Archive for the ‘ Singers ’ Category

1956, April 06 – FIRST RECORDED “MADRE”

The lyrics of “Madre” speak of  man who has hit bottom…he laments his wayward life, his abandonment in vice and worldly pleasures…he recalls the disillusionment of women who professed to love him and now deeply distraught, he realizes that without his mother’s guidance he has fallen and that she was the only one who truly loved him…no doubt composer Francisco Pracanico was inspired by his own sad and lonely childhood…having grown up in a destitute family, he had to quit school when he was no more than a child and began working as a shoe shine boy…working long hours, roaming the city by himself, he would assuage his loneliness playing the harmonica…the heart wrenching melancholy and nostalgia that was to characterize his immortal compositions, moved passersby to stop and marvel at the sensitivity of the boy…eventually one of his customers gave him an old piano which he repaired with make-shift parts he found on the streets; it became his passion…his debut occurred by accident; he was working in a musical cafe as a dish washer and one particular evening the piano player of the tango orchestra did not show up and the customers were increasingly restless….

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The owner, out of desperation, sent in young Francisco; it was to be the start of an incredible career…Francisco Pracanico became one of the most successful tango composers in history…Agustin Magaldi would have a hit with his “Afilador”, his “Mentira” was a hit for Carlos Gardel in 1932, his “Corrientes Y Esmeralda” would be a hit for Adriana Varela in the 1990s and even the legendary Maurice Chevalier premiered his “Tango Porteno” in 1925…Chola Luna, the vocalist of “Madre” was inclined to singing from an early age and she was much encouraged by her proud father; at age sixteen, he entered her in the famous Puloil Soap Singing Contest on Radio Belgrano and out of hundreds of contestants she was declared the winner…she sang with a number of orchestras including the influential Francisco Canaro…she later made a successful tour of  Europe with the Francisco Lomuto Orchestra…she was part of Eva Peron’s preferred list of tango artist but when Juan Peron was overthrownin 1955, Chola was not only blacklisted but threatened with imprisonment and so she exiled herself to Montevideo; “Madre” was one of the last tangos she recorded in Argentina

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CLICK HERE– http://www.todotango.com/

spanish/las_obras/Tema.aspx?id=xS70q+gbxgY= to hear Chola Luna sing “Madre” with the Miguel Calo Orchestra

1933, April 5 – PREMIERE OF “MELODIA DE ARRABAL”

Like Dostoyevsky’s Rodion in “Crime and Punishment”, Robert Ramirez, is an example of the redeeming power of love…he is a con man in love and now he is repentant about his past as says to his beloved Alina, “I don’ deserve you, I am not good enough for you…my whole life is a lie..I always been a liar, I was a gambler, a thief and an ass…”…Alina puts her hand to his mouth just when he is about to admit that he is a murderer and says to him, ” be quiet, it doesn’t matter now, all that matter is that I love you”Carlos Gardel plays Ramirez who is a gambler, a cheat and eventually even a murder but he once saved the life of the detective who is investigating and knows the truth about Ramirez and whom he decides to help; Imperio Argentina plays Alina the voice and piano teacher  who falls in love with Ramirez…the critics were merciless to the film and to Gardel’s acting but there was little doubt about Imperio Argentina for her screen presence and her superb acting…In fact this film made her enormously popular in the United States…

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Directed by Louis J. Gasnier and written by Alfredo Le Pera, “Melodia De Arrabal” premiered at Cine Porteno and was a big hit surpassing even the renown “Luces De Buenos Aires” by half year…Gardel attended the premiere and was met with thunderous applause upon his entry…its musical numbers, featuring the orchestras of Juan Cruz Matteo and Horacio Pettorossi, became best sellers “Silencio” was an instant hit all over the world…the other major hit was “Cuando Tu No Estas” written the renown French musician Marcel Lattes who would die ten years later at the Auschwitz concentration camp…Marcel Lattes who was originally from Nice would compose music for over thirty films…Imperio Argentina, who started her career as “Petit Imperio” at the age of six, was a particular favorite of Adolfo Hitler and he had Joseph Goebbels request an audience with her; she came and he asked her to film the life of exotic dancer Lola Montez which she later refused…she was reputed to have had a lesbian affair with Marlena Dietrich.

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CLICK HERE– http://www.youtube.com/

watch?v=mSadGn2l8Hw&playnext=

1&list=PL9F48543BA8107F4B to hear Gardel sing a big hit from the film, “Cuando Tu No Estas”, composed by Marcel Lattes and Carlos Gardel

1928, April2 – BIRTH OF LUIS CORREA

Singer (Aries) – reflecting on a long and successful career, Luis Correa would recall with nostalgia, his father crouched around his radio listening to his favorite stars on Radio Belgrano…as a little boy he began to imitate those singers to the delight of his father whose secret wish was to have been a singer and so he greatly encourage his son…Luis Correa was born in the town of “El Trebol” (clover) near Santa Fe, Argentina to a struggling family…he began singing in the local bars and cafes for donations and little by little he began developing a name for himself…through one of his loyal fans, at the age of twenty two, he was able to get his first professional job in a second-rate club in Mar del Plata (the birth place of Astor Piazzolla) catering to the newly rising middle class tourist…the result, in the eyes of some, of Juan Peron’s revolutionary populist policys…eventually he was befriended by renown singer Oscar Alonso who encouraged him to enter Radio El Mundo’s famous “Ronda de Cantores” singing contest which proudly featured  the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra…

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With great reluctance Luis entered and to his great surprise, out of hundreds of contestants, he was declared the winner…his first break came when he was recruited by the Francini – Pontier Orchestra, comprised of two childhood friends from the town of Zarate who would have such a great impact in the world of tango –  with them he made his recording debut on November 4, 1955 with “Noche de Locura” and “Perdoname”…in his career he would lend his voice to a number of orchestras including those of Alberto Mancione Orchestra and Hector Varela…with the Fulvio Salamanca Orchestra, in duet with singer Armando Guerrico, he would record the great hit “Recuerdo”…with the Miguel Calo Orchestra he had another hit in “Dos Fracasos”…in the mid sixties he began a solo career embarking on a successful tour of Latin America and later a successful tour of the United States culminating in a performance at the renown “Rincon Latino” in Miami”…he passed away from a heart attack  in the city of Mar del Plata at he age of sixty-four

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2010, March 31 – PREMIERE OF “THE TANGO SINGER”

“I am sorry to keep saying it, but I don’t love you any more Helena”…psychologists tell us that these are the most painful words that a human being can hear and yet this is exactly what Conrado tells Helena; he is in love with another woman…but Helena is madly in love with him and these simple words destroy her…the words come precisely at the moment that her singing career is about to take off and she has been offered a performance at a prestigious venue in Buenos Aires but she is unable to sing…she becomes a mere shell of her former self, she is hysterical, out of her mind, obsessive, she follows Conrado and telephones him incessantly and finally, the extreme pain leads her to cut herself with broken glass…not unlike the legendary Libertad Lamarque in real life, she hits bottom, loses everything…she finally moves to a small French seaside town where she finds work in a simple bakery confirming Khalil Gibran when he says of love’s pain “he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast”

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“And so I embarked on a long period of research to track down the tangos that not only touched me musically but would also carry, through their  poetry and their emotions and the message of  the film”, said Director Diego Martinez Vignati…perhaps that is why his film “The Tango Singer” is one of the very few films in history that manages to perfectly weave the art of film making with tango music and dancing…The film is punctuated by intense bursts of tango masterfully weaved into the fabric of the film and provide an insight into Helena, brilliantly portrayed by actress Eugenia Ramírez Miori…Vignatti was born 1971 in Bahia Blanca Argentina; the birth place of Carlos Disarli; in fact half of the “The Tango Singer” was filmed there; the other half in Belgium where Vignati has lived since 1997…he graduated from law school in Argentina but studied film at the prestigious INSAS in Brussels…the film features the renown vocalist Oscar Ferrari who passed away soon after making this film...one noted critic said of the film, ”it manages to do what was only attempted by Sally Potter in “The Tango Lesson”, Carlos Saura in “Tango” and Robert Duval in Assassination Tango”.

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CLICK HERE– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IddZnvnBEwM&feature=related to see a clip from the film “The Tango Singer”

1920, March 30 – BIRTH OF RAUL BERON

Singer (Airies) – Raul Beron is considered by many as the best tango voice in history and yet in the eyes of cognoscenti, Jose his older brother, had the talent surpass his legendary brother but preferred the bohemian night life …but it wasn’t only these two brothers but the whole family that seemed particularly gifted…their sister Elba for example, would record several hits with the Anibal Troilo Orchestra….they  were the children of Adolfo Manuel Beron, a guitarist and composer who encouraged his children to play and sing; theirs was a household visited by Adolfo’s musician and artist friends….their first taste of stardom occurred when Adolfo organized his five children into “Los Portenitos” which began singing in the cafes of their home town of Zarate…Raul Beron was only ten years old when he formed a duo with his brother Jose; they debuted at the Kity Dance Cabaret in Montevideo  to great acclaim; they were soon singing on the prestigious Radio Belgrano…Raul came to the ear of Jose Razzano who became his mentor and in fact in time Raul developed a Gardelian, baritone style like his hero Carlos Gardel…

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His major break came when Miguel Calo asked him to join his orchestra; he was nineteen years old…his debut at the Club Dancing Singapur was met with to ecstatic applause…on April 29, 1942 he recorded “Al Compas del Corazon” a phenomenal hit; within a span of five months two other hits were to follow, “Lejos de Buenos Aires” and the milonga “Azabache”..the next year he appeared in his first film “Todo Un Hombre”  directed by Pierre Chenal who had narrowly escaped nazi occupied France to move to Argentina…Beron later had brief stints with the orchestras of Lucio Demare and Francini – Pontier with whom he recorded another hit “Remolino”…later he joined the revered Anibal Troilo Orchestra with which he would produce several popular recordings and sing in the film “Mi Noche Triste”…it is interesting to note that in his lifetime he was not as popular as singers like Fiorentino, Rufino and Marino and yet with the passing of time it is Raul Beron who aquires legendary status…..on June 28, 1982 he was scheduled sing at the “Cafe De Los Angelitos” but when his wife went into the bedroom to get him, she found him dead; like his brother Jose and his sister Elba he died relatively young of a heart attack

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1936, March 26 – PREMIERE OF FILM “CANILLITA”

Florencio Sanchez, eighteen years old, dreamt of marrying his sweetheart but his job as a journalist just barely provided enough to live on and when he went to see his sweetheart was embarrassed to put on, his one and only threadbare suit…watching the rascally, mischievous, bold newspaper boys jumping off and on the trams shouting the headlines to passengers and passersby, he was inspired to write a play; “Canillita” which referred to the long thin legs on which they scurried about…to his astonishment, when it was premiered on October 1, 1902, it was not only immensely popular but would capture the imagination of the world inspiring similar characters all over the world….Astor Piazzolla, for example, would play newspaper boy “Canillita” in Carlos Gardel’s film “El Dia Que Me Quieras”…instead the film “Canillita” premiering on March 26, 1936, is a musical comedy in which a young girl falls in love with a singer and elects to runaway with him rather than marrying a store keeper to whom she is promised…

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Directed by Lisandro De La Tea it stars singers Amanda Ledesma, Sabina Olmos and Principe Azul…it features Pedro Maffia and his orchestra playing the theme tango “Canillita” which was composed by Julio Cesar Sanders…Amanda Ledesma was a simple shop girl who loved to sing who reluctantly entered a singing contest and won which launched a long and glorious career…this was the first film for Sabina Olmos; thirty more would follow and she would marry legendary singer Charlo…however, years later, Charlo now dead and she penniless and all but forgotten, she would take her own life by jumping from a high story building…Principe Azul was a highly paid singer and the powerful star making machine of the United States had selected him as the new Carlos Gardel; in fact he was on his way to New York to sign a contract with NBC, when he was suddenly struck with a serious illness which swiftly took his life just two days short of his 34th birthday

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letra.aspx?idletra=3023 to hear another inspiration, “Canillita, Canillita” performed by the Francisco Pracanico Orchestra with the voice of Sofia Bozan, 1928

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”