Archive for the ‘ Caballito ’ Category

1911, December 1 – BIRTH OF MIGUEL NIJENSOHN

Composer, Leader, Pianist (Sagittarius) – it was never clear if their death from a gas leak in their small apartment in Mar De Plata one cold winter night in 1983, had in fact been a dyadic suicide pact; before going to bed they had enjoyed an elaborate last meal, a half empty bottle of wine with two elegant glasses was found on the night stand…his wife Raquel suffered from severe depression; she had begged him to come back to Argentina after having been separate for a few years  and they had moved to Mar De Plata to start anew where perhaps they could be new persons away from their history and their memories…in life, Miquel Nijensohn was the son of jewish baker who because of his militant socialist’s activities was persecuted in Bessarabia and emigrated to Argentina where he opened a baker’s shop (he would later be severely injured from a bullet fired by an anarchist employee whom he had dismissed)…

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Miguel was the youngest of six siblings and a lover of music and very early on he started tinkering with the piano that was in the house…he studied piano seriously and it was fully expected that he would become a classical pianist; at the age of 14 he chose instead to join the Roberto Firpo Orchestra with whom he toured South America…In 1927, with then 13-year-old Anibal Troilo, he created a trio which attained notoriety at Cafe Rio De La Plata in the Caballito neighborhood….by 1935 he formed his own group to back up singer Antonio Rodriguez Lesende at the Club Lucerna…the key event in his career however, came in 1936, was when he was asked by Miguel Calo to join his orchestra…here his talents would come to full bloom as a pianist and a brilliant arranger and a key reason for that orchestra’s great success…as a composer some of his tangos were great hits not only for Miguel Calò but for Juan D’arenzo and Carlos Di Sarli among others

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1939, July 13 – BIAGI RECORDS “DICHAS QUE VIVI”

Andres Falgas at 19 was not particularly self-confident and he had an uncertain future in front of him…he worked at a number of odd jobs to help bring in some money to his struggling family and to help pass the time he sang…always…prodded by a friend and with great reluctance he entered the Puloil Soap singing contest on Radio Splendid which his friends often spoke about…to his astonishment, out of an estimated 2000 contestants, he came in second place…he was rewarded with a cash award which amounted to what he would earn in a year’s time and a six months’ contract to sing on the radio…it was indeed, a dream come true…..among the staff musicians of Radio Splendid was a wide-eyed Raul Kaplan and a young Miguel Calo still glowing from his tour of the United States with the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra…Falgas soon made his first recording, “Pena De Amor” which was moderately successful…

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His big break came when he was summoned by Rodolfo Biagi; his first recording on July 13, 1939 “Dichas Que Vivi” was a big hit and continues to our very day to be popular in milongas all over the world…the title essentially means, “the low blows which I have endured in life”…Andres Falgas, son of a Catalonian father and an Italian mother, was born in the neighborhood of Caballito where he attended grammar school and high school……in his two years with Biagi, he would make a total of eleven recordings including hits like “Queja Indiana”, “Griseta” and “Cicatrices”…like many tango musicians, he moved to Mexico where he remained for many years and became popular in the Mexican cinema…Andres Falgas would go on to have a glorious career, singing throughout Latin America and even an appearance at the celebrated “La Casa Gardeliana” in New York…he made over 130 recordings; among his numerous compositions perhaps his best known is “La Brisa” which was made into a hit by Carlos Dante with the Alfredo De Angelis orchestra

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1952, June 20 – PREMIERE OF “MI CAMPEON”

Catita dreams that her beloved son will manage to escape the abject poverty that the family lives under by someday becoming “someone important” but her son is a promising boxer of whom a championship is whispered about…Catita is adamantly opposed and has severe arguments with her husband about it…in the meantime however the son has an accident and his promising career is cut short…”Mi Campeon” was directed by Mexican director Chano Urueta who was one of the most prolific directors in history; his work would include over 100 films…in his youth he was an ardent supporter of the Mexican revolution and gave active support to Pancho Villa…the film stars the legendary Libertad Lamarque who was blackballed in Argentina and had to emigrate to Mexico; one of numerous Argentine artists who did so…supposedly during the rehearsals for the play “La Cabalgata Del Circo” she arqued with and slapped aspiring actress Eva Peron; Evita took her revenge later when she was first lady of Argentina

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The film also starred another Argentinean actress Nini Marshall, “Chaplain In Skirts”, who had been blackballed after the coup d’etat in Argentina in 1943 accused of “portraying characters who defamed the language of the people of Argentina”…in 1950 she was blackballed again by the censorship office during the Juan Peron regime for “portraying Eva Peron dressed as a prostitute”….born in 1903 in the Caballito neighborhood of Buenos Aires she would become a noted actress and singer having had celebrated performances on both Radio Belgrano and Radio El Mundo…she too would emigrate to Mexico…”Mi Campeon” also stars the legendary Mexican musician Agustin Lara composer of the immortal  “Granada”…a lover of tango he composed many, most of which were recorded by Libertad Lamarque…his great hit “Solamente Una Vez” was composed while he resided in Buenos Aires…perhaps his best known tango is “Arrancame La Vida” which has continued to be performed and recorded unabated

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1944, June 1 – ROBERTO CHANEL RECORDS “TORTAZOS”

“I am not as bad as people think, I am actually getting better”… Roberto Chanel kept up a courageous front…he began having trouble with his eyes at the age of 45 and at the age of 50 he was almost blind and then he had a stroke which greatly diminished his physical capacity…until the end he played his guitar everyday but now he could only hum the tangos which had made him famous and for a while wealthy…but now he was struggling and his fellow musicians held a fund-raising event for him which helped him survive but at the age of fifty-seven, with his guitar next to him, he passed away…the poor boy, son of Neapolitan immigrants had come a long way…he was born in the neighborhood of Caballito, Buenos Aires the youngest of five siblings…their father, an accomplished accordion player, encourage his children to play guitar and sing….they put together an adolescent musical group and played in the local festivals and cafes for donations…

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They began to make appearances on the local radio stations including Radio Paris and Radio Splendid…Roberto dreamed of being a singer and he continuously entered talent contests non of which he won but he was determined…he made friends with pianist Armando Cupo who recommended him to “El Ciequito” Tarantino with whose band he debuted as a singer at the well-regarded Cafe Nacional…Osvaldo Pugliese also happened to be performing at the Cafe Nacional and when one day he was looking for a singer, the manager recommended Roberto Chanel; upon hearing him, Osvaldo hired him immediately…his first recording in July of 1943, “Farol” with lyrics by Homero Exposito was a hit; his second hit was the milongas “Tortazos” by Jose Razzano which he recorded on June 1, 1944…when he separated from Pugliese he went to sing for Florindo Sassone with whom he would record 16 tracts after which commenced his period as a soloist…as a composer his best hit was “Oracion Rante” which Carlos Yanel had much success with his recording of it in 1954

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