Archive for January 8th, 2012

1941, January 8 – ALBERTO CASTILLO RECORDS “RECUERDO”

This tango waltz was the first hit for  Dr. Alberto De Luca, gynecologist who in the evening was the idolized singer Alberto Castillo…two years earlier he had decided to quit singing altogether to devote himself to his medical studies….he was seduced to come back by an invitation from Ricardo Tanturi to join his important orchestra….”Recuerdo” was also the first major hit for the Tanturi orchestra; Tanturi, interestingly was himself a dentist…Castillo was to remain with Tanturi for five years producing some notable hits during that period…a year after the release of “Recuerdo”, Alberto graduates from medical school and becomes a board certified gynecologist…he tried to practise medicine but in the mornings he would find his studio full of young ladies waiting to see him and he finally and reluctantly had to give up medicine and devote himself exclusively to singing…there was one famous incident in 1944 whereby, for a concert at the Teatro Alvear, the swarm of people waiting to get in was so huge, that the police had to call in extra forces to control traffic…..

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Alberto was also a naturally gifted actor; he made 12 films starting with “Adios Pampa Mia” in 1946…Alberto Castillo was born in the neighborhood of Floresta, Buenos Aires, the fifth child of immigrants from Teggiano, Italy…very early on he demonstrated great musical ability; he took violin lesson and had the habit of singing no matter where he was or what he was doing…when he was 15 years old he was singing with a group of friends on a street corner when the guitarist Armando Neira happened by and was immediately struck by the voice of the young boy; he invited him to sing with his group….And thus began his career at the age of 15 using the alias Alberto Dual to protect him from his severe father who wanted him to seek a career in medicine

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1903, January 7 – BIRTH OF CARLOS DI SARLI

Composer, Leader, Pianist (Capricorn) – three times in his career his musicians walked out on him…he was a demanding, temperamental, difficult perfectionist…maybe it had something to do with the fact that as a young boy he had lost an eye in an accident and wore a prosthesis…there was the famous incident in which the owner of  the “Club El Germinal” told him that he could not perform wearing his habitual dark glasses…Carlos in his customary vexation became immensely irate and stompted out though these were tough times and work for musicians was difficult to come by….his band out of loyalty to him, continued playing using his name…but Carlos was also a gifted musician and perhaps no one represents the beauty, the sensuality, the passion of tango better, for the great number of people in the world, than he does…he recorded over 250 tangos in 27 albums…among the innumerable hits, three of his most beloved he composed himself “Bahia Blanca”, “Verde Mar” and “Otra Vez Carnaval”…he discovered a young Roberto Ruffino with whom he would record some immortal hits…

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Like Astor Piazzolla, he was born in the town of Bahia Blanca to an italian immigrant father who had moved to the new world when his first wife tragically died young…he eventually fell in love with Carlo’s mother Serafina who came from a musical family; one of her brothers Tito Russomano was a noted barritone…with the encouragement of his father young Carlos began studying piano preparing for a career in classical music…at age 13 he horrified his family when he began playing and touring with a Zarzuela Company…three years later he formed his own orchestra and began playing at the Cafe Express in his home town; he composed his first tango “Meditacion”…at age 20 renown composer and band leader Anselmo Aieta ask him to join his orchestra…impressed with his seriousness and professionalism,  though he still quite young, Osvaldo Fresedo entrusted him with the direction of an important orchestra performing at the Fenix Theater…at the height of his creative power, Carlos Di Sarli passed away at the age of 57 years old…noted tango historian Keith Elshaw was to say of Carlos di Sarli, “he walked like a panther…his originality is breathtaking and his beat is so sexy”

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