Archive for the ‘ Male ’ Category

1902, May 10 – BIRTH OF JEVEL KATZ, “THE JEWISH GARDEL”

Singer, Poet, Comedian (Taurus) – lying in his hospital bed, weak and emaciated he was nevertheless jovial and continued  singing even parodying his own situation…Jevel Katz was in fact “the happiest of all jews”…unexpectedly, he finally passed away at the age of thirty-seven from post op infection…when news of his untimely demise spread, people were incredulous, how could someone who had brought so much joy be dead…at his funeral, the out pouring of love from 40,000 people was unexpected; it was surpassed only by the funeral of Carlos Gardel five years earlier; in fact posthumously Jevel became known as “the Jewish Gardel”…Jevel Katz was born in Vilna Lithuania to a struggling family…as a young boy he began working in a print shop where he was soon entertaining his fellow workers…at the age of twenty-seven he decided to follow his brother to Buenos Aires; just a few years later most of Vilna’s sizable and influential Jewish community would perish in Nazi death camps

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From the moment of Jevel’s arrival in Buenos Aires he fell in love with the city and the country and he decided he would pursue a career in show business….he developed a character, “a street singer”,  who, with spontaneity and grace, parodied everyday life…he was sometimes dressed in a tuxedo or as a gaucho or even as a woman…like Walter Yonsky, he was part of the Jewish theater tradition in Buenos Aires…he would take popular songs and sing them in a dialect of his own invention “castidish” which was a mixture of Yiddish and Spanish and lunfardo…he performed mainly in jewish neighborhoods but also on special programs on Radio Belgrano…he composed over 5oo songs in diverse genres including rancheras, tangos, and fox trots…he was self-taught in a number of musical instruments and used others which he had personally invented…he had signed a contract to perform in the United States, a dream come true…he entered the hospital to have a tonsils related type operation but in recovery he apparently suffered a post op infection resulting in a coma from which he never awoke

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1939, May 8 – MARIO POMAR RECORDS “VUELVE OTRA VEZ”

He was nineteen when he recorded “Vuelve Otra Vez”; it was his first recording and the beginning of a glorious career…he was backed by the renown “Orchestra Tipica Victor” which through its many years of existence retained the excellence of its creator, the classically trained Adolfo Carabelli, whose disillusionment with a love affair would cause him to become a recluse and die alone at the age of 54…Mario Pomar began singing in local bars and cafes for donations until one fateful day a producer from Radio Belgrano happened to hear him and invited him to sing on the radio station…in his career he was to sing with the best orchestras including that of Miguel Calo, Juan D’arienzo and Osmar Maderna whom he met when they both played for Miguel Calo…in 1935 after having groomed himself for ten years as a professional, he put together his first orchestra

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It debuted at the legendary Chantecler Cabaret where its classy master of ceremonies Angel Sanchez Carreno “El Pincipe Cubano” would introduce Mario much elegant fanfare…in February of 1951 Carlos Di Sarli , after a two-year absence, decided to reorganize his orchestra for Radio El Mundo for which he auditioned many singers and finally selected two, Oscar Serpa and Mario Pomar…it is with Di Sarli that Mario would seal his immortality with hits like “Se Muere De Amor”, composed by Pedro Maffia and “Tengo Un Amigo” by Arturo Galucci…”Vuelve Otra Vez” was composed by the great Mexican pianist Agustin Lara who composed the immortal “Granada”, “Madrid” and “Solamente Una Vez” which he composed in Buenos Aires and dedicated to Jose Mojica

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1942, April 29 – BERON RECORDS, “AL COMPAS DEL CORAZON”

Miguel Calo had already reluctantly fired him; he told Raul Beron that the radio station just did not think his voice was adequate for their tango program…however, in the mean time, pianist Osmar Maderna suggested to Calo that Beron’s voice was the right one to record their new project, the tango, “Al Compas Del Corazon”…it was a phenomenal hit and launched a storybook career for twenty-two year Raul Beron who in time, many would rate as the best tango voice in history…Calo gave Beron a contract for 500 pesos a month which was a huge sum of money in those days…one year later, Lucio Demare would triple that sum to entice Raul Beron to join his orchestra…the year after that, Calo would greatly increase the Demare offer to get Beron back…the lyrics, written by the legendary Homero Exposito describe a man’s heart throbbing, “compas del corazon”, at the thought of seeing his beloved again and predicting that she will gasp incredulously at the joy of experiencing anew their love..

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“Al Compas Del Corazon” had a rather serendipitous begining…when its composer Domingo Federico joined the Calo orchestra in 1941 he showed the piece to his fellow musicians who were enthusiastic about it, however the two singers Raul Beron and Alberto Podesta were unsure about the piece…one afternoon, at violinist Enrique Francini’s initiative, the orchestra, without Calo’s permission and without preparation, tried the tango out at an afternoon tea house performance which Calo normally did not attend…it was instantly beloved by the public who requested an encore; it was at this point that Calo walked in to witness the success…he ordered of course, that it be included into their repertoir….just a few months later Beron would have another hit “Me Llaman El Zorro”…composer Domingo Federico, born in the neighborhood of Palermo Viejo, was taught the violin by his father, he later studied piano at the Pedro Maffia, Sebastian Piana conservatory…he aspired to be a doctor and was in medical school when the success of a duo he had formed with his sister Nelida inspired him to devote himself to tango

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1916, October 15 – BIRTH OF RAUL IRIARTE

Singer – (Libra) – At the peak of his popularity in the 1950s, his voice was the most requested in latin america second only to that of Carlos Gardel…he was born in the neighborhood of Barracas, Buenos Aires where already as a child he showed a love for singing…his first break came when he was featured on Radio Prieto at the age of 17 where his smooth baritone voice garnered him immediate public acclaim…other invitations soon followed; in 1938 he was recruited into Mario Azerboni Orchestra

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The seminal event in his career occurred however, when  the noted composer and lyricist Oscar Rubens suggested his name to Miguel Calo who was looking for a singer for his orchestra; on May 17, 1943 he hired him and indeed it was his pairing with Calo which would groom his greatness….with Calò, he cut his first record, an Oscar Rubens creation, “Es enVano Llorar” (it is in vain to cry) which became an overnight hit….soon after, two other hits followed with “Manana Ire Temprano” and “Cada Dia Te Estrano Mas…In 1950 he made his first, highly successful tour of Latin America but it was performances in Mexico in 1956 with its delirious crowds which would render him a legend…In 1977 he quit singing to devote himself to a large restaurant he had bought in Bogotá Colombia and it is there that, following a courageous battle with a long illness, that he finally succumbed just short of his 66th birthday.

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