“I am not as bad as people think, I am actually getting better”… Roberto Chanel kept up a courageous front…he began having trouble with his eyes at the age of 45 and at the age of 50 he was almost blind and then he had a stroke which greatly diminished his physical capacity…until the end he played his guitar everyday but now he could only hum the tangos which had made him famous and for a while wealthy…but now he was struggling and his fellow musicians held a fund-raising event for him which helped him survive but at the age of fifty-seven, with his guitar next to him, he passed away…the poor boy, son of Neapolitan immigrants had come a long way…he was born in the neighborhood of Caballito, Buenos Aires the youngest of five siblings…their father, an accomplished accordion player, encourage his children to play guitar and sing….they put together an adolescent musical group and played in the local festivals and cafes for donations…


They began to make appearances on the local radio stations including Radio Paris and Radio Splendid…Roberto dreamed of being a singer and he continuously entered talent contests non of which he won but he was determined…he made friends with pianist Armando Cupo who recommended him to “El Ciequito” Tarantino with whose band he debuted as a singer at the well-regarded Cafe Nacional…Osvaldo Pugliese also happened to be performing at the Cafe Nacional and when one day he was looking for a singer, the manager recommended Roberto Chanel; upon hearing him, Osvaldo hired him immediately…his first recording in July of 1943, “Farol” with lyrics by Homero Exposito was a hit; his second hit was the milongas “Tortazos” by Jose Razzano which he recorded on June 1, 1944…when he separated from Pugliese he went to sing for Florindo Sassone with whom he would record 16 tracts after which commenced his period as a soloist…as a composer his best hit was “Oracion Rante” which Carlos Yanel had much success with his recording of it in 1954


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