Archive for the ‘ Poet ’ Category

1924, January 13 – 1ST RECORDED, “DOPADOS” (LOS MAREADOS)

“Los Dopados” was a melody which was written by Juan Carlos Cobian for the play by the same name which premiered on July 4, 1922 at the Teatro Porteno…it was soon forgotten…20 years later, legendary poet Enrique Cadicamo penned new lyrics to the music and converted it into a major hit which to out very days remains a favorite of tangueros all over the world and has been recorded by many musicians…in particular, it was a great hit for Anibal Troilo and his orchestra with the voice of Francisco Fiorentino in 1942…much later it would become a major hit for Adriana Varela and one of the most requested by her legion of fans…the lyrics say, “my soul harbors three things, love, regret, pain…it’s strange how our great and passionate love is no more…tonight we will get inebriated together and after this we shall never see each other again….I found you beautiful and foreboding in the mist of much champagne, laughing so as not to cry”

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It’s airplay did not last long…in 1943 the censor of the military dictatorship summoned Enrique Cadicamo to his office…the government, in a misguided campaign to modernize and change the image of Argentina, had imposed a ban on tango lyrics which made any mention of any form of  immorality or drunkedness…Enrique, cast a glance at the censor, calmly took a chair in front of the typewriter and began to rewrite the objectionable lyrics…he drew the paper out of the typewriter, rose from his chair and using an exaggerated tone of respect said, “is this better excellency?”….the censor, straightening his shoulders, with an air of  haughtiness said, “ah yes, much better Cadicamo”.…to the censor’s stunned eyes, Enrique reached out, grabbed the sheet from his hand, tore it up and said, “this is bull shit” and stomped out….six years later President Juan Peron, now in power and a supporter of tango culture, rescinded the ban and “Los Mareados“returned to its original form

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1920, January 5 – BIRTH OF FEDERICO SILVA

Poet (Capricorn) – he was so passionate about his work, that during rehearsals for one of his great hits“Que Falta Que Me Haces” with singer Alberto Podesta and the orchestra of Miguel Calò, he was such an annoyance with interruptions and suggestions that they finally had to ask him to leave; flaying arms and grumbling to himself he reluctantly left….such incidents were frequent and he would always murmur an apology and promise to contain himself…indeed it was his devotion, his sensitivity and his romantic nature that led him to produce some of the most beautiful tangos; tango like the immortal “Hasta Siempre Amor” which with the music of Donato Racciatti and the voice of Jorge Valdez was a great hit and continues to be played in milongas all over the world to this very day

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Federico Silva was born in Montevideo Uruguay and as a young boy already showed a unique curiosity and a love of literature and poetry; he learned to love tango through his father who was totally devoted to evening tango radio programs…at the age of 17, a gruff editor saw something in young Federico and gave his first break as a cub reporter for “El Pais” , Uruguay’s most important daily…starting in 1955, for 10 years he was a writer for the weekly magazine “Marcha” a high brow magazine covering music and tango.. other assignments included the magazines “Tangueando” of Montevideo and “Cantando” in Buenos Aires…his first tango was “Dejame Verte” in 1943…in 1968 he was contracted by the Victor Label to write the lyrics for a 12 piece LP for music composed by Armando Pontier and sung  by Roberto Goyeneche, out of which several notable hits emerged…he wrote biographies on Carlos Gardel, Julio Sosa and Anibal Troilo…he was the creator and talent of an immensely popular radio program “Motivos Populares” which aired for 20 years

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1904, January 4 – REOPENING OF GRAND HOTEL VICTORIA

One of the great mysterys in tango is, who wrote the perennial hit “Hotel Victoria”…there is good reason to believe that it was played for the first time for the reopening of the Grand Hotel Victoria on January 4, 1904 in Cordoba, Argentina….it was probably composed by Feliciano Latasa…Latasa was born into a musical family on September 25, 1870, in San Sebastian, the northern basque region of Spain…around the age of 30 he was contracted by fellow Basques in the city of Santa Fe, Argentina to help develop and direct  the orchestra of Sociedad Espana and the traditional a capella Galician singing group “Orfeon Gallego”…it is here that he first came into contact with tango and was immediately smitten by it…..his musical abilities came to the ear of the management of the historic Hotel Victoria who commissioned him to compose a piece to commemorate the completion of the refurbishing of the hotel.

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However, would-be imposters emerged over time…on October 20, 1924 Carmen Jimenez,appearing at “La Borachera Del Tango”, announced with great fanfare the premiere of a new tango “La Payasa”…it was not new at all but merely a pirated version of  Latasa’s ”Hotel Victoria”…there was another claim that Hotel Victoria was played for the first time in one of the well-known carnival balls of Politeama…According to historian Eduardo Stilman, “The early editions of this piece do not bear any signature while others are signed with the initials H. D.”….In 1932 a sheet music copy of Hotel Victoria emerged where it is credited to Luis Negron; about Mr. Negron very little is known…still another source argued that Hotel Victoria was composed by a violinist in Rosario by the name of Alfredo Baron…there is anecdotal evidence that suggests that Hotel Victoria was originally an old Spanish melody which was hummed by immigrants arriving in Buenos Aires…of one thing we are sure of, it is one of the most popular tangos in history

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1952, January 3 – PREMIERE OF “MI NOCHE TRISTE”

The film is based on the life of poet Pascual Contursi with one important difference, in real life Pascual would die alone, in a mental hospital suffering from dementia brought on by the  late stages of syphlis…Pascual’s lyrics had revolutionized tango…previously they had been joyful and gay; he turned them into something nostalgic and melancholy and set them in houses of prostitution where so much of tango culture was born…it was apparently something that he had personal experience with; an experience that would cost him a particularly tragic and painful death at the age of 44…the film, which premiered at the Grand Rex Cinema in Buenos Aires, was directed by Lucas Demare (born July 14, 1910, Cancer) …the soundtrack for the film was composed by legendary Lucio Demare, Lucas’ older brother and was performed in the film by Anibal Troilo and his orchestra…

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The film’s plot, in point of fact, reflects Pascual’s real life experience whereby the main character, a joyful poet, musician and singer falls madly in love with a young beautiful singer by the name of Lita…his wife catches them kissing and leaves Pascual and takes their son with her…intoxicated with love, Pascual decides to stay with Lita and indeed to work where she works so that he can remain near her…for Lita, the infatuation eventually disappears and she leaves him, leaving behind a distraught shell of a man whose life consists of dreaming hopelessly of her return and drinking heavily…however, it is from this experience that Contursi writes “Lita”  which Carlos Gardel records as “Mi Noche Triste” ; it is the first “Tango Cancion” (sung tango) and the first tango that Gardel records…it is this tango which in time is a major hit and which turnsGardel from a regional folk singer to an international tango legend…at the end of the film, singer Oscar Alonso is heard singing the theme song of the film about whom Anibal Troilo was to say “after Gardel, he was the best tango singer of all time”…Pascual’s son Jose Maria Contursi would surpass his father in his love of the night life and meet a similar end

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1969, December 4 – Goyeneche Records “BALLADA PARA UN LOCO”

In the classic film “King of Hearts” (1966) the residents of a small French village during World War I leave because the Germans plan to bomb the village…the inmates of the local insane asylum take over the village and create a festive, gay, surreal, make belief atmosphere totally oblivious to the war; the message of the film is, perhaps normal people are more crazy than those in the asylum…it is precisely this film which inspired Horacio Ferrer to write music…when the piece was premiered by Amelia Baltazar at the Buenos Aires Tango Festival, it created a great controversy because many did not see it as real tango and even hissed at it while Amelia was singing it…it was leading in the voting on the final day but the controversy forced the judges to give it second place instead…when “Balada Para Un Loco” was recorded, it was a great hit selling over 200,000 in the first week alone

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Horacio Ferrer was born June 2, 1933 in Montevideo, Uruguay (Gemini) to a cultured family; his father was a professor of history and his mother, who was eleven years older than his father, spoke four languages…already as a child, he started writing his first poems, simple plays and even milongas to which he accompanied himself on guitar…at the age of 20 his was invited to participate on a weekly radio program called “A Selection of Tangos”…he soon started a groundbreaking magazine called “Tangueando” which he wrote and illustrated himself…in 1970 he wrote “Book of the Tango, Peoples Art of  Buenos Aires”its three volumes and more than 2000 pages is one of the most complete works on tango in history…he has collaborated with Astor Piazzolla on a number of hits; one writer called them “the Lennon – MaCarthy team of tango”

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DBmUoy6Q2c to hear Roberto “Polaco” Goyeneche sing one of his great hits “Ballada Para Un Loco” with lyrics by Horacio Ferrer and music by Astor Piazzolla

1907, November 21 – LUIS TEISSEIRE WEDS MISS GIANELLI

Poet, Composer, Flutist (birth 24 October 1883, Scorpio) – returning home late at night from gigs at cheap cafes where he played, he would always buy a yellow magnolia for his wife Elvira Gianelli which he would ceremoniously place in her hand when she joyously greeted him at the door…his devotion  to his family was total; something he expressed in a tender, moving poem dedicated to his sonGerman who would collaborate with him on some of his compositions…Son of a poor French father and an Italian mother, Luis early on would amaze his parents with his love of verse and music….the boy would one day grow up to become a prolific tango lyricist and composer not only of tango but of other kinds of music as well, mazurkas, marches, and passo dobles; in fact in 1921 he would win first prize for his lullaby “Germinase”

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But in the beginning, times were tough and he had to leave school to work to help the family survive…at various times he worked as a cobbler and a railroad mechanic’s assistant untill he got a job in a flower shop which he especially liked but from which he was eventually fired for attempting to organize the workers….this was a period of a fiery and impassioned youth who read copiously especially the fashionable avant guard anarchist political tracts of the times…to help ends meet he would play at various venues at the lower end of town but little by little his verses and his musical compositions began to be noticed and requests for collaboration began to arrive from composers like Juan de Dios Filiberto and Carlos Di Sarli….from his little book of poetry, “Mis Humildes Versos” a poem entitle “Tango” says...”time passed and with street formed faith, tango arose from its  laurels to the encounter, trembling with emotion like a fluttering flag.

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1926, November 6 – Debut Of Tango “VIEJO CIEGO”

Composed by Sebastian Piana with lyrics by Catulo Castillo, “Viejo Ciego”  was debuted by singer Roberto Fugazot at the Nuevo Teatro, in Buenos Aires while performing in a play called ”Patadas y Serenatas En El Barrio de Las Latas”…Fugazot, born in the Reus Del Norte neighborhood of Montevideo, Uruguay, was already an excellent guitarist, singer and actor as a teenager….in his long career he would be successful as a scriptwriter and composer as well…barely in his 20s, he formed a very successful duo with singer Agustin Irusta whom he met by chance in a restaurant…later the two would form a trio with Lucio Demare, known as “Trio Argentino” which, in traditional gaucho garb, would have great success at the legendary Maipu Cabaret, in Madrid Spain…later in his life he gave up singing to devote himself to acting to the delight of his numerous fans.

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Sebastian Piana, born in the Almagro neighborhood of Buenos Aires, was in the eyes of discriminating cognoscenti, the composer of the most beautiful tangos in history…he was the son of an immigrant from Piemonte Italy who was a barber by day and musician by night….along with Adolfo Pugliese, father of future legend Osvaldo Pugliese, he would play in impromptu tango groups in the cafes around Buenos Aires to which he would take the young and impressionable Sebastian …at the age of 14 Sebastian was playing piano at silent movie houses…he composed his first tango “Sabor Popular” at the age of 17…his first major break occurred in 1922 when Carlos Gardel recorded his tango “Sobre El Pucho”…many more were to follow…he was a childhood friend of the legendary lyricist  Homero Manzi with who he would later create some of the most beautiful tangos in history

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