Archive for November 3rd, 2011

1903, November 3 – DEBUT OF “EL CHOCLO”

When it premiered at the exclusive “El Americano”restaurant in Buenos Aires, the leader of the orchestra Jose Luis Roncallo disguised the tango by calling it “danza criolla” as the owner did not like tango music; they could hardly have imagined that one day it would become one of  the most instantly recognized melodies in history ..the word “choclo” literally means corncob but its significance in the tango was a minor controversy; it was once thought that it referred to a casual comment by Villoldo that the choclo, the corncob, was “the tastiest part of the stew” but “choclo” in street-wise  jargon also referred to a tough guy or a pimp


Its composer Angel Villodo, born on February 16, 1861 (Aquarius), was a poet and guitarist who worked at many odd jobs as an aspiring musician struggling to survive…the evocotive and nostalgic lyrics by which El Choclo is known were actually a rewrite by Enrique Santos Discepolo in 1947 …this version waspremiered by Libertad Lamarque in the Mexican film “Gran Casino” directed by Luis Bunuel…an American plagiarized version was published by Lester Alien and Robert Hill who called their version “Kiss of Fire”…it was recorded to great acclaim by Louis Armstrong in 1955; a film by the same name was released in the same year


  • CLICK HERE – to hear Frankie Laine sing the American versione on his television show in 1954…Frankie Laine’s father, an immigrant from Monreale, Sicily was the barber of gangster Al Capone