Archive for the ‘ Sagitarius ’ Category


“A man deceived me” she says humiliated and destroyed…the lyrics of “Sollozos” tell of the pity a man feels for a girl he finds sobbing…he notices a locket round her neck with a man’s picture in it; tenderly he counsels her, “forget your past, if he shed no tears for you, shed no tears for him”…originally composed by Osvaldo Fresedo in 1922 with lyrics by his brother Emilio Fresedo, the word “Sollozos” means sobs,; it was a major hit for the mythical combination of Osvaldo Fresedo with singer Roberto Ray…it was first recorded by Rosita Quiroga in 1922 without making much of an impact…through the man’s empathy and concern, she is strengthened; she remembers her mother, she recovers her pride…he remembers nostalgically her pained lips and the smile she gave him…Emilio Fresedo’s lyrics were no small reason for the attainment of his brother’s legendary status; some of their hits together include, “El Once”, “Canto de Amor”, “Siempre Es Carnaval”


Unlike the overwhelming majority of tango greats, the Fresedo brothers came from a rich aristocratic family and there were heated battles with their father who had envisioned much more austere careers for his sons…in fact Osvaldo Fresedo’s music appealed to that part of the upper class that dared to admit that they loved tango…he was so popular that he kept several orchestras going simultaneously and Osvaldo would go from club to club to appear with each group for a few minutes before making his presentation at another venue…Roberto Ray with his refined, sensitive style was perfect for the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra and in fact they would work together for 30 years…Roberto Ray was born on December 21, 1912 (Sagittarius) in the neighborhood of San Cristobal, Buenos Aires…he started with Osvaldo Fresedo in 1931 and together they would create tangos that have never been out of popularity; hits like the legendary “Vida Mia”, “Niebla de Riachuelo” and “Recuerdo de Bohemia”



The guitar is the symbolic instrument which unites both Argentina and Uruguay; it has been from the beginning, the primary instrument for both tango and folk music in Montevideo and Buenos Aire…it is with this in mind that Alberto De Los Santos, in 1991, founded the Cuarteto De Los Santos; which from its inception has included band members from both Argentina and Uruguay…its success has been phenomenal; it has gone on to conquer critics and audiences all over the world…one critic noted, “rarely in the history of the guitar, have guitars had such a spell binding effect on audiences…the elixar of  ”Cuarteto De Los Santos” cuts across age, national and cultural differences”


Alberto de los Santos was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to a father who was himself a musician and guitarist…from early on his father noticed the musical talent in young Alberto and he began teaching him…when other boys might be anxious to get on the football field or hang out with friends, Alberto was totally devoted to his guitar..his proficiency at a young age surprised even his father… at the age of 13 he was selected among several candidates to form part of a trio; his first professional job…at age 15 he became part of a renown duet called “America” which quickly attained notiriety…he was then invited to become part of the Carlos Paralta guitar ensemble which accompanied the legendary Roberto Goyeneche…he began to be requested in the  groups providing music for television stations in both Montevideo and Buenos Aires by noted maestros like Horacio Salgan…the repertori of Cuarteto De Los Santos has included instrumental versions of famous Argentinian and Uruguayan authors and composers such as Astor Piazzolla, A. Zitarrosa,  Agustin Bardi, Eduardo Arolas, Alfonso y Zabala.


1904, December 18 – BIRTH OF MANUEL BUZON

Singer, Composer, Leader, Pianist (Sagittarius) – in 1924 at the age of 20 a young and struggling Manuel Buzon, a singer and piano player with big dreams, happened to notice from his house, the towers of a radio station which was being constructed…mustering up his courage he went to the station without an appointment and insisted on speaking to the manager; his bravado got him hired…that was the beginning of a storybook ascension culminating just five years later in a performance at the biggest royal palace in Europe, The Royal Palace of Madrid before the King of Spain, His Majesty Alfonso XIII…Manuel Buzon was born in the neighborhood of Flores in Buenos Aires to poor Spanish immigrants…early on he demonstrated an unusual talent in music and started winning fans in the choir of his local church…At the age of eleven, along with a girl classmate, he debuted in a singing duet at the Excelsior Theater to his first standing ovation…


At the LOY Radio Station he became a regular  and quickly gained a following with his singing and piano playing; he also began composing… his first major break came in October of 1925 when the legendary Rosita Quiroga decided to record one of his compositions “Calle Corazon”; he also organized and led the orchestra for the event…the year after, the respected magazine “Reflejos” featured an article on the young Manuel praising him as a composer calling him “up and coming”….in 1927 Manuel had his first big hit with his tango “Cancionero” which was premiered by Azucena Maizani; the next year another success with his tango “Melodia” which was premiered by singer Alberto Vila…he had a highly acclaimed debut in May of 1928, at the Villa Crespo Cinema where he not only conducted his own orchestra from the piano but sang as well…it is later that year that he embarks on the mythical tour of  Spain beginning in Barcelona and ending in Madrid before the king of Spain where he triumphed with a notable interpretation of the classic  ”El Enterriano”…in 1942 he premiered his hit milonga “Mano Brava” on Radio El Mundo…some of his most beloved tangos include “Ojos Negros”, “Tarde Gris” and “Bigotito”


1955, December 16 – BIRTH OF MARIA VOLONTE

Singer, Comoser, Author (Sagittarius) –  Maria recalls the day her father came home gleaming with excitement, he had just bought one of the first home recorders…enthusiastically he called young Maria over for its first test into which Maria sang the Neopolitan classic “Cuore Ingrato”…she was so moved that she cried midway through its rendition…recalling that moment she was to say, “There was so much hidden pain in that melody, so much love generously spread! That day I discovered, that singing is to allow oneself to be pierced with passion”… her home as a child was a surrealistic, make-believe world created by her father, of improvised theater and art and painted bed sheets which doubled as scenery and probs with whatever household items they could get their hands on, rice cans, sauce pans, wooden spoons and all kinds of music…her father, a project draftsman, had sacrificed his youthful dream of show business for a “serious profession”


When she was 10 years old her father bought her her first guitar…she recalled that from its first strum she remained in awe and she would recall later “I knew it had changed my life”…as a teenager in school she was the hub of musical events; her life’s vocation was gradualy dawning in her soul…in the early 80s, now newly wed and living in the San Telmo area, she began by singing latin rock  in small cafes and barrooms before one day realizing that her true calling was tango…her 1996 album “Tango Y Otras Passiones” was awarded a coveted place in “La Nacion” newspaper’s  100 best tango albums of all time…she has won the Premio Gardel twice for best female tango singer…in 2004 she was nominated for the Latin Grammy for her album “Fuimos” (based on “Fuimos” written by Homero Manzi)…she has performed in Latin America, Europe and the United States always to create acclaim…in 2008 she moved to San Francisco where she has appeared at the legendary Yoshi’s Jazz Club…one critic said of hershe has one of the most assured, warmest, beautiful voices I’ve ever heard  and just enough dissonance and drama to keep things rooted in reality”


1915, December 15 – BIRTH OF JOSE CANET

Composer, Guitarist (Sagittarius) – as a teenager he shared with his friend Piero Hugo Fontana two passions, one was fishing and the other was music….frequently on their fishing outages, in moments when the fish weren’t biting and their typical boyhood chatter exhausted, Jose would take his ubiquitous guitar in hand, Piero would clear his throat and they would mimic their favorite radio tangos more than likely those of Carlos Gardel; their idol…Jose had fallen in love with the guitar at age 12 when he heard Ignacio Corsini sing on the radio, Piero Hugo Fontana would grow up to become the renown singer Hugo Del Carril…both boys would begin their professional careers in their teens…Jose Canet  grew up in the neighborhood of La Paternal, Buenos Aires…at the age of 18 he had his first professional gig when he was asked to join the group that backed up singer Santiago Devin…he was then recruited for the Radio Stentor staff to back up Fernando Diaz and Dorita Davis


One evening, after a radio performance he happened to meet singer Alberto Gomez; in time he would become a select member of his musicians and a 30 year career collaboration would ensue, including several  tours of Latin America…in Cuba their success was amazing where Jose’s craftsmanship on the guitar was especially admired…it is on one of those tours that he composed two of his most famous tangos “La Abandonè y No Sabia” in 1943 in Santigo Chile and “Tarde” in 1947 in Caracas Venezuela…with his Quinteto Garufa, which he formed in 1956, he created a new label, “Baitango” which were tangos especially suitable for dancing…he recorded several pieces with this label among them “LLego El Baiango” and “Baitango A Mar De Plata”…perhaps his greatest contribution of all occurred in 1972 when he persuaded Nelly Omar to come out of retirement; together with other musicians they went on to produce some of Nelly’s best and most  memorable work…with Nelly Omar, Jose’s talent and experience were finally coming to full bloom when one evening in 1981 he suffered a stroke and much disheartened, he had to leave the group; three years later he was to pass away.


1900, December 14 – BIRTH OF JUAN D’ARIENZO

Leader, Violinist (Sagitarrius) – it is said that the Emperor Hirohito of Japan was such a big fan of Juan D’arienzo that he sent him a blank check; when Juan still said no, he offered to send him a submarine to bring him to Japan….Juan D’arienzo was enormously popular and received invitations  from all over the world but he never left his area; he was afraid of flying…in an interview, late in life, he said that at the Chantecler Cabaret, Carlos Gardel said to him, “Juanito, I will die in an airplane”; he was sure, D’arienzo once said, that Gardel’s fate awaited him…Juan D’arienzo is widely credited with creating the boom in tango in the 1940s when he sped up the beat of the orchestra; a beat which was perfect for dancing…the old guard had another opinion, they saw it as bad taste…but young young people loved his orchestra and it became chic…his milonga “La Punalada” (composed by Pintin Castellanos), released in 1950, was the first ever million seller…his version of “La Cumparsita” which he recorded 8 times sold 14 million copies…Anibal Troilo said of him “laugh if you will but without him, we’d all be out of work”….


Juan D’arienzo, the eldest of three children, was born to Italian immigrant parents in the neighborhood of Balvanera, Buenos Aires…his father was the owner of an agricultural plant and he was determined that his eldest son study law and succeed him; young Juan however, had other ideas… from a very early age he loved music and by the age of 12 he was a good violinist; his mother secretly encouraged him…neverthless the angry fights with his father were endless and toward the end of his life Juan still painfully regretted that his father never quite forgave him…Juan was a good student and for a while worked with his father who helped him become a good salesman and a good businessman…as a teenager he struck a friendship with a young pianist Angel D’agostino and together they formed their first group “Ases del Tango”; their first contract was a gig at the zoo where Juan would later recall the catcalls of exotic birds and the roar of the lions which would sometimes accompany them…a distinquished composer Carlos Posadas took Juan under his wing and mentored him; Juan began playing with the orchestra of the Teatro Avenida…he formed his first orchestra in 1928…there are over 1007 recording by Juan D’arienzo…he was to say immodestly about himself, “with me 100,000 orchestras  and neighborhood clubs flourished”


1928, December 13 – BIRTH OF HUGO DUVALL

Singer (Sagittarius) – he was beginning to wonder if it was all worth it, the nightly treks to tango singing contests in tea rooms, a long-standing Buenos Aires tradition, when one particular evening, the violinist Raul Kaplun happened to come into the tea house where he was  singing and was quite taken by what he saw as the proper level of emotion in interpreting tangos; he invited him to audition with his orchestra which he eventually asked him to join…it was his first break…Hugo Duval, born Luciano Hugo Giurbino to poor italian immigrant parents, decided early on that he wanted to become a singer and began to devote his time to learning the music and the lyrics of his favorite tangos on the radio….at the age of 17 he began to be hired for neighborhood festivals and family celebrations; he soon acquired a small following…


His fans encouraged him to participate in the “numeros vivos” which, by mandate of law, were brief live acts inserted into the cinemas between intermisions…an important milestone was when he debuted on Radio Belgrano  alongside another young, aspiring singer Roberto Goyeneche; the radio station began to receive requests for his “beautiful, romantic voice”…his major break occurred in 1950 when the legendary Rodolfo Biagi invited him to join his orchestra…he would remain with Biagi for 13 years and it would be the most fruitful period of his career…on September 13 1950 he made his debut on record with “Serenata Campera” a waltz by Feliciano Brunelli…he was with Biagi on the occasion of his memorable last performance on August 2, 1969, at a ball held at the Club Hurlingham; one month later Biagi would pass away…it is with Biagi that he had some of  his greatest hits  ”Bailarina de Tango”, Sangre de Mi Sangre”, Triste Comedia”, “Adoracion”


1916, December 8 – BIRTH OF ERNESTO “TITI” ROSSI

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonista (Sagittarius) – in 1960 he reluctantly agreed to accompany singer Alberto Marino on a three-month tour of the United States; but in one evening’s performance in a  New York night club, the passion and the dexterity with which he played his bandoneon attracted the attention of a broadway musical director who invited him to join his orchestra…he ended up being the soloist in Metro’ and along the way remained in New York for eight years…Ernesto “Titti” Rossi was born in Guamini, a province of Buenos Aires to an Italian immigrant family of musicians…his father was a bandleader and his first teacher…by the age of 10 the precocious  Ernesto was proficient in violin and trumpet but his true love was the bandoneon to which he would devote his whole life….young Ernesto had always demonstrated courage and independence not always to the delight of his stern father and at the age of  12, along with his brother Carlos who was a singer, he made his move to the big city, to Buenos Aires to seek his fame and fortune…


He auditioned at the legendary Radio Belgrano where because of his age they at first refused to consider him but Ernesto’s determination and talent finally earned him a seat on the staff one of his engagements there, the orchestra leader Nicolas Vacarro happened to hear the young Ernesto and was immediately impressed and asked him to join his orchestra…the incredulous Ernesto found himself playing at the elegant “Dancing Novelty” night club…from here he was then recruited by Antonio Rodio for his renown performances at Radio El Mundo and Radio Splendido…the seminal event in his career however was to occur in 1956 when he became the arranger for the ascendant orchestra of Hector Varela with whom he would have a long association…he was a prolific composer and had a number of hits like “No Me Hablen De Ella“ (do not mention her to me) sung by Rodolfo Lessica with the Hector Varela orchestra…his milonga “Azucar Pimienta Y Sal” was an immediate hit and continues to be played today in milongas around the world…he finally left New York to return to his beloved to Buenos Aires where his final days were spent teaching and was much admired and respected by his students.



Singer (Sagittarius) – in the morning when he would arrive at his medical studio, he would find swarms of young ladies waiting to see him, gynecologist Dr. Alberto De Luca, who by night was the idolized singer Alberto Castillo…in fact the never-ending line of women so interfered with his ability to practise medicine that he reluctantly, finally, decided to devote himself exclusively to singing…Alberto Castillo was born in the neighborhood of Floresta, Buenos Aires, the fifth child of immigrants from Teggiano, Italy…very early on he demonstrated great musical ability; he took violin lesson and had the habit of singing no matter where he was or what he was doing…when he was 15 years old he was singing with a group of friends on a street corner when the guitarist Armando Neira happened by and was immediately struck by the voice of the young boy; he invited him to sing with his group….


And thus began his career at the age of 15 using the alias Alberto Dual to protect him from his severe father who wanted him to seek a career in medicine…his big break came in 1934 he was recruited by the legendary orchestra of  Julio De Caro; he began singing on Radio Paris…the story is told that one day when his father was listening to the radio he heard Alberto singing and not realizing it was his son said “this boy sings well, he sounds like my Albertito” the age of 24 he decided to quit singing and devote himself exclusively to his medical studies but tango was under his skin and so he accepted an invitation to sing with the Ricardo Tanturi orchestra “Los Indios”; with Tanturi, on January 8, 1941, he recorded “Recuerdo” which was his first big hit…one year later he graduated as a gynecologist from medical school and created a consulting room in his parents’ house……in one famous performance at the Teatro Alvear in 1944, the crowds waiting to get in were such that the police had to reroute traffic…he became famous also for singing  candombe…he was very successful in films as well; he debuted in “Adios Pampa Mia” in 1946…in 1993 at the age of 79 he had his last hit success “Siga El Baile”, a candombe


  • CLICK HERE – to hear Alberto sing his hit“Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir” (that no one knows how I am suffering) composed by Angel Cabral whom Edith Piaf re-recorded as “La Foule” in 1957…it became a hit for her as well


Composer, Leader, Pianist (Sagittarius) – the story is told of the time when Osvaldo Pugliesewas playing the “Cumparsita” in a night club and the police raided because he was forbidden to work…the owner of the club told the police that they should at least finish what they were playing…somehow word got back to Osvaldo and so he ordered that they continue playing; in fact they played for so long that the police finally left out of frustration…when the longest “Cumparsita” ever, finally came to an end, the crowd applauded thunderously; humbly, Osvaldo stood up and pointed to his orchestra in gratitude….besides being one of the greatest tango figures in history, Osvaldo Pugliese was an impassioned and indefatigable activist for social justice who was frequently  persecuted by the Juan Peron government…among his activities, he was an organizer of workers’ strikes and even looked after the welfare of the terribly exploited prostitutes


During his periodic incarcerations, his orchestra, which would continue performing, would place a red rose on top of his unmanned piano…He was born in the neighborhood of Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires, a traditionally jewish neighborhood, to an Italian immigrant father who gave him his first lesson in the playing of the violin; Osvaldo would later switch to the age of 16 he was hired by Paquita Bernardo, the first professional female bandoneonist in Argentina, to play in her sextet…after numerous engagements with different orchestras, on August 11, 1939, he debuted with his orchestra at the Cafe Nacional…he set up his orchestra as a cooperative in which everyone including himself was paid the same amount of money…there were numerous great hits among his hundreds of recording but perhaps non greater than “Recuerdo” which he composed  at the age of 19…during one of his numerous world tours at a stopover in Japan, he had a conversation with Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, a renown Buddhist who said of Osvaldo “I have met with emperors, kings, philosophers, great personalities from around the world, but I never found as much spiritual affinity with such a person as with Osvaldo.”


  • CLICK HERE – to hear a brief interview with the inimitable Osvaldo Pugliese followed by a performance of “Recuerdo” by his own orchestra shortly before passing away at the age of 90