Archive for the ‘ Balvanera ’ Category

1935, July 2 – JUAN D’ARIENZO’S FIRST RECORDING !

“Desde El Alma”, Juan D’arienzo’s first recording on July 2, 1935, was a big hit…it was set to the captivating 2/4 beat which would make Juan D’arienz0’s orchestra immensely popular…so popular in fact that he is widely credited as reviving tango in the 40s and 50s with a fast beat that appealed to young people…the legendary Anibal Troilo is quoted as saying “laugh if you will, but without Juanito, we would all be out of work”…born in the neighborhood of Balvanera, Buenos Aires in 1900, Juanito had to endure serious quarrels with his father, a successful businessman, because he wanted to pursue music as a career; his father wanted him to study law and take over his business ventures….at age 19 Juanito was playing violin the national symphony orchestra and later he played in a jazz group before devoting himself to tango…some historians believe that it was pianist Rodolfo Biagi who joined D’arienzo in 1935, who  suggested the faster beat…in the early 1950s D’arienzo’s milonga “La Punalada” was the first tango to ever reach 1 million copies in sales…

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Interestingly, late in life, in an interview, Juan D’arienzo said that one evening at the mythical Chantecler Cabaret, Carlos Gardel express to him his premonition that he would die in an airplane crash…Juan D’arienzo never flew and consequently never left Argentina even though his music was immensely popular all over the world…”Desde El Alma” was originally composed in 1911 by 14-year-old Rosita Melo who was born in Montevideo but raised in Buenos Aires…it was recorded by Roberto Firpo for the first time soon after its composition but there were infinite versions recorded…perhaps the two most popular were the version by Juan D’arienzo and the one by Nelly Omar which was recorded on October 22, 1947 with the Francisco Canaro Orchestra…it was probably Nelly’s greatest hit in a long and glorious career  …the lyrics for the Omar version were written by Homero Manzi in 1948 for the film“”Pobre Mi Madre Querida”

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2002, May 2 – WALTER YONSKY COMMITS SUICIDE

Walter understood children, he knew them, he liked them, perhaps because he never stopped being one himself…his children’s recording were beloved and many of those children as adults, would write with nostalgia and deep gratitude about those recordings… which made it all more incredulous that one day, like another Buenos Aires singer Sabina Olmos,  he would jump to his death from of  the terrace of the building where he lived; he was sixty-four years old, out of work, out of money and alone…Walter Yonsky was born in the neighborhood of Balvanera, in Buenos Aires in 1937 to jewish immigrant parents from Poland who had arrived two years earlier…Walter’s father Moises was a musician and a lover of  tango; he arrived in Buenos Aires toting prized recording of the legendary Polish tango composer Jerzy Petersbursky; in fact, in Poland, popular music was primarily tango and primarily jewish in origin…early on Walter demonstrated precocious musical talent and Moises enrolled him in singing lessons; at the age of twelve he auditioned on Radio Belgrano

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However, it seemed to Moises that his son could never earn a living as a singer and he forced him into business school from which he graduated as an accountant…Walter however, to the dismay of his father, immediately began studying acting; he debuted in the Teatro Rivera in the city of Corboba in 1959 with George Bernard Shaw’s, “The Disciple of the Devil”… he then began performing in popular radio soap operas where his fame began to grow…he startred singing tango and he put together a tango show which ran to a packed house at the mythical Cafe Tortoni…he recorded numerous tango CDs devoted to milongas, waltzes and classic romantic tangos from “La Guardia Vieja”…among his popular recording was “Paquita Tango” dedicated to he legendary Paquita Bernardo the first woman bandoneon player…he was to say, “Our people sing very little now, they are forgetting how to do it…it is if they have the music lodged in their throat”

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1925, October 16 – LINNIG’S LAST BET

Poet – he was rushed to the hospital with a scorching fever and was lying on the bed surrounded by friends, when suddenly he smiled, looked up, pointed to the number 13 on the door and said “I have to bet on that”…it was however to be his last bet for minutes later, at the age of 37 he passed away…Samuel Linnig, born on June 12, 1888 (Gemini)  in Montevideo, Uruguay to a Belgian merchant and a Basque mother was a playwrite and theater critic for the prestigious magazine “Nosotros” …his passion and his ruination was to be gambling…he would be, in part, the inspiration thirty years later for “Lorenzo” in the classic film “Mercado de Abasto”

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After the staging of a particularly bad play of his which had been roundly booed and hissed, he came on stage and addressed the audience, “I thank those who applaud and I regard as imbeciles those who whistled at me” …that evening he fled from the theater hidden behind a false beard which prevented the public who were waiting for him outside to identify him….he  was immaculate in his attire and manner, always sporting a cane and white gloves but particularly proud of demonstrating his command of the argot spoken by prostitutes…unfortunately gambling ruined most things in his life and he would have passed away forgotten except for one thing,  he wrote the tango “Milonguita” to the music of Enrique Francini…it was an instant hit and its world-wide, unceasing popularity from the day it premiere on May 12, 1920 at the Teatro Opera rendered his name immortal.

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