Archive for December 17th, 2010


At the time that the hapless, desperate Maria Berthe Gardes tells Jean Paul Lasserre that she is carrying his child, why did he not marry her ?…these were difficult times for Maria, her father who had been a humble merchant had died suddenly and had left an impoverished  family behind…in desperation Maria and her mother had even once boldly gone to Caracas, Venezuela with a promise of a better life but it had been another disillusionment and with little to show for the venture, they had returned to France…for many years it was believed that Paul Lasserre had not married Berthe because he was already married with numerous children…on December 17, 1970 one Luis Angel Formento published, in La Razon newspaper, a long note on the subject, a note which he claimed had been given to him by Armando Delfino, Gardel’s administrator…the note essentially confirmed what Delfino had stated in his book, that Lasserre was a traveling salesman, married, with children at the time of meeting Berthe; but was he ?…


Later researchers combing through the archives in Toulouse did locate the birth certificate of one Jean Paul Lasserre born on August 1, 1866…his parents (1.e., Carlos Gardel’s grandparents)  consisted of a father who worked in the manufacturing of carriages and a mother who was an ironing lady, interestingly the same profession as that of Berthe Gardes…the same file however, also revealed that Paul Lasserre had married Ann Marie Broyer in 1998; Carlos Gardel was born in 1890…clearly then, at the time Paul Lasserre was not married, in fact he was one year younger than Berthe…what had happeded, was he already promised to Anne-Marie Broyer...was her age a problem, these were times when the prime marrying age was much younger…had Berthe merely been an adventure with a girl he happened to meet at his mother’s work place; they were both ironing ladies after all… the birth of little Charles was the greatest joy in Berthe’s life, a life in a sea of troubles and it was he that gave her the courage to one day board the steamer, in steerage, for the long trip to Buenos Aires…she arrived there on March 9, 1893 toting a three-year old Charles Gardes who would one day grow up to be the greatest tango legend in history “Carlos Gardel”….sometime after World War I, Paul Lasserre, now a  widower traveled to Buenos Aires to “offer his name” by offering to marry Berthe; she refused…he returned to France and soon afterwards passed away


  • CLICK HERE – to hear briefly Berthe Gardes speak briefly about her beloved son followed by Carlos Gardel singiing “Silencio” a tango which he composed; the lyrics are by Alfredo Le Pera