1880, November 18 – BIRTH OF JUAN MAGLIO “PACHO”

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Scorpio) – in the 1910s when people went into a record shop they merely said “give me a ‘Pacho’”…Juan Maglio “Pacho” sold so many records that his name was synonymous with buying a record…..he was one of a handful of true early pioneers of tango; it is estimated that he composed over 900 tangos among them immortal hits like “El Lloron”, “Viejo Smoking” and the waltz “Orillas Del Plata”…his father Pantaleon was an Italian immigrant who settled in the neighborhood of Palermo; Pacho one of eight children…Pantaleon played the bandoneon but he forbade his accident prone son to touch it…one evening he found Pacho secretly playing it and in a fit of rage he called him a “pazzo” or crazy in italian…when the neighborhood kids tried to say “pazzo” it came out “pacho”; it was to stick with him for the rest of his life…he taught the first woman bandoneon player in history, the mythical,  Paquita Bernardo


At the age of 18 he debuted with a trio at the Cafe Vasco in Barracas…later his group played at La Paloma Cafe which had just recently opened; Pacho would laugh years later recounting how the rats would scurry when they began to play….in 1912 his major break came when he was given a recording contract with Colombia Records; it was that same year that he composed his first tango “El Zurdo”…in 1929 he hired an uncertain, 15-year-old boy who walked in lugging his bandoneon; that boy, would one day become the legendary Anibal Troilo…on July 11 1934 in dire pain and weakened condition he was helped into the studios of Radio Belgrano; it was to be his last performance…three days later he would succumb to lung cancer the result of smoking 6 black tobacco cigarettes per day…on his desk were found several unfinished compositions which he apparently was trying desperately up to the last moment of his life.


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