Archive for June, 2011

1942, June 30 – BERON RECORDS “QUE TE IMPORTA QUE TE LLORO”

The lyrics speak about a man who knows that he is needlessly waiting for his beloved to return and he says, “let me delude myself into believing that you will return and that we can restore our dream…allow me to cry, to always cry and to hope, even though I know that you will never return…you are oblivious to my pain and my tears…let me create something divine with the fragments that are left”… “Que Te Importa Que Te Lloro” was a major hit for Raul Beron and the Miguel Calo Orchesta and continues 60 years later to be played and danced to, in milongas a round the world…the music and the lyrics were composed by Miguel Calo with his pianist Osmar Maderna….the two would also collaborate on another hit “Jamas Retorneras” which was recorded three months later also with the voice of Raul Beron

***

Raul Beron, considered by many to have been the best tango voice in history, was introduced to orchestra leader Miguel Calo by bandoneoist Armando Pontier; both Beron and Pontier were from the town of Zarate just north of Buenos Aires…Beron’s first appearance with the Calo orchestra on Radio Belgrano did not augur well; the radio programmer told Calo that the voice of Beron was not appropriate and so Calo reluctantly informed Beron that their collaboration would terminate at the end of the month…in the mean time however, Osmar Maderna convined Calo that Beron’s voice was the right one to record “Al Compas Del Corazon”; it became a major hit and Calo hastily rescinded the dismissal…Raul Beron came from a gifted musical family; his sister Alba would record several hits with the Anibal Troilo Orchestra…his older brother Jose was said to have had ever more talent than Raul but chose instead to devote his energies to the Buenos Aires night life…Armando Pontier would be a major influence in tango but commits suicide at the age 66…Osmar Maderna would become a legend in a brief life; he would die piloting his own airplane at the age of 33

_________________

Advertisements

1902, June 29 – BIRTH OF MANLIO FRANCIA

Violinist, Composer (Cancer) – Unlike most of the other tango legends Manlio Francia did not have a tough beginning in life and he was forever known for his positive disposition and his generosity…he was born in the city of Venice Italy and he was to say that his childhood recollection of that beautiful city not only inspired him but gave him strength to overcome life’s vissicitudes…his father, a violinist and his first teacher, was a celebrated orchestra leader who during the summer months played at the Cote Azur in Southern France…when he was five years old, his birthday present was a violin…in 1910 the whole family made their first trip to Argentina when his father’s orchestra was hired to play at the  elegant Hotel Bristol at Mar De Plata where Argentina’s high society vacationed…Manlio recalled that on the first performance, some scantily clad dancing-girls were included and a minor scandal ensued; these were the people who looked in askance upon the scandalous tango music of the lower classes…in fact the only tango acceptable to them was the Orchestra of Osvaldo Fresedo who was the only tango musician with origins in the upper class of Argentina

***

Eventually the family decided to settle in Buenos Aires…Manlio continued his studies at the Instituto Santa Cecilia from which he graduated at the age of 16…a shy Manlio began performing classical music at partys and salons but it was at the Cafe Armonia that the patrons began to request tango pieces…it is here that Manilo learned to love tango and made the difficult decision to devoted himself to its music…he was then recruited for the Maipu Pigalle where he first met Osvaldo Fresedo and Enrique Delfino…in his career he would perform with many orchestras including that of Adolfo Carabelli and Carlos Di Sarli…he played off and on for 25 years with the mythical Julio De Caro Orchestra…as a musician with the Orchestra Tipica Victor he met and worked with the inimitable Tito Schipa…with Enrique Delfino he recorded his first composition “Prorotita”; some others include “Luis Maria”, “Helena” and “Maldita Vision” which Carlos Gardel recorded in 1925

_________________

1946, June 28 – CARLOS DANTE RECORDS “CON ALMA DE TANGO”

The lyrics to “Con Alma De Tango” say, “I am the soul of tango full of anger and bitterness…I loved her with so much tenderness but she was not faithful and left…like yesterday, today I await her, needlessly…on this gray afternoon my soul is nonetheless full of hope…my wine cup is empty which the wine of memory now fills”…the author of those lines, Carlos Waiss, spoke from experience; he had his own great love that ended in bitter disappointment..a love that he never forgot and whose shadow was to be perennially  present in his writings…Waiss, born in Buenos Aires, was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants..early on he learned to love the night life especially drinking and gambling; he was fluent in Lunfardo…his writings reflected his own experiences and the drama of his friends and acquaintances in the clubs and bars where tango was nurtured…he was to say about himself, “Iam the tango”…

***

He was a big admirer of the poet Julian Centeya and a friend of Juan D’arienzo who asked him to write the lyrics to his composition “Con Alma De Tango”…it was recorded by the Alfredo De Angelis Orchestra with the voice of Carlos Dante on June 28, 1946…Carlos Dante was born to poor Italian immigrants in the neighborhood of Boedo in Buenos Aires…early on he left school to help support the family…he was working as an apprentice in a workshop with his destiny mapped out for him but he loved to sing…a friend of his father’s heard him sing one day and was impressed by young Carlo’s musical ability…he introduced him to a professional theater company through which he joined the Francisco Pracanico Orchestra…for ten years he was a daily presence on the legendary Glostora Tango Club with the Alfredo De Angelis Orchestra

_________________

1980, June 27 – OSVALDO FRESEDO RECORDS “EL MARNE”

The Battle of El Marne which took place between September 6 – 12 of 1914 has been described by historian Holger Herwig as, “the most decisive land battle since Waterloo”…it is no wonder that a sensitive, ill-fated genius Eduardo Arolas would be inspired to compose a tango commemorating the event…..the Gemans had been counting on the famous Schlieffen Plan, the rapid advance and defeat of France before turning their attention to Russia…instead, French, Belgium and British forces stopped the rapid German advance which had arrived to within 30 miles of a resigned Paris, already preparing for seige….had the Germans not been stopped the world would have been a very different place, “no Hitler, no Stalin, no Lenin” Herwig emphasizes….but the new killing technology exacted a cost in lives which was unimaginable; 250,000 dead out of two million men were committed to battle…the Battle of El Marne ushered in years of trench warfare and what one German historian would later call, “the monotonous, mutual mass murder” 

***

The tango “El Marne” was a major hit for Arolas and was recorded by many musicians, Osmar Maderna in 1947, Pedro Maffia in 1959, Anibal Troilo in 1967 and Osvaldo Fresedo on June 27 of 1980…this was to be one of Fresedo’s  last recordings; he would pass away just four years later at the age of 87…Fresedo’s career was the longest of any musician; he made over 1250 recordings over a sixty-three year career…he was only sixteen years old when he put together his first group; Eduardo Arolas himself, gave him his first break by inviting him to play at the Montemarte Cafe…already by the age of twenty Arolas was a renown composer; in fact, in the eyes of some cognoscenti, he was the greatest tango composer of all time…one day, returning home unexpectedly, he found his beloved wife Delia in bed with his older brother…he would never fully recover from the shock…just a few years later he would die from complications of alcoholism alone in a small hospital on the outskirts of Paris; he was thirty-two years old

_______________

1921, June 26 – THE “ECOLE DE FOUNTAINEBLEU” OPENS !

Nadia Boulanger was one of the great women of the 20th century…one of her students called her, “the most influential teacher since Socrates”…when “L’ecole De Fountainbleu” opened in Paris on June 26, 1921 she was its first teacher…among her hundreds of students were legends like Aaron Copeland, Philipp Glass, Quincy Jones, Dinu Lapatti,  and Igor Markevitch…one day in walked a young Astor Piazzolla his soul brimming with Mozart and Bach and dreaming of a classical music future but when he played one of his tango compositions she screamed at him…“You idiot, that’s Piazzolla”…looking back on a story book career many years later he would say “in a mere matter of ten seconds, she had sent to hell ten years of work”…more than any one else, it was Nadia Boulanger, who was responsible for the eventual emergence of the genius Astor Piazzolla…Nadia Boulanger came from a family of accomplished musicians; her grandfather Frederic Boulanger was a renown cellist in the 1790s…her father Ernest Boulanger was a composer, violinist and pianist

***

While performing in Russia, he met a young Russian princess Raisaa  Myschetsky whom he would later marry; she was twenty and he was 62 years old…out of the marriage would be born two daughters, Nadia and Lilli…when her father died unexpectedly, Nadia was forced to begin teaching at the age of thirteen to help support the family…it was an activity which she would continue in the same family house for the next seventy-five years…it is said that one day in walked George Gershwin but when he played she rejected him as a student saying to him, “I have nothing to teach you”….one her of her first students was her sister Lilli who was early on recognized as a musical prodigy but Lilli was of frail health and died at age 24; Nadia would never quite recover from the pain….she was the first woman to conduct several major symphony orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra…she was fond of saying, “the essential condition of everything you do is choice, love, passion”

___________________

  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ur7SoOVRhk to see Nadia Boulnager teach a ten-year old child prodigy  Emile Naoumoff who was Nadia’s last disciple and would go on to become a renown concert pianist

1941, June 25 – PREMIERE OF “EL CURA GAUCHO”

“El Cura Gaucho” is based on the real life story of Father Jose Gabriel Brochero who takes over a small poor parish in a secluded village 2000 meters high in the Sierra Grandes mountains of Argentina…with unwavering faith and energy he constructs roads, schools, churches and hospitals for a population inflicted with severe medical problems including cholera and leprosy..Released with great ceremony by Argentina’s Pampa Films and director Lucas Demare, “El Cura Gaucho” proved to be one of that country’s biggest box-office hits….the real Father Brochero ends his life blind and deaf, complications from the leprosy he had contracted from his parishoners….his last words were, “and now I have the means to continue my journey”…reportedly, when his body was exhumed years later, it was uncorrupted by time…due to a number of miracles which had been reported, he has been beatified and is awaiting sainthood by the Catholic Church

***

Lucas Demare dreamed of being a musician like his older brother, the legendary Lucio Demare and in fact he studied bandoneon with Pedro Maffia…he tried his hand at acting and appeared in a couple of Spanish films including “Boliche” the first Spanish film with sound…his first film as a director, for Francisco Canaro’s Rio De La Plata Studios in 1938 was “Dos Amigos Y Un Amor” was unexpectedly a box office success…it is on the set that he met a young actress Norma Castillo who would become his wife…his next film, “Veinticuarto Horas En Libertad” also for Rio De La Plata Studios in the same year was a failure…neverthless he would go on to become one of Argentina’s most successful film directors…some of his great films include “Mercado de Abasto” in 1954 and perhaps his ultimate masterpiece “La Guerra Gaucha” in 1942

_________________

1935 June 24 – CARLOS GARDEL DIES IN PLANE CRASH !!!!

Two days before the fateful day, Carlos Gardel and his entourage were on a scenic mountain range outside of Bogota, when his young secretary Corpas Moreno, volonteering to take a photo, jokingly said, “just in case, the airplane falls down boss”…Gardel became extremely angry, he was never comfortable flying…in fact in an interview, late in life, Juan D’arienzo claimed that at the Chantecler Cabaret, Carlos Gardel once said to him, “Juanito, I am going to die in an airplane!”…what really caused the two airplanes to collide that day in Medellin, Colombia which killed Carlos Gardel !…there are essentially four theories – 1. that Gardel’s pilot Ernesto Samper was playing a game of chicken on take off with the other pilot Hans Urlich Thom with whom he had a rivalry – 2. That Alfredo Le Pere, enraged because Gardel had dismissed him, took out a gun and shot at Gardel but hit the pilot instead – 3. that the plane was over the weight limit …at the airport a studio head insisted on loading onto the airplane, twelve Gardel  film reels against the strenuous objections of the pilot – 4. that a sudden gust of wind at the airport coupled with the fact that Samper did not have alot of experience flying the Ford Tri-Motor F-31 (“The Tin Goose”, billed by Henry Ford as “the safest ariliner in the world”) caused the airplane to lose control…it is true that there was a severe rivalry between the two pilots…two days earlier, Thom had flown his airplane close to that of Ernesto Samper in an act of macho bravado; Samper had vowed to get even…

***

The theory about Le Pera having shot at Gardel was advanced by Jose Maria Aguilar, the only long-term survivor of the crash…an autopsy after the crash did reveal that the pilot had been shot in the head but it apparently came from the Thom plane’s co-pilot as it saw the Samper airplane coming at him…according to Jose Maria Aguilar, Gardel’s last words were “what are you eating Indio?”; “chewing gum” answered Aguilar…“well give me some and do you have some cotton” (to place in his ears for take off)…there is one report that says that Gardel survived the initial impact of the crash and was trying to exit the airplane through a window when the left most engine came upon him and probably killed him instantly…Aguilar, who was sitting towards the back of the airplane (Gardel was in the front) claims that he survived because he was the only one that did not have his seat belt on and he was able to jump out of the airplane albeit in flames…for the remaining years of his life he would be disfigured and blind…forty eight years would pass before a similar accident would occur on the same airfield, Olaya Herrera Airport, when on December 14, 1983, a Boeing 707 on take off would hit a power line causing the death of the three people on board

____________________

  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlfJZVWojsA to see a clip from the film “Luces De Buenos Aires”, 1931 in which he first sang his composition “Tomo Y Obligo”  which was the last tango he would sing…he sang it on radio station “La Voz De La Victor” in Bogota, Colombia the day before his death
Advertisements