Archive for the ‘ Libra ’ Category

1924, September 26 – BIRTH OF LAGRIMA RIOS

Singer (Libra) – of mixed african descent, she was born to very humble surroundings  in Durazno, Uruguay…as a child she and her mother moved to “Barrio Sur”, Montevideo the legendary black neighborhood home also to two other pioneers of tango Modesto Ocampo and Carlos Olmedo…Lagrima would recall, as a child, having met Carlos Gardel in his celebrated visit there…for her entire life, through worldwide travels, she remained faithfully tethered to her candombe neighborhood…


She started singing at the age of 18 performing folk songs and tangos…in 1945 her first break came when she was invited to join the famous Alberto Mastra Trio…a series of kudos and awards  followed, culminating in important contracts for radio and night clubs…in 1960 she formed an a capella negro spiritual group “Brindis de Sala” which had great success for 10 years…critically acclaimed television appearances and european tours followed where she was especially active in anti racism campaigns…among her various personal tragedies, was an estrangement for many years from a beloved son, born out-of-wedlock, who had emigrated to Sweden



1922, September 25 – birth of “LUNATICO”, GARDEL’S HORSE

“Lunatico” (Libra)  was Gardel’s first horse and the only one with whom he made any money…Gardel paid 5000 pesos for him and earned $ 72.450 in four years…Lunatico made his debut on April 26, 1925, in a 1,200- meter distance; he finished third; the place bet paid $ 5,20…He raced 36 times in all – he won 10,  he was second in 6, third in 8, fourth in 6, fifth in 1…For most of his career he was ridden by the renown jockey Irineo Leguisamo who became a close of friend of Gardel’s..


After its racing career Lunatico was taken to a farm in the province of Santa Fe to stud; in 1933 its grateful owner ordered that it be taken to open field and be allowed  to live its remaining days in total freedom….many tangos were inspired by the horse races including “Por una Cabezawritten by Gardelhimself…Gardel used to bet by means of telegrams sent to his proxy in Buenos Aires but he as well attended the race courses of Montevideo, Paris and New York while he was on tour


  • CLICK HERE to hear Gardel sing “Por Una Cabeza” (by a head)…the text is the bitter tale of a man trapped between two fires: his passion for race horses and an a morbid passion for a beautiful and evil woman who lies to him and finally rejects him

1940, September 24 – BIRTH OF AMELITA BALTAR

Singer (Libra) – born in Barrio Norte, Buenos Aires, she had originally set her sights on becoming a professional school teacher….she had contemporaneously studied guitar and singing and in time she realized that this would be her life’s vocation…her first break came when she was accepted into the “Quinteto Sombras” , a folk group, with whom she would make her first recordings….In the early 1968, now as a soloist, she cut her first LP for which she was awarded the first prize at the Festival del Disco in Mar del Plata.


When Astor Piazzolla, looking for a substitute singer  for his opera “Maria de Buenos Aires” (the original singer had been his lover and they had broken up)  came to hear her,  it is said that the first thing that impressed him were her legs but it was her mezzo-soprano, sensual voice which earned her an invitation  to join the company…in fact, her  interpretation of  “Ballada Para un Loco” would become Piazzolla’s  first popular hit; it would turn Amelita into an international star…in midst of all this, would develop as well, a love affair with Piazzolla


1954, September 19 – JUAN PERON OVERTHROWN

The coup that ousted Peron (born, October 8, 1895, Libra) had profound consequences for tango…. Peron had been a nationalist and a populist and tango was both national and popular…Peron did not hesitate to use tango to further his political aims…the tango “Una Carta Para Italia” for example was critisized as shameless propaganda…the new military government was made up of members of the upper classes, whose innate classism made tango alien and dangerous…many famous tango artist had been involved with the Peronist movement…premiere among them was the legendary Enrique Santos Discepolo whose popular radio commentary was to make a big difference…


Juan Peron actually attributed his electoral victory to the women’s vote and Discepolo’s radio commentary…later of course the anti Peronists would viciously ostracize Discepolo and he would die from a broken heart at the age of fifty…but not all tango artists were in favor with the regime; the great Libertad Lamarque for example was blackballed by Eva Peron and Libertad had to move to Mexico where she was beloved by the Mexican public as one of their own…the post Peron regime had an instinctive negative reaction to anything having to do with tango… many of those same artists were either imprisoned or blacklisted and laws restricting the gathering of young people were inforced only in tango clubs thus inadvertently ushering in the new rock and roll culture


1941, September 9 – recording of “ADIOS ARRABAL”

Recording – singer Angel Vargas (born Oct 22, 1904 – Libra) – recorded this tango on this date with the Angel D’agostino orchestra with whom he sang between 1940 – 1946….it was a major hit and has remained popular tangos in milongas and performances…Angel D’agostino was one of the few orchestra leaders who was also a dancer and hence his whole approach to tango was that it be danceable…he came from a family of musicians immigrants from Italy…one of his biggest fans was Eva Peron who gave a special custom-made clock of which only three were made


D’agostino was a skilled gambler and stubborn bachelor and a close friend of legendary poet Enrique Cadicamo with whom he made a pact to never marry; Cadicamo would break the pact when he finally married a twenty year old girl at the age of fifty…D’agostino would never again speak with him however their collaboration would lead to great hits like “A Pan Y Agua”…the lyrics of “Adios Arrabal” are the narration of a grown man who has come back to the old, now darken neighborhood, empty of the tough guys and the girls hanging on balconies… he invokes his deceased mother asking her forgiveness for his wayward ways and the nightlife  which he still misses…he asks her about the young girl whom he loved and  has never forgotten … “goodbye arrabal porteno, I was your slave and also your master and now I give you my last goodbye”


  • CLICK HERE to hear “Adios Arrabal” sung by Angel Vargas written in 1930 by Juan Bauer with Lyrics by Carlos Lenzi