Archive for the ‘ Pisces ’ Category

1940, December 12 – HECTOR MAURE’S 1ST RECORDING !

He dreamed of being a boxing champion and one particular evening’s match was especially  important in his promising career which everyone was whispering about but in the seventh round, a hard right which seemed to come out of nowhere, sent him to the canvass for the ten count….within a few days he received  some hard news, he was seriously injured and would not be able to box again; it is then that he decided to devote himself exclusively to singing…Hector Maurè was born on March 13, 1920 (Pisces) in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires to a struggling Italian immigrant father and a mother from Lugo, Galicia…he had to quit school early to work to help the family make ends meet..his boxing dreams now spent, he began singing in neighborhood family celebrations and festivals…one day, encouraged by friends and not at all sure of himself, he made his debut at the Cafe Rio De La Plata where to his surprise and delight the public liked him and he got a contract for three months…other temporary gigs were to follow

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The following year he had his first break when Anselmo Aieta asked him to sing part-time with his orchesta…that same year he entered the celebrated Puloil Soap Tango Contest on Radio Belgrano…out of 5000 applicants, 10 finalists were chosen whose final test was a radio performance…Hector sang two tangos “Lo Han Visto Con Otra” and “Confesion”; by vote of the public he was finally declared the winner…his award was a six month contract and 500 pesos a month; quite a substantial sum in those days…another milestone occurred when he was one of several candidates for the then marquee orchestra of Juan D’arienzo and eventually he was selected…it is indeed with the Juan D’arienzo orchestra that he made his first recording “Flor De Mal” composed by Juan Carlos Gravis; he was to make a total of 293 recordings in his career…..on January 1, 1945 he began his career as a soloist singing on Radio Belgrano with his own orchestra..his success was breathtaking; he was in constant demand in Buenos Aires and Uruguay and even made a trip to France…he had indeed come a long way from the young promising boxer whose career had been destroyed by a hard right in the seventh round that had out of nowehere…..one evening in 1976, at his home, in the midst of a career branching on several fronts, he suddenly and unexpectedly had a heart attack and passed away; he was 56 years old.

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ngqqVC18tM to hear Hector Maurè sing “Dime Mi Amor” (Tell me my love) composed by Rodolfo Sciamarella with lyrics by Manuel Romero which was a hit for both him and the Juan D’arienzo Orchestra
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1924, December 5 – STAGE PREMIERE OF “EL CIEGO”

In the early part of the century, stage plays were the preferred method of entertainment and it was also the preferred setting to debut a new tango…a successful debut of a new tango in a stage play could mean fame and fortune for its composer…this was exactly the dream of composer Antonio Scatasso when he premiered his tango “El Ciego” in the play “Chi Lo Sa” written by Cesar Bourel which premiered at the Apollo Theater in Buenos Aires…Antonio Scatasso born February 28, 1886 (Pisces) In Naples Italy had very little education and in fact he was a rough, aggressive, uncouth person but he was also a musical prodigy…

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At the age of four his poor family had emigrated to Buenos Aires in the hope of a better life…Antonio learned to play the mandolin, the guitar and the bandoneon with almost no training of any kind; later he would also become a composer of simple and melodic tangos much beloved by the public especially theater audiences…his first professional debut, around 1907, was with the mandolin alongside violinist and future legend, Francisco Canaro…later he performed at the Cafe El Parque but this time on bandoneon which he had mastered…in 1933 he met Ignacio Corsini at the Teatro Smart; a long and productive collaboration was to ensue including memorable performance at the Radio Nacion….he was always close to the theater, toward the end of his life in management…among his numerous compositions were some great hits for some of which he not only composed the music but wrote the lyrics as well

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1970, December 3 – PIAZZOLLA RECORDS “INVIERNO PORTENO”

The story is told of a young lady present at pianist Linda Lee Thomas’s performance of “Invierno Porteno” who was so moved by the music that she burst into sobs….Inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, “Invierno Porteno” (Winter in Buenos Aires) is the second of Astor Piazzolla’s “Cuatro Estaciones Portenas” (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) which was written over a period of six years in the 1960s and which has caught the attention of world-wide audiences…in fact classical music orchestras are beginning to program “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”, alongside those of Vivaldi’s…for example in the year 2000, renown violinist Gidon Kremer, released a highly acclaimed album called “Vivaldi and Piazzolla, Eight Seasons”…of  the four, Invierno Porteno is perhaps the most beloved of Piazzolla’s quartet…recently Japanese World champion skater, Daisuke Takahashi clinched the Grand Prix NHK Trophy with an inspired performance skating to “Invierno Porteno”

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Astor Piazzolla, an only child, was born on March 11, 1921 (Pisces) in Mar De Plata Argentina…when he was four years old, the family moved to New York City where at the age of eight, his father bought him his first bandoneon …in 1936 the family moved back to Mar De Plata and it is here that Astor began to play in a number of tango orchestras….Carlos Gardel was a friend of the family and in fact Astor played the part of a paper boy in his film “El Dia Que Me Quieras”…..one day he happened to hear Elvino Vardaro’s Sextet on the radio and his alternativeways of interpreting tango was to have a great influence on him…in 1954 he was awarded a scholarship by the French government and he went to Paris to study under Nadia Boulanger who, after hearing him play tango says to him “Here is the true Piazzolla, never let him go, do not abandon your roots”…with its elements of jazz and classical music Tango Nuevo is born

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1889 March 18 – BIRTH OF HECTOR BLOMBERG

Poet, Writer, Journalist (Pisces) – he flung open the door, rushed in and started grabbing  a few clothes, “where are you going son” his mother asked worriedly,“to Norway” he responded…that afternoon while walking the waterfront, deep in thought, he had suddenly stopped in front of a massive ship and had been seized by an inexplicable urge, “the ship leaves at 12 noon” the sailor on guard had told him…Hector Blomberg was gone for two years during which he visited far away lands and exotic ports of call; he returned with a suitcase full of poems…at the age of seventeen he had received his first recognition, a gold medal for his poem “Ode To Spain”…in time he would become one of Argentina’s great men of letters leaving behind an extensive collection of poetry books, historical novels, plays, newspaper articles, children’s books and several immortal tangos…being fluent in German and English he even found time to translate noted writers in those languages

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He was born in the neighborhood of Montserrat in Buenos Aires; his mother, originally from Paraguay, was herself a writer and a translator…his father was an engineer and a descendant of a long line of Norwegian sailors from whom he fell heir to his passion for the sea and for travel…sometime in the late 1920s he was introduced to singer Ignacio Corsini with whom a lifelong friendship would flourish…in collaboration with guitarist Enrique Maciel they would author a waltz “La Pulpera de Santa Lucia” which was a great hit and would launch a renowned career for Corsini; the three would collaborate on a number of other successful tango like “El Adios de Gabino Ezeiza” and “La Que Morio en Paris”…”La Pulpera de Santa Lucia” was originally on of Hector’s historical novels which continues in circulation to our very day as a collector’s item at prices many times its original cost…the kind of person Hector was, revealed itself in 1920 in a poetry contest; when it came to his attention that he would be awarded first prize, he argued with the jury that the second place designee’s entry was better than his  and really deserving of first place and in fact the order of the awards was changed

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1907, March 16 – BIRTH OF ISABEL DEL VALLE

She was in a trance, her eyes swelled with tears, the pain of her humiliation as she returned home was almost undearable…she had gone personally to see the brothel owner La Ritana whom persistent rumors said she was Carlos Gardel’s lover…to her dismay, not only did La Ritana admit that, yes, she was his lover but that she had given as a gift to Carlitos a precious pekinese puppy; that was the very puppy that Carlos had in turn given to her…Isabella for her whole life never tired of repeating  that she was Carlos Gardel’s only real love…she claimed she was not jealous, “Jealousy, me,  never, a woman who loves a man like Carlos Gardel can never harbor undignified sentiments like jealousy” and yet not only did she go to see La Ritana but also another woman rumored to have been Gardel’s lover Mona Maris about whom she said “I got fed up with her declarations, she was only an adventure for him, the slut threw herself shameslessly on him”…Isabel del Valle was born in the neighborhood of Costitucion, Buenos Aires to a her father was a railroad manager….

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The fateful day occurred on the corner of  Sarmientos and Pellegrini Street where through her brother’s friend she met Carlos for the first time; she was fourteen years old, he was thirty four…the next day, Carlos showed up at the house with the ingredients to have Isabella’s mother prepare Valencian style rice….a long and at times tumultuous relationship ensued which to one Gardel scholar was merely a love of formal appearance with no real passion behind it….nevertheless over the years not only Isabella but the whole family became dependent on Carlos’s generosity…there was even some evidence that her brothers had blackmailed Gardel into giving them a large some of money by threatening to accuse him of child molestation as Isabella had been only fourteen years old when he began his relationship with her…Isabell had once said proudly, “yes I was fourteen but my body was already that of a real woman”…it is known that Gardel had relationships with many women but without ever apparently developing a deep love with any of them; there were even rumors that he was gay…he once said, “I never fall in love…all women are worthwhile of loving, but to have a blind adherence to one is to offend the others”

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1925, March 15 – BIRTH OF EDOUARD PECOURT

Collector (Pisces) – during Nazis occupied Paris several times he narrowly escaped being arrested…he remembered hunger and walking for hours through the country side to reach a farmer whom it was rumored had meat to sell…his wife abandoned him leaving him to care for two young children from his meagre earning selling pens…some how, along the journey of an epic life he fell in love  with tango and his collection would eventually reach 50, 000 recordings…Edouard Percourt was born in the fabled artists’ hill of Montmartre in Paris….his father died while he was still a boy and his mother abandoned him to a tough, strict orphanage where he learned to fight to survive…his first job was as a shoe repairman working long hours and making barely enough to survive; hoping to better his lot, he went into selling pens…an Arabic woman invited him to sell  his pens at her Arabic music stand; here he was first exposed to tango; it was love at first sight, “three-minute operas” he called them…he began passionately collecting tango records which in the fiftys nobody wanted any more and he could acquire for next to nothing…

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In 1953 through tremendous personal sacrifice he purchased the old, dusty shop where he regularly bought his tango records…he renamed it “La Boite a Disques” (The Record Box)…here, located near the Louvre, in the shadow of Dali, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh he had found his spiritual home…one day the bell on the door rang, he turned his head to see a young Astor Piazzolla walk in…their mutual love of music would bond them in a friendship for the rest of their lives…his 50,000 tango record collection includes more than 1000 recordings by Carlos Gardel and every Piazzolla original disc ever published anywhere in the world…in 1981 in New York City he met Jocelyn Howells, fell in love and married her; she was his third wife….at the age of sixty-two he did another courageous thing, he sold his shop and moved, along with his immense collection, to be with Jocelyn among the majestic evergreens just outside of  Portland, Oregon…he became a dear friend to local tangueros to whom, in his french accent, with radiance and little boy enthusiasm, he would give talks on the history of tango…he passed away at the age of 83 from brain lymphoma with his beloved Jocelyn by his side

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1906, March 14 – BIRTH OF RODOLFO BIAGI

Leader, Composer, Pianist (Pisces) – sitting still in class for little Rudy was not easy; his soul was restless…his forays into the realm of day dreaming more often than not, brought him reprimand “Rudy, pay attention”…but lurking inside was a genius who would one day change the world of tango…in his brief three years with the Juan D’arienzo orchestra, his innovative beat on piano would help usher in “danceable tango”  and reinvigorate tango in the forties by appealing to young people…Rodolfo Biagi was born in the neighborhood of San Telmo, Buenos Aires to struggling Italian immigrants…he caused a family crisis when at the end of grammar school, young Rodolfo insisted on leaving school; his parent reluctantly agreed but they enrolled him in the conservatory of the newspaper “La Prensa” to study piano…being strong willed and independent, at the age of thirteen, without his parents’ consent he began playing in a silent film cinema

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One evening the legendary Juan Maglio (Pacho) happened to be in the cinema and was stunned by the precocious teenager at piano; he eventually accepted him into his orchestra, he was only fifteen…a major break occurred when in 1930 Jose Razzano interceded him backstage to ask him to accompany Carlos Gardel on a series of recordings…on April 1, 1930 he found himself next to the legendary Carlos Gardel in the recording studio…soon after he worked with a number of orchestras and along the way composed his first tango “Indeferencia” with lyrics by Juan Carlos Thorry…Rodolfo was a frequent customer of the Cabaret Chantecler where the Juan D’arienzo played nightly…his pianist Lidio Fasoli was notoriously late and one evening D’arienzo could endure no more and on the spot asked Rodolfo to take over at piano: with D’arienzo he would record 71 tangos…in 1938 Biagi left to start his own orchestra which debuted on September 16, 1938 at the Cabaret Marabu…in its long run his orchestra would record some immortal hits like the waltz “Lagrimas Y Sonrisas” and the tango “Quiero Verte Una Vez Mas” with singer Jorge Ortiz

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