Archive for the ‘ Debuts ’ Category


Like Dostoyevsky’s Rodion in “Crime and Punishment”, Robert Ramirez, is an example of the redeeming power of love…he is a con man in love and now he is repentant about his past as says to his beloved Alina, “I don’ deserve you, I am not good enough for you…my whole life is a lie..I always been a liar, I was a gambler, a thief and an ass…”…Alina puts her hand to his mouth just when he is about to admit that he is a murderer and says to him, ” be quiet, it doesn’t matter now, all that matter is that I love you”Carlos Gardel plays Ramirez who is a gambler, a cheat and eventually even a murder but he once saved the life of the detective who is investigating and knows the truth about Ramirez and whom he decides to help; Imperio Argentina plays Alina the voice and piano teacher  who falls in love with Ramirez…the critics were merciless to the film and to Gardel’s acting but there was little doubt about Imperio Argentina for her screen presence and her superb acting…In fact this film made her enormously popular in the United States…


Directed by Louis J. Gasnier and written by Alfredo Le Pera, “Melodia De Arrabal” premiered at Cine Porteno and was a big hit surpassing even the renown “Luces De Buenos Aires” by half year…Gardel attended the premiere and was met with thunderous applause upon his entry…its musical numbers, featuring the orchestras of Juan Cruz Matteo and Horacio Pettorossi, became best sellers “Silencio” was an instant hit all over the world…the other major hit was “Cuando Tu No Estas” written the renown French musician Marcel Lattes who would die ten years later at the Auschwitz concentration camp…Marcel Lattes who was originally from Nice would compose music for over thirty films…Imperio Argentina, who started her career as “Petit Imperio” at the age of six, was a particular favorite of Adolfo Hitler and he had Joseph Goebbels request an audience with her; she came and he asked her to film the life of exotic dancer Lola Montez which she later refused…she was reputed to have had a lesbian affair with Marlena Dietrich.




1&list=PL9F48543BA8107F4B to hear Gardel sing a big hit from the film, “Cuando Tu No Estas”, composed by Marcel Lattes and Carlos Gardel


A small, simple ad appeared in the “El Mundo” newspaper that day, “At 8 PM tonight, Maestro Alfredo De Angelis with his singers Carlos Dante and Julio Martel on a new program, ‘El Glostora Tango Club’, for the victorious youth, the hair gel of a grand world within reach of the whole world”…it is doubtful that its creators realized that their brief, fifteen minute experiment following a very popular mystery series, would one day blossom into a legendary institution which would have a run of twenty-two years…it featured the Alfredo De Angelis Orchestra for the first five years and there after it would host the most renown orchestras and singers; Francisco Canaro, Miguel Calo, Juan D’arienzoArmando Pontier, Enrique FranciniOsvaldo Pugliese to name just a few…its theme song for all those years would remain the pasodoble “Amor Gitano” composed by the renown Feliciano Brunelli…its proud sponsor was the Glostora Hair Gel whose target market was young people; for these were the times when tango was the preferred music of the youth, “just four drops  and you will have victorius hair” it repeated to them over and over again…


Hosted by Rafael Diaz Gallardo and Lucia Marcò, in its debut Alfredo De Angelis played three tangos “La Brisa”, “Misa De Once”, and “Sonar y Nada Mas” his great waltz hit which had premiered three years earlier….transmitting from the Casino Theater it was a live transmission with a large studio audience…the program became so popular that entire familys awaited its inception and they would eagerly crowd around the radio; grown men would remember with great nostalgia, that special day when their fathers’ would take them to the theater to be part of the studio audience…this was a period when Buenos Aires was teeming with milongas and orchestras every night...”for more and better stylish hair, Glostora…for more and better tangos Glostora Tango Club” was one of the jingles which listeners would know by heart…Tango’s history is closely intertwined with radio; they had a symbiotic relationship supporting each other in their respective development…in radio’s nascent days, musicians performed for free but they could count on copious amounts of food and wine…Rosita Quiroga was probably the first soloist on radio but she became equally famous for the ravioli she cooked for her fellow musicians in Radio Belgrano’s kitchens


CLICK HERE– to hear the first transmission of the Glostora Tango Club; Carlos Dante with the Alfredo De Angelis Orchestra sings “La Brisa”


“I am sorry to keep saying it, but I don’t love you any more Helena”…psychologists tell us that these are the most painful words that a human being can hear and yet this is exactly what Conrado tells Helena; he is in love with another woman…but Helena is madly in love with him and these simple words destroy her…the words come precisely at the moment that her singing career is about to take off and she has been offered a performance at a prestigious venue in Buenos Aires but she is unable to sing…she becomes a mere shell of her former self, she is hysterical, out of her mind, obsessive, she follows Conrado and telephones him incessantly and finally, the extreme pain leads her to cut herself with broken glass…not unlike the legendary Libertad Lamarque in real life, she hits bottom, loses everything…she finally moves to a small French seaside town where she finds work in a simple bakery confirming Khalil Gibran when he says of love’s pain “he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast”


“And so I embarked on a long period of research to track down the tangos that not only touched me musically but would also carry, through their  poetry and their emotions and the message of  the film”, said Director Diego Martinez Vignati…perhaps that is why his film “The Tango Singer” is one of the very few films in history that manages to perfectly weave the art of film making with tango music and dancing…The film is punctuated by intense bursts of tango masterfully weaved into the fabric of the film and provide an insight into Helena, brilliantly portrayed by actress Eugenia Ramírez Miori…Vignatti was born 1971 in Bahia Blanca Argentina; the birth place of Carlos Disarli; in fact half of the “The Tango Singer” was filmed there; the other half in Belgium where Vignati has lived since 1997…he graduated from law school in Argentina but studied film at the prestigious INSAS in Brussels…the film features the renown vocalist Oscar Ferrari who passed away soon after making this noted critic said of the film, ”it manages to do what was only attempted by Sally Potter in “The Tango Lesson”, Carlos Saura in “Tango” and Robert Duval in Assassination Tango”.


CLICK HERE– to see a clip from the film “The Tango Singer”


One reviewer said of “Mattsson Tango”, “I’ll go out on a limp here and say this is the best work he has ever done” is indeed a great leap forward for Lars Eric Mattsson who is Finland’s number one hard rock guitarist  and whose specific genre, described as “neo/classic metal hard rock”, would seem far cry from the sophisticated world of tango…however, this is, in a sense, a return to his roots for Lars recalls nostalgically as a little boy, his grandfather listening to treasured recordings of the legendary Olavi Virta, the king of Finnish tango…tango in fact, from the year 1913 when the Finns first discovered it, became the national music of Finland….in its history, tango has had far-reaching influence on many cultural forms around the world;  this is certainly the first time to evolve into “classic metal tango”…For his Mattsson’s Tango he enlisted the help of stunning vocalist Adrienne Antal whom one producer described as “the best female vocalist I have ever heard”


Lars was born in the Aland Islands, the Swedish speaking region of Finland…it was as a boy that he discovered the guitar and it became his passion; in time he developed not only an amazing technique but a style all his own which has won him a legion of fans all other world…later he also became an accomplished pianist…he was a young, starving guitarist, when he was discovered by producer Mike Varney who first exposed him to the world in an introductory article about him in his renowned “Guitar Player Magazine”, the voice of his Shrapnel Records Label…Lars’s first recording was a four song compilation in 1985 which was well received by the public; he soon after founded  a band called “Vision” which was especially popular with the Japanese public…from there his success skyrocketed leading to the formation of his own production company “Lion Music” which gradually evolved into a record label


CLICK HERE– Mattsson’s Tango with the voice of Adrienn Antal

1941, March 20 – Alfredo De Angelis Debuts, “CAFE MARZOTTO”

He had waited a long time to start his own orchestra…most would-be greats jumped into the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship much younger (and most failed) and yet from the moment of his debut at the mythical Cafe Marzotto he would see stellar success…he would be criticized as being a merry-go-round orchestra for like Juan D’arienzo, adopting the 2/4 beat, would make it eminently danceable and eminently successful…another thing that differentiated him from his competition was its stability; his core group of musicians would remain with him for his and their entire career…another unique thing about the Alfredo De Angelis orchestra was that it popularized the tango duet, premier among them, the one composed of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel…Alfredo De Angelis was born in the charming village of Androgue just outside of Buenos Aires; years later it would be the inspiration for one of  Jorge Luis Borges’s books of poetry….


From early age, young Alfredo demonstrated precociousness and at the age of nine began playing piano for silent movies at the Androgue Cinema…Alfredo impressed noted singer Juan Gilberti who gave him his first job as an accompanist…his first break came when he was invited to play with the renown Anselmo Aieta Orchestra…he developed a name for himself and invitations to play with other important orchestras followed…his orchestra was on the inaugural program of the legendary “Glostora Tango Club” and would perform there for 25 years…he would record 486 tangos with the Odeon Label between 1943 and 1977…the Cafe Marzotto mixed tango, football and horse races and made history…it gave its start to a young Attilo Stampone who played there in the 1930s; in 1946 a young and wavering Astor Piazzolla walked in to ask Attilo to join his group…it launched the career of Osmar Maderna, “the Chopin of tango” who would tragically die at the age of thirty-three in an airplane crash.


1921, March 6 – Premiere “Four Horsemen and The Apocalypse”

Julio is beguiled by the seductive girl dancing the tango…with a confident, menacing stare he strides to the center of the dance floor, with gaucho whip in hand and asks the man let him cut in….in a cavalier manner the man simply ignores Julio and continues to dance with the girl…Julio is enraged and shoves the man brusquely away from the girl…the man takes his knife out and lunges at him but Julio adeptly evades the knife and hits the man on the head with the handle of his whip.. the man falls down and Julio takes over the girl to finish with a spectacular tango dance to the enthusiastic applause of the is precisely this scene from “Four Horsemen and the Apocalypse” which launched the tango craze throughout the world…based on Vasco Ibanez’s classic novel, several studios had tried unsuccessfully to adapt the novel but it was writer June Mathis who finally succeeded…it was she who hired Rodolfo Valentino, an obscure B film struggling actor who had worked as a taxi dancer…the tango scene in fact was not part of the original story but Mathis included to take advantage of Valentino’s dancing skills


It premiered to great acclaim and had a huge cultural impact; it became the top grossing film of 1921 and the first ever to earn one million dollars at the box office…it turned Rodolfo Valentino into a superstar and launched the tango craze; June Mathis would become one of the first powerful women executives in Hollywood…Valentino was born in Castellaneta, Puglia to an Italian father and a French mother…he spent some idle time in Paris and finally returned to Puglia but unable to get a job he left for the United States and arriving there on December 23, 1913…he ran out of money and for a while he lived on the streets of New York…he eventually moved to Los Angeles where he taught dancing to older high society women…on August 15, 1926 he collapsed at the Hotel Ambassador in New York; he was operated on, for a ruptured appendix; surgery had gone well and a recovery was expected…however, he unexpectedly developed pleuritis in his left lung and fell into a coma..he passed away on August 23, 1926; he was 31 years old…interestingly, the film inspired a young Betty Davis to try acting; in 1999, the American Film Institute rated Davis as number two on the list of the “Greatest Female Stars of All Time”



“Who would have thought back then, sixteen years ago that one day I would be singing here” wrote Carlos Gardel to his friend and manager Jose Razzano referring to their boyhood when the thought of performing at the mythical Paris Opera House was only a wildly unattainable dream for boys from poor immigrant families…indeed to have been invited to sing at the Paris Opera House for the “Bal de Petit Lits Blanc”, the most important social event of the year, was to have conquered Paris and therefore the world…he became the darling of a decadent aristocracy and it is they  who would catapult him to international fame; it is they who would export tango into a world sensation…on this particular night the well liked President of the Republic Gaston Doumergue was especially thrilled and he sent down a note to Gardel, would he please re-sing “El Cerretero”; with deep respect Gardel bowed to the president and did, to the enthusiastic applause of his excellency…


Ten days later he opened at the Casino in Cannes for the unbelievable sum of 4000 francs a night; a famous magazine “La Rampe” in the luxurious end of the year edition, ran a full color photo of him….telegrams were personally delivered to him, a service reserved for only the most important people…he relished his success in paris, “I am living better than a millionaire in paris, in the best district in a comfortable house” he would write in letters to friends; much of his fortune would be squandered in his horse gambling habit…..150 years earlier, other Gardels were conquering an earlier version of the Paris Opera, Maximilien and Pierre Gardel ballet dancers and choreographers…Maximilien became the dance instructor of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI…he died young from an infection resulting from a small toe injury sustained while dancing…his brother Pierre became a renown choreographer and ballet master for 35 years surviving a number of political upheavals including the French Revolution…on the day that Louis XVI was beheaded, the Paris Opera was performing Pierre’s “The Trial of Paris”…Gardel would meet his own premateur demise just six years later in a fiery airplane crash .


1929, January 30 – PREMIERE OF “PANDORA’S BOX”

“She was the most seductive, sexual image of woman ever permitted in celluloid…she is the only pure pleasure seeker I think I ever met” these were the comments of director Richard Leacock regarding actress Louis Brooks…she created a scandal dancing a tango with lesbian “Countess Augusta Geschweitz” in G. W.Pabst’s classic “Pandora’s Box”...Louise portrays “Lulu” a seductive, erotic, thoughtless young woman whose raw sexuality and uninhibited nature bring ruin to herself and those who love her…in this film she is the mistress of a well-respected newspaper publisher whom she marrys..she accidently kills him and is sentenced to five years in prison…she escapes with Alwa, her husband’s son but she is eventually sold to a brothel in Egypt…they eventually escape to London where they are living in squalor and where she prostitutes herself to make ends meet…she selects a client who is non other than Jack the Ripper… in the last scene, Alwa decides to leave her and is seen following a Salvation Army parade unawares of Lulu’s horrible fate up stairs…Jack the Ripper glances at him as he goes by


In real life Louis Brooks was “Lulu”, living a libertine life of excessive drinking, opulent rich life style, reckless spending, sexual liberation and experimentation including a lesbian affair with Greta Garbo…at the age of nine she had been sexually abused by a neighbor which began her intense relationship to sexuality…in an interview she states “I was a terrible actress, in the film I was simply playing myself which is the hardest thing in the world to do”…her lovers included Charley Chaplain, CBS president William Paley and many others…by the age of 32 she was forgotten; she had had several opportunities to revive her career but she hated hollywood and told them to go to hell…alone and alcoholic, she took a job as a sales clerk in a New York department store where no one suspected she was the former beauty queen and screen myth…later she worked for a call girl agency catering to rich clientele…she never had any children describing herself, in typical  self deprecating humor as “Baren Brooks”



Director Manuel Romero was not a nice person, he had a terrible temper and was difficult to work for….he tended to work frenetically, writing as he went along and finishing a film as soon as possible; perhaps he had in mind his considerable gambling debts…he was immensely prodigious in his career; he was to make 53 films…he started as a playwrite, his first one being “Teatro Breve”; 149 others were to follow including some very successful ones..he worked as a journalist for the respected “Fray Mocho” magazine and even wrote the lyrics to numerous tangos including the two hits “Tomo Y Oblio”  (which was Carlos Gardel’s Last Tango) and “Tiempos Viejos”…his films followed the same formula, simple, heart-wrenching scripts complete with the poor boy in love with a rich girl who is being pursued by the cavalier son of the local tycoon all of it contrasted by a good dose of comedy and lots of tangos; the critics hated it, the people loved it


“The Tango  Returns to Paris”(El Tango Vuelve a Paris) was another showcase for singer Alberto Castillo who was a board certified gynecologist by day and a crooner by night….his practise was so invaded by young girls that he reluctantly had to quit his medical practise and devote himself to singing…in the film, Alberto plays “Alberto” who is also a medical doctor whose passion is tango and who, along with a group of friends decides to try to reignite tango passions in Paris…there is, of course, a love story and humourous situations which present ample opportunity to sing several tangos including “Ninguna”, “Griseta”, and “Muñeca brava”…the film stars a boyish Anibal Troilo and his orchestra and is the only one where Anibal actually has a speaking part…the film also features legendary Mexican singer Elvira Rios who had that dark, mysterious quality in her style which one critic likened to Zara Leander…she had considerable success in the United States as well as Latin America and was one of the first Latinos to break into  Hollywood


  • CLICK HERE – to see a clip from the film “The Tango Returns to Paris” in which Alberto Castillo sings“Muneca Brava” composed in 1929 by Luis Visca with lyrics by Enrique Cadicamo

1933, December 29 – PREMIERE OF “FLYING DOWN TO RIO”

For this film Vincent Youmans composed the tango “Orchids in the Moonlight” which would be a smash hit and another leap forward in the tango craze in the United States and consequently the world…it is sung by Raul Roulien and danced by Fred Astair with Dolores Del Rio who was considered the female Rodolofo Valentino…”Orchids in the Moonlight” would be subsequently recorded by many other artists including The Platters in 1960 and by the legendary mexican trio Los Panchos in English; Ricardo Montalban and Cyd Cherise were to do an unforgetable dance to it in the 1948 film “On An Island With You”…this was the first time that Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers had worked together…Interestingly, Fred had been reluctant to work with her; having danced with his sister for many years, he now dreamt of finally breaking away to a solo career…


The film was originally conceived as a showcase for silent film beauty star Dolores Del Rio, instead the unexpected chemistry between Fred and Ginger usurped the headlines and buzz and created the greatest dancing couple in history; they were to make nine other films together…”Flying Down to Rio” , directed by Thorton Freeman,  follows the adventures of  Roger Bond a band leader and aviator who falls in love with the Brazilian beauty Belinda de Resende (Dolores Del Rio) even though she is already engaged to Julio played by Raul Roulien…Roulien was the first Brazilian actor to make it in Hollywood; in the later part of his career he successfully produced and directed a number of films…Vincent Youmans composed some successful broadway hits although his career was relatively short; like the legenday Eduardo Arolas, he finally passed away relatively young  from complications of TB and alcoholism