Archive for the ‘ Capricorn ’ Category

1914, January 11 – Futurist F.T. Marinetti “DOWN WITH TANGO!”

Instead of stylized, virtual sex through tango, people should have the courage to have real sex…this was part of the message of  Filippo Tomasso Marinetti in his famous, hilarious manifesto “Down With Tango and Parsifal” published in Milan, Italy…for Marinetti the tango craze  and the chic tango teas then spreading all over the western world, represented the fads of popular culture and the conventionalism of the bourgeouis…in his attack on the tango he says, “is it amusing for you to look each other in the mouth and examine each other’s teeth, like two hallucinated dentists…to yank, to lunge…is it so much fun to arch desperately over each other, trying to pop each other like two corked bottles and never succeeding…to possess a woman is not to rub against her but to penetrate her!”he was equally disdainful of Wagner and Parsifal and makes a facetious comparison between tango and Tristan and Isolde

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Fillipo Tomasso Marinetti, a complex intellectual and provocateur was born on December 22, 1876 (Capricorn) in Alexandria Egypt…his father was an italian lawyer then advising the Khedive Ismael Pasha…a lover of literature and poetry, he graduated from law school but chose to devote himself to writing….in 1908 he published his provocative, passionate “Futurist Manifesto”in the prestigious French daily Le Figaro thus founding the Futurist Movement whose powerful effects continued to be felt to our very day…he founded the Futurist Political Party which was absorbed into Mussolini’s fascist political movement; he was however, an early demonstrator against anti-semitism…though no longer a young man, his nationalist fervor inspired him to volunteer for the Russian front during World War II…Futurism’s influenced was felt in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture and even gastronomy.

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_ubT6r-Uzw to see a visual presentation of “Zang Tumb Tumb”, one of Marinetti’s sound poems…it is an account of the Battle of Andrianople which he witnessed as a reporter for L’Intransigeant

1914 January 9 – BIRTH OF ALFREDO ATTADIA

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Capricorn) – as soon as Juan Peron came into power, Alfredo Attadia, declared himself an ardent Peronist and thus gave a great surge forward to his career; this was to have dire consequences for him years later when Peron was overthrown in 1954…he would find himself, like so many other artists, blacklisted and exiled; in the case of legendary poet  Enrique Santos Discepolo for example, it would hasten a premature death from a broken heart…..but this would come later, for now he was summoned to cut the tangos “Descamisados” and the march “Peronista” to be used for political propaganda by the Peron regime… a period of rapid ascendancy commenced; there was a lucrative contract with Radio Belgrano, performances at the chic Dancing Ocean Club and at the legendary Cabaret Moulin Rouge.. . in Montevideo his notoriety took a great jump forward when he began playing at the historic café El Ateneo

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He was born in the neighborhood of San Andres in the town of San Martin which is just outside of Buenos Aires..already as a young boy he was mesmerized by the sound of the bandoneon; his father reluctantly bought him his first one…he had envisioned a professional career for his beloved son…eventually through  a family friend, young and shy Alfredo garnered an audition for an all girl’s orchestra and he was hired; at the age of 17 he debuted with them at the Cafe Paris…this was the start of a grand career including stints with some the best tango groups in history , Alfredo Malerba, Angelo D’Agostino and Rodolfo Biaggi for whom he wrote his first arrangements….with a young and ambitious Alfredo Di Angelis he formed his first orchestra which they called “Tipica Florida”…among his numerous compositions, perhaps his best was “Tres Esquinas” which he composed with Angel D’Agostino and was a great hit for vocalist Angel Vargas

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1903, January 7 – BIRTH OF CARLOS DI SARLI

Composer, Leader, Pianist (Capricorn) – three times in his career his musicians walked out on him…he was a demanding, temperamental, difficult perfectionist…maybe it had something to do with the fact that as a young boy he had lost an eye in an accident and wore a prosthesis…there was the famous incident in which the owner of  the “Club El Germinal” told him that he could not perform wearing his habitual dark glasses…Carlos in his customary vexation became immensely irate and stompted out though these were tough times and work for musicians was difficult to come by….his band out of loyalty to him, continued playing using his name…but Carlos was also a gifted musician and perhaps no one represents the beauty, the sensuality, the passion of tango better, for the great number of people in the world, than he does…he recorded over 250 tangos in 27 albums…among the innumerable hits, three of his most beloved he composed himself “Bahia Blanca”, “Verde Mar” and “Otra Vez Carnaval”…he discovered a young Roberto Ruffino with whom he would record some immortal hits…

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He was born in the town of Bahia Blanca to an italian immigrant father who had moved to the new world when his first wife tragically died young…he eventually fell in love with Carlo’s mother Serafina who came from a musical family; one of her brothers Tito Russomano was a noted barritone…with the encouragement of his father young Carlos began studying piano preparing for a career in classical music…at age 13 he horrified his family when he began playing and touring with a Zarzuela Company…three years later he formed his own orchestra and began playing at the Cafe Express in his home town; he composed his first tango “Meditacion”…at age 20 renown composer and band leader Anselmo Aieta ask him to join his orchestra…impressed with his seriousness and professionalism,  though he still quite young, Osvaldo Fresedo entrusted him with the direction of an important orchestra performing at the Fenix Theater…at the height of his creative power, Carlos Di Sarli passed away at the age of 57 years old…noted tango historian Keith Elshaw was to say of Carlos di Sarli, “he walked like a panther…his originality is breathtaking and his beat is so sexy”

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1912, January 6 – BIRTH OF CARMELITA AUBERT

Singer (Capricorn) – when Carmelita Aubert sang the tango “Clemencia” (forgiveness) in the film “Abajo Los Hombres” it was a coded message for a pardon for the miners who had participated in the legendary “Astruias Uprising” which director Valentin R. Gonzalez, a supporter of the Republic, had inserted in to the film…authorities saw through it and the tango was censured… these were tense and chaotic days in Spain, one year before the outbreak of the tragic Spanish Civil War whose carnage would cost 500, 000 lives and wounds that would take generations to heal…when Carmencita returned to Spain on October 6, 1944 from self-exile in Portugal, she was immediately arrested…when the news reached Portugal, her beloved, loyal fans engaged in spontaneous and protracted demonstrations in front of the Spanish embassy and the news became front page headlines around the world…20 days later the Franco dictatorship gave in and released Carmelita

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Carmelita Aubert was born in Barcelona, to a mother who was a well-known vaudeville actress and dancer…early on it became obvious that Carmelita loved to sing and dance and she enrolled her in the noted Cariteu Academy...her break came when legendary comedic actor Carlos Saldana “Alady” happen to hear her sing and was immediately impressed with her gifted voice and ability to connect with the public…19 year old Carmelita  found herself performing along side “Alady” in her debut with him at the sea port resort town of Arenys De Mar…in Barcelona she made her first tango recording, “Con Todo Amor”, with Mario Visconti,  a young singer and guitarist; she was praised by the magazine “El Tango De Moda”…she starred in her first movie “Mercedes”  in 1932 , where her screen partner was Argentinean singer and song writer Hector Morel; the film was an enormous success…two tangos from the film, “Alma de Tango” and the waltz “Mercedes” became big hits on radio but her “mystique”, that elusive, coveted quality, emanated when she sang the Cocaina En Flor (cocaine in flower) radio perfume ads.

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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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1889, January 2 – BIRTH OF TITO SCHIPA

Singer, Composer (Capricorn) – in his audacious, bohemian lifestyle, he even risked his life crossing paths with opera lover and gangster Al Capone, in Chicago where Tito would sing opera for fifteen years…Tito Schipo, was a reckless spender of huge sums of money and a shameless womanizer; he was also one of the finest tenors in history…along the way he even composed several popular tangos…during this time, Tito was a huge celebrity and one of the highest-paid artists in the world….living lavishly in a villa in Santa Monica and an estate in Beverly Hills, he frequented parties with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin…after his debut at the Met in 1932, the New York Telegraph wrote of him “young and boyishly ardent…the surprise and joy of the performance” …..Everyone loved Schipa; he was graceful and elegant in his singing, personally charming, and good-looking; adding to his mystique was his fascination with animals…Tito often traveled with a menagerie of pets; reportedly he once arrived in Chicago with a live snake in his pocket as a mascot.

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He was born in the town of Lecce in Southern Italy to a poor family…singing in the school choir the director detected something special in young Tito and singled him out for private instruction…he came to the attention of the bishop of Lecce who paid for his singing lessons and eventually sent him to Milano to perfect his voice…at the age of 21 he debuted in Vercelli, Piemonte Italy, singing “La Traviata”; it was a disaster but he revealed something and doors slowly began opening for him…during World War II he was close to the Mussolini and even sang in Nazi Germany which caused him some problems later…after the war he retired to teach in Budapest and toured the Soviet Union; now he was suspected of being a communist and his phone was tapped; he was blackballed at La Scala…eventually he returned to New York where to his surprise he was warmly welcomed and ended his life and career there…among his tango compositions are “El Coqueton”, “El Gaucho”, “Esperanzas”, “Ojos Lindos y Mentirosos”, “El Pampero”, “Surriento”

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1941, January 1 – BIRTH OF FERNANDO SUAREZ PAZ

Leader, Violinist (Capricorn) – almost from the moment he was born, his father noticed his sensitive, contemplative nature and he was especially doting on young Fernando…when he noticed his keen musical interest he bought him a violin; Fernando was only five years old…still his dream was that one day Fernando would become a doctor…years later when Fernando informed him that he would devote his life to music, he was more than a little disappointed and concerned for his son’s future; still he said nothing and vowed support for his beloved son…little did he suspect that one day that five-year old boy, not much bigger than the violin he held in his hand, would grow up to be a respected musician all over the world earning awards and recognitions including a Grammy and a seven star rating from the New York Times for his tenure with Gary Burton performing in jazz festivals all over the world….

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A key point in his career occurred when the legendary Astor Piazzolla, looking for a violinist for his Quinteto Nuevo Tango, chose Fernando from among innumerable candidates…he would tour and record with Piazzolla for 10 years traveling all over the world…he was one of Astor’s favorite musicians honoring him with a personal dedication in his composition “Escualo”…Fernando, born in the town of Ramos Mejia in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, was to say years later about his mentor “to play with Piazzolla for a musician is the maximum experience possibile..playing with piazzolla I was truly happy”...from a very young age Fernando’s devotion to music was total, resulting at the age of 17, in a seat with the prestigious LRA Juvenile Symphonic Orchestra; shortly thereafter, he was then accepted for the first violins of the Buenos Aires Symphonic Orchestra…he has played with some of the most notables in tango including Horacio Salgan, Miguel Calò, Anibal Troilo….the renown composer Gabriel Senanes  wrote for Fernando “Concierto En Canto Negroriano” for violin and orchestra and recorded it with Fernando as guest artist.

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1911, December 31 – BIRTH OF AMANDA LEDESMA

Singer (Capricorn) – working  in a dress shop, shy Amanda was beloved by the customers for her sweetness and her attentive service…when she was not working she was singing but she did not think she was particularly good; she just hoped some day the right boy would ask her to get married and take her away…her friends would ask her to sing at their celebrations…one day one of them  told her about a singing contest at the Gaumont Theater and encouraged her to enter but she was highly reluctant; eventually she was convinced…she did not win but a director of the renown Radio Prieto happened to be present and like her voice and ask her to do a tryout at the stati0n…for her debut she sang “Alma En Pena” where she was accompanied by non other than Miguel Calò on piano…it was a success and invitations from other radio stations followed and then performances in the one-act theater farces which were all the rage at the time…

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Eventually Luis Moglia Barth picked her for his second film “Dancing” which was a box office failure; still Amanda was one of the few bright spots in the film…in her career she would star in 21 films…for her first recording in 1937 she sang “Condena” and the waltz “Primavera”…She was to see her greatest success however, in Mexico to where she moved in 1942…there she was “The Blond Goddess of Tango”, an image she cured assiduously by dyeing her hair blond and taking  fanatical care of her skin that it remain white…indeed it was rumored a film contract stipulated that she was never to sunbathe….for her appearances she tended to dress in white; never provocative….her film “Cuando Quiere Un Mexicano” in 1944 with Mexican singer and Latin American heart throb Jorge Negrete skyrocketed her fame….she was the first Argentinean star to move to Mexico to further her career; many others were to follow including the legendary Libertad Lamarque….in 1956 at the age of 45 apparently she had had enough and returned to Argentina and retired

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1936, December 30 – BIRTH OF MIGUEL VILLASBOAS

Leader, Pianist (Capricorn) – surely the stellar career of Miguel Villasboas can put to rest the controversy of whether tango belongs to both Montevideo and Buenos Aires…his career involved collaboration with the legends of tango Osvaldo Fresedo, Miguel Calo, Juan D’arienzo…critics rate his contribution to tango among the two top in the history of tango in Uruguay; perhaps second only to that of Donato Racciatti…his output in recording is immense 60 LPs, 10 cassettes, 10 Cds recorded for different labels in both Argentina and Uruguay…he earned rave review and standing ovations  during tours in South America; among the most memorable before discriminating audiences in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brasil…he garnered ecstatic receptions  in Australia,  in the cities of Melbourne, Sidney and Adelaide…in the United States, especially in Miami and New York and in 2001 an   especially memorable tour of Japan….in 1976 the London label of England awarded him a gold disc for the sales success of his recording “De Pura Cepa”

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He was born in the Pocitos neighborhood of Montevideo, Uruguay where from a very young age he showed keen musical ability which pleased his father, a piano teacher; in fact he was his first teacher…he finished his studies in the history of musical education and began teaching in high schools; an activity which he loved and which he continued until his retirement in 1993…at the age of 16 he formed his first musical group “Quinteto Miguelito”; they appeared in cafes and dancehalls and on television…he was still only 18 when luck broke his way, renowned maestro Nicolas Agapaios asked him to play piano with his orchestra…he later formed a sextet which would be in much demand; through it ranks passed some of Uruguays best musicians including Pedro Severino a virtuoso violinist who would remain with him for 30 years…in march of 1964 in his last appearance in Uruguay, the mythical Roberto Firpo invited Miguel to play with his group at the Palacio Sud America.

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1908, December 27 – BIRTH OF SANTIAGO DEVIN

Singer (Capricorn) – as a young boy, his gruff boss would frequently scream at him “Santiago, paint, work or you will find yourself on the street”….indeed he was fortunate to have a  job as a car painter but instead of concentrating on the task at hand he would sing all day to the ire of his boss ..but alas, the boss grudgingly forgave the boy; the truth was that he admired his voice…Santiago Devincenzi was born to poor Italian immigrant parents and very early in life, had quit school to work to help support the family; almost as soon as he had started walking, he started singing, not always welcomed by his struggling, nervous father…his first audition was at the Radio Cultura where to his deep disappointment he heard the director say “go study and come back later when you are ready”….he continued painting cars and singing among the toxic fumes and dreaming…his first public performance was at “Nacional Cinema Theater”; when it was finally over, only the guitarist was paid…the next day he continued painting and singing and hoping…

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His first break came when Antonio Alfonso Roman, although not completely convinced, hired him for his orchestra; he helped him correct his technique and young Santiago began to win smiles and nods of approval from the public… he would later work with noted orchestras like those of Juan Carlos Cobian, Julio De Caro and the legendary Carlos Di Sarli…he then launched himself as a soloist and was successful in the best cafes and cinema theater of his day; he was to do some of his best work during a stint with the Sureda Trio…it is recounted that Carlos Gardel had once said of him “during my last tour of the province of Buenos Aires, I worked with a half-filled room in the cinema theaters and the kid Devin with Sureda stole me the public”…at the point of his career when things were finally coming together for him, he began to have symptoms of  a strange illness, perhaps connected with the toxic fumes he had breathed as a car painter; he passed away suddenly at the age of 42

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPdFMIKY27Y to hear Santiago Devin sing “Cicatrices” with the Carlos Di Sarli Orchestra…the music was composed by Adolfo Aviles with lyrics by Enrique Maroni