1942, September 29 – RAUL BERON RECORDS “AZABACHE”

The world “Azabache” means black and the lyrics speak of the abandonment in African candombe rythms of a young mulatto girl  in San Telmo, Buenos Aires whose hips movements are captivating….there is a reference to blood and “tumba” which in the lunfardo dialect means the boiled meat typically served in prisons…in the mind of legendary lyricist Homero Exposito he was harkening back to the period when blacks and mulatos outnumbered “whites” five to one…their disappearance is one of the most intriqueing riddles in Argentine history..many emigrated to Uruguay which had less racist policys and many died in in various wars as they disproportionately comprised the soldiers in the army….still others intermarried and many of mixed african descent were great contributers to the development of tango…for example Oscar Aleman, Cayetano Silva, Rosendo Mendizabal, Celedonio Flores to name just a few


Raul Beron is considered by many as the best tango voice in history and yet in the eyes of cognoscenti, Jose his older brother, had the talent surpass his legendary brother but preferred the bohemian night life …but it wasn’t only these two brothers but the whole family that seemed particularly gifted…their sister Elba for example, would record several hits with the Anibal Troilo Orchestra….they  were the children of Adolfo Manuel Beron, a guitarist and composer who encouraged his children to play and sing; theirs was a household visited by Adolfo’s musician and artist friends….their first taste of stardom occurred when Adolfo organized his five children into “Los Portenitos” which began singing in the cafes of their home town of Zarate…Azabache was composed by Enrique Francini


  1. The word “tumba” denotes a low-pitched drum, a variant of the conga, widely used in candombe rituals. The context suggests that interpretation in this case. The boiled meat served in prisons is another matter…..

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