Archive for the ‘ Argentinean ’ Category

1948, March 24 – 1ST RECORDED, “UNA CARTA PARA ITALIA”

“Shameless propaganda !” was how this tango was angrily described by its detractors…it was in fact propaganda for the Juan Peron regime…composer of “Una Carta Para Italia” Santos Lipseker was not only a prodigious and accomplished composer but a good businessman…however he was also known for his generosity, it was not uncommon for him to take the whole orchestra to dinner…the lyrics of “Una Carta Para Italia”, written by poet Reinaldo Yiso, are a letter from a young man to his mother back in Italy in which he describes how life is so much better in Argentina than in poor Italy all designed to sing the praises of Juan Peron’s governance…it is true that when Juan Peron came to power, for a brief period, the economy of Argentina went through a dramatic revival; in the 1920s Argentina had been the eighth richest country in the world only to crumble through a combination of the great depression and military dictatorship from which it has never recovered

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“Una Carta Para Italia” was recorded by the Francini-Pontier Orchestra with the voice of  Roberto Ruffino…Enrique Francini and Armando Pontier were both born in the town of Zarate, 100 kilometers north of Buenos Aires…in 1939 they began their careers together with the newly formed Miguel Calo Orchestra…six years later they debuted their own orchestra at the mythical “Tango Bar” with two young voices which in time would evolve, arguably, into the two greatest singers in tango history, Raul Beron and Alberto Podestà…along with Roberto Ruffino all three would see great success with Francini – Pontier…less known is the fact that Ruffino besides being a great singer was also a composer and lyricist; among his compositions are “El Bazarde los Jugetes” which would be made into a hit by Alberto Podestà in the mid 50s…Armando Pontier was the composer of some of the most beautiful tangos in history like “Trenzas”, “Corazon No Le Hagas Caso” and “Cada Dia Te Estrano Mas”…on Christmas Day of 1983, no longer able to silence the voices that haunted, he took his own life

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CLICK HERE– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErLnFXnAxEo to hear “Una Carta Para Italia” which interestingly opens with the classic Neapolitan song “Santa Lucia”

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1913, March 10 – BIRTH OF ENRIQUE CAMPOS

Singer (Pisces) – he was torn by the whole idea; he had already spent years with a stage name and now Ricardo Tanturi was telling him he had to change it again but the chance to replace the renown Alberto Castillo with his “Los Indios Orchestra” in Buenos Aires was a major break and so he reluctantly aquiesced…Ricardo Tanturi opened the phone book at random, scanned the page and said, “ah, here it is ‘Enrique Campos’”…ludicrous as the whole scene was, it embarked the realization of his boyhood dreams…he debuted with Tanturi on Radio El Mundo to critical acclaim and soon after, he made his first recording; on one side “Muchachos Comienza la Ronda” by Luis Porcell and on the other side the waltz “Al Pasar” by Raul Iglesias…a dedicated family man, many years later reflecting on a long and full career, he would recall that, that was also the year that he met his beloved wife with whom he would raise a proud and successful family

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He was born Enrique Troncone to struggling Italian immigrants in the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay…his parents noticed him musical talent on and encouraged him as far their humble means could permit…he began singing at a very young age in the local bars and cafes while during the day time doing all sorts of odd jobs to help support the family…his professional debut came relatively late for a singer of that era; it happened at the Cinema Helvetico in the village of Colonia Suisa, originally a swiss and german settlement; he was twenty-three years old…his first break came when he was called by Radio Station CX 18 and in March of that year he debuted on the station’s popular program“Caramelos Surtidos” with two guitarists; the telephones began to ring at the radio station and his popularity began to skyrocket…in his career he would sing with a number of orchestras and make several hit recordings; he starred in one film “Radio Candelario” which premiered at Radio City Cinema on August 21, 1939

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  • CLICK HERE –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YAxXDtbI0s&feature=related to hear Enrique Campos sing “Oigo Tu Voz” (I hear your voice) with the Ricardo Tanturi Orchestra…music by Mario Canaro, lyrics by Francisco Garcia Jimenez

1929, March 1 – GARDEL RECORDS “CRUZ DE PALO”

“On dark nights when the wind’s curious howl wraps itself among the willows…a strange light shines on a wooden cross and then returns to the pasture…on the day of the dead, a girl, head covered in a black scarf, with tearful, lifeless eyes, kneels at the tombstone and says, ‘see you soon’ but in fact she never returns”…this is the message of “Cruz de Palo” (Wooden Cross) written by legendary poet Enrique Cadicamo with music by Guillermo Barbieri…for Cadicamo, it was one of over 1300 in his prodigious career…he was born in the town of General Rodriguez just outside of Buenos Aires and as a little boy he was already curious about the world and he would write about what he saw and felt….he published several books of poetry “Canciones Tristes”, “The History of Tango In Paris” and “Under the Sign of the Tango”…he wrote several plays including “The Way Life Repays Us” and “The Romance of Vagabonds”…with Guillermo Barbieri he collaborated on number of works including “Anclao a Paris”, “Olvidao”, “La Novia Ausente”; Carlos Gardel was to record 20 of his poems…

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Among his great hits are “Madam Yvonne” (which was the last one Gardel would record in Argentina before his tragic death in 1934), “Los Mareados”, and “Muneca Brava”…he would direct three films and would travel alot in europe and to New York…the music of “Cruz de Palo” is by Guillermo Barbieri who was one of Gardel’s guitarists and also a singer…..Although Barbieri had his first lessons from his father who was also a guitarist, he was basically self taught…he began his professional career at the age of sixteen with the Felix Rodriguez Trio…Barbieri first met Carlos Gardel and Jose Razzano in 1919, at a party to celebrate the victory of one of their race horses; he would remain with Gardel for fifteen years…Barbieri’s first tango to be recorded was “Los Ruisenores” in 1921 by the Roberto Firpo orchestra…among his most beloved compositions are “ViejoSmoking” and “Rosas de Otono”….he would perish with Gardel in Medellin,Colombia; interestingly, the only one to survive was another guitarist, Jose Maria Aguilar.

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1998, February 12 – PREMIERE OF SAURA’S “TANGO”

Mario is devastated, his wife has left him for another man and to make matter worse, he has to see them together every day as they are dancers in the tango film he is making…the financier of the film, a powerful and dangerous man, asks him to give a part to Elena, a young, beautiful dancer who is his lover (Elena is played by Mia Maestro who would later star in “Frida”, another film with a tango scene in it)…Mario eventually falls in love with her and the two begin an affair together risking both their lives; in the mean time, the making of the tango film goes on….it is roughly a remake of the mythical Moglia Barth “Tango” of 1933…it won a nomination for an academy award and has won awards in film festivals all over the world primarily for the dancing and the cinematography which was created by academy award-winning Vittorio Storaro who also did “Last Tango In Paris”…”Tango”, one of the best tango films of all time was directed by renown Spanish director Carlos Saura, famous for his combination of passion and dance in films like  ”Carmen” and “Flamenco”…Janet Maslin, the New York Times critic was to write of the film, “Tango offers transfixingly beautiful glimpses of the dance and all the wide range of emotions it can conjure”

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One of the most exciting scenes in the film occurs when mythical tanguero Juan Carlos Copes dances with his daughter Joanna Copes…Copes is one of the last remaining of the great, authentic, tangueros of the golden era who has done everything in tango for 50 years…he began dancing as a young boy in the bars and clubs of Buenos Aires; his hero was Gene Kelly …but he had decided on a career as an electronic engineer when at the age of 20 he happened to win a tango contest in which 300 couples were competing…it launched a career which would take him all over the world…the film also featured a young singer Roxanne Fontana who would  go on to become one of the most gifted and versatile  tango singers in history…”Tango” includes a clip from the 1955 classic “Mercado De Abasto” in which Tita Merello sings her great hit “Se Dice De Mi”…Juan Carlos Copes got to meet his hero Gene Kelly who summoned him to his house in his waning days … “tango”, Copes  says, “is the only dance that allows imagination and creativity to form in three minutes and to become a history of love and of hate”.

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1913, February 4 – BIRTH OF SABINA OLMOS

Singer (Aquarius) – another day was dawning, another sleepless night…she looked round the sparse, unkempt  room…on the night stand was the picture of her beloved Charlo…her thin, wrinkled hand was trembling as she slipped her wedding ring into her finger; the same  ring that her dear friend Eva Peron had given her so long ago…she opened the balcony door, walked to the edge, carefully climbed over the railing and jumped to her death…..many years had passed for Sabina Olmos since that young, happy girl full of dreams was working in the department store Casa San Juan and where in between attending customers she loved to sing…a customer had spoken about her to renown singer Amanda Ledesma who recommended her to radio station Radio Buenos Aires…the response from the public was enthusiastic; it was the beginning of a dazzling career…

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She was born in the Jewish neighborhood of Once (Balvanera), in Buenos Aires the birth place of  the great Juan D’arienzo…begining with a small part in“Canillita” at the age of 23, she would do 30 films in her career …perhaps her best film would be “Asi Es La Vida” which made her famous in all of Latin America and for which she won “Best Supporting Dramatic Actress” from the city of Buenos Aires…In the film “Carnaval de Antano” she sang with the legendary Charlo who would become the love of her life; they married in 1952…she never stopped loving him even after they divorced 17 years later and even after she accused him of having ruined her; she never had any children…she was a friend of Eva Peron and after the overthrow of Juan Peron she was blackballed….she and Charlo earned rave reviews singing in long tours abroad…she lived two years in Spain taking time to tour the US and Latin America always in grandest of opulence…but for the last 20 years of her life she endured one vicissitude after another; she was practically alone and forgotten living on the edge of poverty from a small pension…that fateful morning, the note she left on the table read, “please forgive me for my decision and please pardon me for the occasional bother  that I have been”.

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CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dqQRl7dYeM to see Sabina Olmos sing “Muchachita Del Campo” composed by Francisco Lomuto with  lyrics by film director Manuel Romero

1955, February 3 – PREMIERE “MERCADO DE ABASTO”

In the film, Pauline rushes home to tell her beloved that she is pregnant; he is gone and has taken her money to feed his gambling vice…meanwhile in the market of Abasto where she works, a fruit vender who has been secretly in love with her for many years, helps her…later, believing himself to be on his death-bed, he offers to marry Pauline so that she and her child can inherit his modest wealth…still later the unscrupulous gambler returns hoping to reunite with Pauline; she decides to stay with the fruit vender…Tita Merello is Pauline…in reali life she was always Pauline and in fact she says, “My best character is the interpretation of my own self”…she had a tough childhood, abandoned early on to a series of orphanages…“my childhood was short, sad and ugly” ; she once admitted, without shame, to having had to resort to prostitution  to survive…Tita Merello was to be a woman of many men, but her true love was only one, actor Luis Sandrini whom she met on the set of her first film in 1933, “Tango”…after ten years of marrigae, he would leave her  for a younger actress..

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In the film Tita sings her hit milonga “Se Dice De Mi” which is one of the most viewed and instantly recognized scenes in all tango film history; it would be inserted in 1998 into Carlos Saura’s academy award nominated “Tango”...premiering at the Gran Rex Theater in Buenos Aires, Mercado De Abasto was directed by Lucas Demare, brother of legendary composer Lucio Demare..born July 14, 1910 (Cancer), Lucas was one of the pioneers of Argentine film history; he directed and wrote more than 40 films in his career…he was the son of an Italian immigrant father who was himself a violinist…the market of Abasto in Buenos Aires is one of the pivotal areas in tango history…at the turn of the century it was a beehive of human activity; of the kind where tango was born…brimming with cheap cafes and bars, pizza joints, itinerant musicians, prostitutes and frequent  knifefights, everything imaginable was bought and sold …Carlos Gardel grew up in the area, as did the director himself Lucas Demare as well as legendary musician and composer Horacio Salgan…the film “El Cantor del Pueblo” was also shot in the  market of Abasto…

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  • CLICK HERE –http://www.youtube.com/
  • watch?v=-sEUiCMLc0o to see a clip from the film “Mercado de Abasto” in which Tita Merello sing her great hit  “Se Dice De Mi composed by Francisco Lomuto and lyrics by Antonio Botta; the rendition is by the Francisco Canaro Orchestra

1926, January 29 – BIRTH OF ROBERTO GOYENECHE

Singer (Aquarius) – crushed by the death of his devoted mother in 1949, he vows to never sing again and to devote himself exclusively to his bus driving activity and the care of his two young sons; neverthless he loves to sing as he drives….one fateful day an agent for Horacio Salgan happens to board the bus and is amazed by the driver’s voice; he tells Horacio about him who promptly summons him for an audition and hires him on the spot…this would lead later to his association with Anibal Troilo, who would become a dear friend, and with whom his prodigious talent would begin to blossom…much later, after a life time of often heartbreaking disappointments,  basking in the fruits of stardom, he will be called “a living legend” …in his career his name would be associated with 2,500 songs and 101 LPs… among his greatest hits were “La Ultima Curda”, “Malena”, “Garua”, “Naranjo en Flor” and in the eyes of some, his greatest hit of all, “Balada Para Un Loco”…Roberto Goyeneche was born in the neighborhood of Saavedra, in Buenos Aires, a place whose streets were brimming with tango music…as a child he was called “canary” because of his blond hair and blue eyes.

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His father owned an upholstery shop and in the evening he would relax by playing the piano and listening to his prized collection of Carlos Gardel recordings…when Roberto was five years old, his father unexpectedly died and the family was devasted; his mother  began working long and tiresome hours as a washer woman to support him and his brother Jorge…Roberto quit school early to work to help support the family; among the jobs he held were being a typist and runner for a law firm, taxi driver and bus driver…at the age of 18 he won a singing contest held at the Club Federal Argentino; a comedian and friend of orchestra, leader Raul Kaplan told him about the thin, blond singer….Roberto soon found himself singing with Kaplun on Radio Belgrano…during the day he would drive his bus and in the evenings he would sing with Kaplun as well as care for his family to whom he was deeply devoted…in 1990 he mentored a wavering Adriana Varela who would go on to become one of the best selling woman tango singer in history…he stared in the films “El Canto Cuenta Su Estoria” in 1976, “El Derecho A La Felicita” in 1968, and ” Sur” in 1988.

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