Archive for April 19th, 2011


The lyrics of “Viejo Smoking” are the musings of a man who remembers his mispent youth and he says that he doesn’t regret anything but he finds himself alone and without love…”Viejo Smoking” was composed by guitarist singer and composer Guillermo Barbieri whose father, also a guitarist was his first teacher…he began his professional career as a young man playing in a duo with Luciano Gardelli and one evening he was invited by Carlos Gardel to be part of his back up musicians…his first tango, “Los Ruisenores”, which he composed in 1921, was later recorded by the Roberto Firpo Orchestra…more half of his tangos were composed for Gardel with whom he would travel to Europe and South America…he perished with Gardel in 1934 in the fiery airplane crash in Medellin, Colombia…among his many composition is the immortal “Rosas de Otono”


Celedonio Flores who wrote the lyrics for “Viejo Smoking” was of mixed African descent; he was born in the neighborhood of Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires…in his youth he led a wild, bohemian life among the clubs and bars of Buenos Aires…among his various vocations, he was also an aspiring boxer…it is in this atmosphere that he came into contact with life’s tragic stories which would be the themes of his tangos…in 1920 he happened to send a simple poem, “Ultima Ora” to a newspaper which to his surprise, published it and gave him five pesos for the trouble…that might have been the end of it had not Carlos Gardel seen it in the newspaper and from their collaboration created the tango “Margo”…”Viejo Smoking” inspired a short film by the same name which was directed by Eduardo Morera…it was one of fifteen short films which Gardel made all centered around one of his popular tangos …the film which critics have called the best for its sound quality and photography also featured singer Tita Merello and dancer Tito Luisardo…Viejo Smoking was also recorded successfully by Julio Sosa and Juan D’arienzo