1907, October 28 – BIRTH OF MIGUEL CALO

Growing up in a poor family of 16 children, intense and sensitive Miguel, the eldest, was nevertheless a determined child; he learned soon enough to fight and to overcome…this along with rare musical gifts would one day make him a legend but his hard early years would also help make him a compassionate and generous person and when he finally passed away at the age of 65 from a massive heart attack, he was eulogized by his grateful musicians and his adoring wife and children…his parent were immigrants from Puglia, in South Italy…Puglia was originally part of the ancient Greek Empire and in fact the name “Calò” comes from the Greek word “kalos” which means “beautiful”…Miguel attended only elementary school dropping out to work as a delivery boy to help the family finances…however, what Miguel and his six brothers (10 of the children were girls) had inherited from their father and grandfather back in Puglia was musical talent…Miguel (Scorpio) bought his first musical instrument, an old violin, with his meager savings; later an uncle gave him a bandoneon to which he devoted himself with passion…in his neighborhood of Balvanera, in Buenos Aires, a local musician encouraged the shy Miguel to play in public…


Miguel invited a pianist friend to join him in an audition at the Independence Cinema in their neighborhood…the owner of the cinema was delighted at the enthusiastic applause of the public and gave Miguel an 18 month contract at 250 pesos a month which for the times was a huge sum of money…Miguel promptly gave the money to his father to help the famly…at the age of 20 Miguel Calò was hired by the Francisco Pracanico Orchestra whose singer was a young Azucena Maizani…the year after that he joined the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra with which he toured the United States…still in his early 20s he formed his first orchestra; it was the beginning of a glorious career of uninterrupted accomplishments…his first recording “Milonga Portena” was a tango of his own composition…other personal compositions were “Jamas Retorneras” and “Que Te Importa Que Te Llore” which were both great hits for his most representative singer Raul Beron...many great musicians and singers would pass through his ranks including Osmar Maderna, Osvaldo Pugliese, Enrique Francini, Roberto Ruffino, Carlos Roldan, Jorge Ortiz and Raul Iriarte…his was fond of saying to his musicians as he selflessly encouraged them to strike out on their own, “everything in life is a cycle….when one ends, another begins”


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