Archive for the ‘ Neighborhood ’ Category

1891, February 13 – BIRTH OF IGNACIO CORSINI

Singer, Composer, Poet (Aquarius) – Soccorro Salamone was desperate, for not only was she poor but the blemish of being an unwed mother meant that her young son Ignacio did not have much of a future; his father, a certain “Corsini” had disappeared as soon as he found out that she was pregnant…….these were tough time in the ancient greek town of Troina, Sicily whose historical relics date back to the 7th Millenium BC…40 years later, Troina would be the seat of a famous World War II battle between Nazi and Allied forces commanded by General George S. Patton…..one day, mustering tremendous courage, young Soccorro with little Ignacio in tow, mounted a horse carriage and descended Troina to begin the long journey to Naples where she boarded a ship to Buenos Aires…she settled in the neighborhood of Almagro and began working long hours as a washer woman…when Ignacio was ten years old they moved to the country where the boy began working as a herdsman and ox driver…many years later, reflecting on those long solitary hours in the countryside, Ignacio Corsini, now a famous and successful singer would say, “birds taught me the spontaneity of their singing, in the great scenery of nature…to sing like them, naturally with no effort”…

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Around the age of 17 he met a circus clown Jose Pacheco who introduced him to the theater and by the age of 21 he had already achieved a certain amount of fame and prestige…from Pacheco he obtained one other thing, his daughter Victoria whom he would marry in 1911…in his autobiography he would write that it was, above all, her encouragement during difficult times that was responsible for his success; he would remain loyal to her for his whole life…On May 12, 1922, in the one-act play “El Bailarin del Cabaret”, he premiered “Patotero Sentimental” which was his first major hit…his only composition to become successful was “Tristeza Criolla” which in the 40s was a major hit for singer Angel Vargas…Above all, it was his renditions of the creations of the team of Enrique Maciel as composer and Hector Blomberg as  lyricist which would make his name legendary…the loss of his wife from a debilitating disease left him sad and embittered; she was his whole life…dedicating his performance to her, he sang for the last time on May 28, 1949 on the show “Argentinidad” on Radio Belgrano

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1905, February 10 – BIRTH OF CARMENCITA CALDERON

Dancer (Aquarius) – in 2005, at the age 100, she did her last public performance at the famous milonga La Baldosa with dance partner Jorge Dispari…her fans, many in tears, were ecstatic; just two months later she would pass away feeling fulfilled and content in her life…poet Jose Gabello was to say of her, “you are a girl without age…you are eternal like the tango that drives you”...Carmencita Calderon was born into a poor italian immigrant family in the neighborhood of Villa Urquiza in Buenos Aires…her mother would sing tango and dance by herself as she was doing the laundry and she began passing on this passion to her daughter when Carmencita when was thirteen years old …a tragedy soon befell the family when her mother died leaving behind young children; it fell upon Carmencita to fill the role of the caring and the upbringing of her younger siblings and although she loved to dance, girls in her station did not dare to dream…one day her two younger sisters expressed the wish to attend a neighborhood dance at the  club “Sin Rumbo” and so she went along as a chaperone…

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Renown dancer “Tarila”, happened to be present and someone suggested that Carmencita dance with him; she was terrified but finally accepted his invitation…the following day Tarila took her to meet the legendary El Cachafaz at the Bar Corrientes where he assiduously met a close group of friends including Carlos Gardel…El Cachafaz was so impressed with Carmencita’s dancing that from that day on, he made her his exclusive dance partner; they made their debut with the Pedro Maffia orchestra at the Teatro San Fernando to enthusiastic applause …their ten years long collaboration would take them many places…but in 1942 disaster struck;  at a performance at Mar De Plata, at the club “El Rancho Grande”, after having danced to the milonga “Don Juan“, El Cachafaz died suddenly of a massive heart attack…she would never forget the shock of suddenly seeing her dance partner’s body lying lifeless on the floor…with tremendous personal resolve, she continued….she would in time perform with the best dancers of the time El Tarila, El Cachafaz and El Negro Alfredo and Juan Carlos Copes…reflecting on her success she was to comment “I adorned the tango when I danced it; this was my secret”

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1950, February 8 – BIRTH OF MIMI CHO

Singer (Aquarius) – the final diagnosis was in, he had accepted his fate; he was at peace even as his days were diminishing…he asked his beloved wife to record a CD of her inspirational music for him, “in this way I can hear your voice in heaven”, he said to her…these were immensely trying times for Mimi Cho; she would be left with the care and upbringing of her three daughters and one son; her deep faith would help carry her through…the same faith that helped the whole family move from South Korea to Argentina in 1988…it was her deep faith which she expressed singing in the choir of the Evangelist church…it had been her husband, in his supportive and loving way, to encouraged Mimi to enroll in the Franz Liszt Musical Studies Center to study opera with Aldo Moroni…one day while walking in her neighborhood of Villa Crespo (birth place of the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese), she heard Carlos Gardel singing “Mi Buenso Aires Querido” and it made her heart bleed, something had changed; tango was to be her destiny…

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With typical determination and discipline, she immersed herself into a serious study of its history, the dance, the orchestras, the music…she began taking lessons with the legendary Maestro Jose Colangelo who time later would say about Mimi “she was born to sing tango, she has the voice of an angel”…she then rounded off her preparation with Maria Eugenia Darrè, with whom she studied for 5 years…after years of study and dedication, the fateful day in 2005  had finally arrived; she did her first tango concert at the mythical Cafe Tortoni where she shared the stage with legendary poet Horacio Ferrer; the reception from its demanding audience was enthusiastic..“Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that one day I would be singing tango at Cafe Tortoni she commented afterwards…the next year she was invited to sing at the Bar Illustre de Buenos Aires; other venues were to follow…she is inspired by Susana Rinaldi, Luis Salinas and especially maestro Mariano Mores…with customary humility and gentleness in her voice she says “my ultimate dream is to sing at Carnegie Hall in New  York”

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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

1898, February 1 – BIRTH OF JUAN BAUTISTA GUIDO

Leader, Composer, Bandoneonist (Aquarius) – he hated the interminable screeching of wood cutting and the smell of the wood dust which seemed to penetrate everything but his father had found him this job to help their destitute family survive…when he wasn’t a carpenter’s assistant he would help the neighborhood milkman deliver the clanging jars of milk; he became known as “lecherito”, the little milkman; it would stay with him for the rest of his life…he was born in the neighborhood of Parque Patricios in Buenos Aires to a struggling immigrant family….as a little boy he had once picked up an old bandoneon that an uncle had left behind and had played some notes; he was mesmerized by the sound…to the great ire of his father, he quit the carpenter’s shop and started  to devote himself to music…he started to take lessons from Arturo Severino, a renown teacher and composer; by the age of 13 he was so advanced that the maestro invited him to join his personal group…

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In 1913 at the age of 15 he put together his first group, a trio with a violin and guitar which debuted at the Cafe 43 “La Fonda” in Parque Patricios…on its small stage appeared many fledging composers and musicians some of which would reach stardom like Jose Real and Guillermo Barbieri authors of the great hit “Rosa de Otono” (Barbieri would die with Gardel in Medellin in the fiery airplane crash)…word of this “child prodigy” reached the legendary  Samuel Castriota, composer of “Mi Noche Triste” who promptly asked him to join his orchestra at the legendary Cafe Olimpico; he then moved to the famous Casa De Laura with another maestro, Vicente Greco…at the age of 18 he put together a quintet which played at the Cafe La Morocha earning rave reviews…by the age of 28 he had reached  the highest level of his profession and was making more money than he had ever dreamed of …he contracted a Rheumatoid like disease which gradually diminished his ability to work but he nevertheless accepted an offer to tour with the radio program “De Villoldo a Gardel”…in one of  the stops he collapsed right after the performance; the strain on his heart had been too much…among his greatest compositions are “Coquetita”, “Muneca de Carne” (Baby Doll) and “Tarde Gris”..

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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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1988, January 27 – PREMIERE OF “TANGO BAR”

“Tonight Antonio will walk into Tango Bar, will walk through that door, back into your life, our lives says” says Ricardo, “There is nothing left between Antonio and I, nor fire nor ashes, you are only hurting yourself needlessly”, Elena responds to Ricardo trying to reassure him, …”Tango Bar” is a movie about a classic love triangle…Antonio, a bandoneon player and singer, had fled  Argentina during the period of state sponsored terrorism to save his life leaving behind his wife, tango singer Elena with his show business partner, pianist and songwriter Ricardo…in the mean time Ricardo and Elena have fallen in love…Ricardo is played by Raul Julia, Antonio by Ruben Juarez and Elena by Valeria Lynch; the film was directed by Marcos Zurinaga with music by Attilo Stampone .

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Throughout the movie, there are flashbacks to the duo’s sellout show 11 years earlier, called ‘Este es Tango’ (This is Tango) including a series of dance sequences that illustrate the history including a tango danced in a sumptuous Buenos Aires brothel, a 1920s European style tango, a street tango, a stage show, Abott and Costello dancing Tango and even the cartoon Flintstones dancing the tango…the pinnacle is an authentic ‘tango argentino’ where Antonio, in a bit of provincialism says, “this is tango danced the right way by the people who dance it best”…Valeria Lynch was born on January 7, 1952 (Capricorn) in the Villa Urquiza neighborhood of Buenos Aires…for a time she was a singer for the rock group “The Expression” but in the 1990s she became a tango singer and made successful tours all over the world…Tango Bar was also the name of a movie made by Carlos Gardel in 1935 in which he sings his immortal “Por Una Cabeza” which has been featured in so many films including “Scent Of A Woman” and “Shindler’s List”…Tango Bar was Gardel’s last film before dying tragically in an airplane crash in Medellin, Colombia in June of 1935

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