play on Radio Nacional, later Radio Belgrano…he accompanied renown tenor Tito Schippa in one of his celebrated concerts in Buenos Aires…he composed the music for a number of films including “Canillita” in 1936, and “El Hombre Del Sabado” in 1947….either as a composer or as a lyricist, he would record over 100 tangos…his music and his curiosity would take him around the world Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States; his highlight was undoubtably winning in a prize at the prestigious Mozart Festival in Salzburg…he lived on Easter Island for many months to study the language of the natives and he published a book in the United States on his findings….at the age of seventy nine after an incredible life he passed away at his home in Buenos Aires

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CLICK HEREhttp://www.todotango.com/

spanish/las_obras/Tema.aspx?id=BJYAM8BYPRQ= to hear “La Uruguayita Lucia” with lyrics by Daniel Lopez Barreto and music by Eduardo Pereyra performed by the Ricardo Tanturi Orchestra sung by Enrique Campos

2006, April 7 – PREMIERE OF “TAKE THE LEAD”

Pierre Dulaine, is a kind of a special person; Antonio Banderas who plays him in “Take The Lead” called him “the invisible man”… in the film when Dulaine’s dance group of unlikely heros is victorious, instead of joining in the celebration, he simply turns around and walks out, hence “the invisible man”…Banderas says of the real Pierre Dulaine, “that’s the way he really is; that’s the way he does everything…his capacity to love and share without expecting anything in return”...the two tenants of his teaching method are “Respect and Compassion” and it is indeed these two elements which in real life led him to volunteer to teach dance to inner city trouble kids to give them hope…out of the effort was born Dancing Classrooms which helps young people to acquire life lessons of self esteem, respect, team work…the program has been duplicated in hundreds of schools throughout the United States…Pierre Dulaine was born in Jaffa, Palestine to a British officer, and a mother who was half French and half Palestinean…

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They later settle in Amman Jordan where he learned to speak French, Arabic and English…in 1956 because of the Suez Crisis, they family had to leave in a hurry and leave everything behind; they settle in Birmingham England…His early days were difficult, he was shy and unsure in an alien evnviornment where his accented english did not help him to get accepted…at the age fourteen he discovered dancing … by his own admission he was not good but he liked it; eventually he went on to win ballroom dancing’s most prestigious awards….today it is part of his teaching philosophy, “if you like dancing you can become a good dancer even if you are not particularly gifted”, he says…eventually he settled in New York where he met his dancing partner Yvonne Marceau..Antonio Banderas was personally inspired by the whole idea and in fact during the rehearsals he would invite the dancers to his house for dinner so that he could get to know them better and he had long conversations with Pierre Dulaine…film critic Tony Medley summarized the film accurately when he said, “it held my interest throughout and passed the watch test with flyng colors”

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CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEwZIufmafo to see the tango scene in Take The Lead

1956, April 06 – FIRST RECORDED “MADRE”

The lyrics of “Madre” speak of  man who has hit bottom…he laments his wayward life, his abandonment in vice and worldly pleasures…he recalls the disillusionment of women who professed to love him and now deeply distraught, he realizes that without his mother’s guidance he has fallen and that she was the only one who truly loved him…no doubt composer Francisco Pracanico was inspired by his own sad and lonely childhood…having grown up in a destitute family, he had to quit school when he was no more than a child and began working as a shoe shine boy…working long hours, roaming the city by himself, he would assuage his loneliness playing the harmonica…the heart wrenching melancholy and nostalgia that was to characterize his immortal compositions, moved passersby to stop and marvel at the sensitivity of the boy…eventually one of his customers gave him an old piano which he repaired with make-shift parts he found on the streets; it became his passion…his debut occurred by accident; he was working in a musical cafe as a dish washer and one particular evening the piano player of the tango orchestra did not show up and the customers were increasingly restless….

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The owner, out of desperation, sent in young Francisco; it was to be the start of an incredible career…Francisco Pracanico became one of the most successful tango composers in history…Agustin Magaldi would have a hit with his “Afilador”, his “Mentira” was a hit for Carlos Gardel in 1932, his “Corrientes Y Esmeralda” would be a hit for Adriana Varela in the 1990s and even the legendary Maurice Chevalier premiered his “Tango Porteno” in 1925…Chola Luna, the vocalist of “Madre” was inclined to singing from an early age and she was much encouraged by her proud father; at age sixteen, he entered her in the famous Puloil Soap Singing Contest on Radio Belgrano and out of hundreds of contestants she was declared the winner…she sang with a number of orchestras including the influential Francisco Canaro…she later made a successful tour of  Europe with the Francisco Lomuto Orchestra…she was part of Eva Peron’s preferred list of tango artist but when Juan Peron was overthrownin 1955, Chola was not only blacklisted but threatened with imprisonment and so she exiled herself to Montevideo; “Madre” was one of the last tangos she recorded in Argentina

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CLICK HEREhttp://www.todotango.com/

spanish/las_obras/Tema.aspx?id=xS70q+gbxgY= to hear Chola Luna sing “Madre” with the Miguel Calo Orchestra

1933, April 5 – PREMIERE OF “MELODIA DE ARRABAL”

Like Dostoyevsky’s Rodion in “Crime and Punishment”, Robert Ramirez, is an example of the redeeming power of love…he is a con man in love and now he is repentant about his past as says to his beloved Alina, “I don’ deserve you, I am not good enough for you…my whole life is a lie..I always been a liar, I was a gambler, a thief and an ass…”…Alina puts her hand to his mouth just when he is about to admit that he is a murderer and says to him, ” be quiet, it doesn’t matter now, all that matter is that I love you”Carlos Gardel plays Ramirez who is a gambler, a cheat and eventually even a murder but he once saved the life of the detective who is investigating and knows the truth about Ramirez and whom he decides to help; Imperio Argentina plays Alina the voice and piano teacher  who falls in love with Ramirez…the critics were merciless to the film and to Gardel’s acting but there was little doubt about Imperio Argentina for her screen presence and her superb acting…In fact this film made her enormously popular in the United States…

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Directed by Louis J. Gasnier and written by Alfredo Le Pera, “Melodia De Arrabal” premiered at Cine Porteno and was a big hit surpassing even the renown “Luces De Buenos Aires” by half year…Gardel attended the premiere and was met with thunderous applause upon his entry…its musical numbers, featuring the orchestras of Juan Cruz Matteo and Horacio Pettorossi, became best sellers “Silencio” was an instant hit all over the world…the other major hit was “Cuando Tu No Estas” written the renown French musician Marcel Lattes who would die ten years later at the Auschwitz concentration camp…Marcel Lattes who was originally from Nice would compose music for over thirty films…Imperio Argentina, who started her career as “Petit Imperio” at the age of six, was a particular favorite of Adolfo Hitler and he had Joseph Goebbels request an audience with her; she came and he asked her to film the life of exotic dancer Lola Montez which she later refused…she was reputed to have had a lesbian affair with Marlena Dietrich.

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CLICK HEREhttp://www.youtube.com/

watch?v=mSadGn2l8Hw&playnext=

1&list=PL9F48543BA8107F4B to hear Gardel sing a big hit from the film, “Cuando Tu No Estas”, composed by Marcel Lattes and Carlos Gardel

2000, April 4 – PUBLISHED “SEVENTH GRADE TANGO”

Scott and Rebecca win the tango contest at their Middle T. Harris School dance contest and only then do they allow themselves what they believe is a brotherly kiss, after all he has been a dear friend since grade school and besides that, he is going out with her best friend Samantha…but something unexpected happens, tango turns into a tangle as they discover, “seven seconds in heaven” and the all-consuming crush she had on the handsome dance instructor Mr. De Palma begins to fade…in the drama that follows, Samantha proves to be a less than ideal friend…Elisabeth Levy’s “Seventh Grade Tango” is a masterpiece; it artfully portrays Rebecca’s thoughts and emotions as she is confronted with growing up and becoming a teenager… Seventh Grade Tango”  is one of those rare books that universally earned the highest accolades possible from a wide array of observers…one girl wrote, “I would recommend this book to anyone because it is so good, well, maybe not to boys“…

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Still another said, “I remember checking this book out of the library over 50 times when I was in sixth grade”…it is not unlike the film “Another Cinderella Story” where two young people discover love through a sizzling tango dance…author Elizabeth Levy had her first success in the third grade when a local newspaper published one of her poems….it was a harbinger of things to come; she has published over eighty children’s and young adult books winning a number of awards including “Outstanding Book of the Year” from the New York Times in 1977…she grew up in Buffalo, New York where she says she loved to daydream and it is through her fantasies that she learned to be a good writer; she once had a crush on Elvis…at Brown University where she majored in history and after college she went to New York City where she worked for ABC Television and for the legendary Senator Robert Kennedy…she says, “I write alot about real people who make mistakes in their lives…I like to inspire my audience to use their imagination”..

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1916, April 3 – BIRTH OF MARUJA PACHECO HUERGO

Singer, Composer, Pianist, Author (Aries) -“I like it darling, polish that up a bit”, she said…little did she suspect that, that simple phrase cast at her daughter who was improvising at the piano while she sat on her favorite rocking chair knitting, would launch her daughter Maruja to immortality…it was 2 AM in the morning and Maruja had, had a long day but it was in still of the night that she did her best work but this night would be different, she would make history…she would piece together the tango “El Adios” which would be an instant hit and be recorded by a variety of musicians not only in Latin America but as far away as Japan…it continues, to our very day, to be a favorite in milongas world-wide…interestingly, she did not think she was very good at composing tango and very soon abandoned the field to devote herself to a wide array of music; she recorded over 600 songs in different genres…for example, she composed and recorded  ”Jugetes Musicales”  (Musical Games) designed to entertain and educate for children…

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She composed “Little Musical Bible”, which consisted of twelve songs based on the old testament…she wrote the music for films and appeared in at least two, “Ronda De Estrellas” directed by Jack Davison and “Gran Camarado” directed by Yago Blas…although her tango compositions were not extensive, they included a number of hits working with renown orchestras including Juan D’arienzo, Florindo Sassone, and Edgardo Donato to name just a few…for some compositions, “Cuando Silba El Viento” for example, she wrote both the music and the lyrics; a rare talent among musicians of the epoch…she was a very popular singer and actress on radio dramas; in fact in 1938 in a campaign to identify “Miss Radio” she got over 30,000 votes, which was a rather significant number for those days…she performed on a number of radio stations but her home was Radio Belgrano…”El Adios” was first recorded by Ignacio Corsini, a family friend but it was the version by Edgardo Donato which would render it internationally famous

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1928, April2 – BIRTH OF LUIS CORREA

Singer (Aries) – reflecting on a long and successful career, Luis Correa would recall with nostalgia, his father crouched around his radio listening to his favorite stars on Radio Belgrano…as a little boy he began to imitate those singers to the delight of his father whose secret wish was to have been a singer and so he greatly encourage his son…Luis Correa was born in the town of “El Trebol” (clover) near Santa Fe, Argentina to a struggling family…he began singing in the local bars and cafes for donations and little by little he began developing a name for himself…through one of his loyal fans, at the age of twenty two, he was able to get his first professional job in a second-rate club in Mar del Plata (the birth place of Astor Piazzolla) catering to the newly rising middle class tourist…the result, in the eyes of some, of Juan Peron’s revolutionary populist policys…eventually he was befriended by renown singer Oscar Alonso who encouraged him to enter Radio El Mundo’s famous “Ronda de Cantores” singing contest which proudly featured  the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra…

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With great reluctance Luis entered and to his great surprise, out of hundreds of contestants, he was declared the winner…his first break came when he was recruited by the Francini – Pontier Orchestra, comprised of two childhood friends from the town of Zarate who would have such a great impact in the world of tango –  with them he made his recording debut on November 4, 1955 with “Noche de Locura” and “Perdoname”…in his career he would lend his voice to a number of orchestras including those of Alberto Mancione Orchestra and Hector Varela…with the Fulvio Salamanca Orchestra, in duet with singer Armando Guerrico, he would record the great hit “Recuerdo”…with the Miguel Calo Orchestra he had another hit in “Dos Fracasos”…in the mid sixties he began a solo career embarking on a successful tour of Latin America and later a successful tour of the United States culminating in a performance at the renown “Rincon Latino” in Miami”…he passed away from a heart attack  in the city of Mar del Plata at he age of sixty-four

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