Archive for the ‘ Sagitarius ’ Category

1911, December 1 – BIRTH OF MIGUEL NIJENSOHN

Composer, Leader, Pianist (Sagittarius) – it was never clear if their death from a gas leak in their small apartment in Mar De Plata one cold winter night in 1983, had in fact been a dyadic suicide pact; before going to bed they had enjoyed an elaborate last meal, a half empty bottle of wine with two elegant glasses was found on the night stand…his wife Raquel suffered from severe depression; she had begged him to come back to Argentina after having been separate for a few years  and they had moved to Mar De Plata to start anew where perhaps they could be new persons away from their history and their memories…in life, Miquel Nijensohn was the son of jewish baker who because of his militant socialist’s activities was persecuted in Bessarabia and emigrated to Argentina where he opened a baker’s shop (he would later be severely injured from a bullet fired by an anarchist employee whom he had dismissed)…

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Miguel was the youngest of six siblings and a lover of music and very early on he started tinkering with the piano that was in the house…he studied piano seriously and it was fully expected that he would become a classical pianist; at the age of 14 he chose instead to join the Roberto Firpo Orchestra with whom he toured South America…In 1927, with then 13-year-old Anibal Troilo, he created a trio which attained notoriety at Cafe Rio De La Plata in the Caballito neighborhood….by 1935 he formed his own group to back up singer Antonio Rodriguez Lesende at the Club Lucerna…the key event in his career however, came in 1936, was when he was asked by Miguel Calo to join his orchestra…here his talents would come to full bloom as a pianist and a brilliant arranger and a key reason for that orchestra’s great success…as a composer some of his tangos were great hits not only for Miguel Calò but for Juan D’arenzo and Carlos Di Sarli among others

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1869, November 29 – BIRTH OF JACOB “THUNE” GADE

Composer, Violinist (Sagittarius) – his “Tango Jalousie” is the most recorded and best know tango in history and was immensely popular even in Argentina where people would have been quite surprised to find out that it had been composed by some one from Denmark…Gade recalled the day, as he was having his morning coffee, he opened the newspaper and was greeted with the sensational story of a man who had killed his wife out of jealousy…on his morning walk he was haunted by the story and when he returned home he sat down to compose and finished in  just two hours…it has been used in over 100 films and countless television productions…it is estimated that every minute of the day someone somewhere in the world is playing “Tango Jalousie”; only the Beatles’“Yesterday” could for a time match its popularity

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Joseph “Thune” Gade was born into a family of musicians; his family including his grandfather and father would play at festivals in the surrounding villages…early on he started studying the trumpet was so talented that at the age of nine he did a solo performance  in Copenhagen; at the age of 12 Joseph began studying violin….At the age of 16, Joseph decided to move to the capital Copenhagen to seek his fortune; those were difficult years when he would sometimes sleep in entrance halls of buildings relying on the kindness of elderly ladies to give him some coffee and bread in the morning…by day he would compose country music and polkas; by night he would play in the local cafes…at the age of 18 he got his first break when he was invited to play at an operetta in Fredricksburg…in 1900, for the first time a “toast” song of his was published titled “Der Er Sollys i Modne Druer” (The sunshine on the ripe grapes)…it was popularized when it was recorded by Elna From, a theater actress ten years older than he, who was his first love; they never married but they had three children together…he left his vast fortune to help struggling young musicians preferably those homeless and destitute.

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS4mERnUgA8 to hear the Peter Kreude version…Kreude was a child prodigy born in Aachen Germany in 1901…in Switzerland he met Eva Peron and fell in love with her…he followed her to Buenos Aires and remained there until her death whereup he returned to Germany and continued his great career as a film soundtrack composer

1888, November 26 – BIRTH OF FRANCISCO CANARO

Composer, Leader, Violinist (Sagittarius) – born into extreme poverty in the city of San Jose de Mayo, Uruguay he would grow to become the richest man in tango history so much so that a popular saying arose “he has more money than Canaro”…he left school very early, he had no choice, he had to work; his parents, immigrants from Rovigo, Italy had eight children…he was mesmerized by the violin; his first violin he constructed himself from an old oil can with which he would play on the streets to earn money…years later he would recall with tenderness, the patch quilt cloth case his mother had made for his “violin”; at the age of 18 he finally bought himself a real violin…his first gig was in a seedy bar in the outskirts of Buenos Aires where gun fire to resolve arguments was not uncommon…in 1908 he composed his first tango “Pinta Brava”,  many more were to follow including great hits however many other tangos attributed to him, he actually bought from destitute composers…

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No one is sure how many recordings he made but the estimates range from 3500 to 7000…in 1924 he pioneered the idea of having a singer in the orchestra but only to sing the “estribillo” the bridge or the main section of each tango…by 1915 his orchestra was immensely popular; so popular that he created three orchestras with his name which performed simultaneously around Buenos Aires…his one area of failure was the film industry; his film company Rio de la Plata had only one film that made money, “Idolos De La Radio”…….some time in late 1920s he began his affair with the legendary Ada Falcon who was very much in love with him…when he realizes how much money he would lose in a divorce, he reneged on his promise to marry Ada…at one point his wife actually threatened Ada by pointing a gun to her head…it has been speculated that Ada’s sudden  retirement from show business at the height of her career to enter a convent was related to her broken heart and this incident

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYJJQqoE3Dw to hear the Francisco Canaro Orchestra play “Yo No Se Que Me Han Hechos Tus Ojos” (I don’t understand what your eyes have done to me) with  music and lyrics by Francisco Canaro

1908, November 24 – BIRTH OF LIBERTAD LAMARQUE

Singer (Sagittarius) – by the age of 18 she was already a professional actress on radio and theater, had made her first recording, had married, given birth to a daughter and was in the middle of a difficult divorce;…she was to have a long, highly successful career becoming the first female super star of tango and along the way enduring a series of seemingly never-ending mishaps…in 1935 she may have tried to commit suicide by jumping from a building, luckily an awning broke her fall and saved her life…born in Rosario Argentina, she was the daughter Gaudencio, a son of French immigrants (originally to Uruguay), who married a woman with six children; Libertad was their only mutual child…Gaudencio was a tinsmith by day and a cultured fiery political anarchist by night; in fact Libertad grew up in a household full of music, literature and fashionable ideas…

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Gaudencio started his daughter in theater at the age of seven where she frequently acted in his own plays full of provocative  ideas…Libertad was beloved by the public and when she was 12, Gaudencio decided that she was ready for Buenos Aires and so he moved the tinsmith shop and the whole family there…with a letter of introduction in hand from a journalist she was given a small role in the famous Teatro Nacional; she never stopped working…she married a theater promoter with whom she had a daughter but quite soon she realized it was a mistake and she would seek a divorce…during the shooting of the film “La Cabalgata del Circo” she got into a  argument with actress Eva Duarte “Evita” whom myth states that she slapped and which resulted in Libertad being blackballed…Libertad, in her autobiography, would deny that she had ever slapped Evita and Evita woul later denied any involvement in  her being ostracized but nevertheless all avenues in Argentina were inexplicably closed to her….Liberta emigrated to Mexico where she was eventually adored and worship to such a degree that Mexicans considered her one of their own; in fact it was from this venue that she would become an internationally beloved star…the output in her career is mind-boggling, over 800 recordings, 65 films and even the screenwriter for her film “Ayudame a Vivir”…she died at the age of 92 in Mexico City while performing in a “telenovela”

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1938, September 3 – ROBERTO RAY RECORDS “MEDIA VIDA”

The lyrics of “Media Vida” are a retrospective of a long life lived…it says “life has left its scars on my soul…I have seen it in the sad eyes of others…so much has changed and I am no longer the woman that I was”…the author of those lyrics  Enrique Dizeo was the son of poor Italian immigrants…he left school early and walked the streets surviving on occasional odd jobs but while carousing the bars and horse racing stadiums, he discovered a love of poetry and writing…with his first tango “Romantico Bulincito” he began to discover notoriety and to his astonishment, a source of income…he later came to the attention of Carlos Gardel who recorded some of his tangos and encouraged his career…he lived and died alone; his last relationship of 20 years had finally progressed to the marriage stage and in the end, it all sadly fell apart…a recluse, he devoted himself in his simple house to writing tangos until the end of a long life…his soul continues to live in the many popular tangos which today bear his poetry…

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It was recorded by the legendary combination of Osvaldo Fresedo and the voice of Roberto Ray…unlike the overwhelming majority of tango greats, Osvaldo Fresedo came from a rich aristocratic family and there were heated battles with his father who had envisioned much more austere careers for his son…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”

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1937, February 22 – ROBERTO RAY RECORDS “SOLLOZOS”

“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”

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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”

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1941, January 8 – ALBERTO CASTILLO RECORDS “RECUERDO”

This tango waltz was the first hit for  Dr. Alberto De Luca, gynecologist who in the evening was the idolized singer Alberto Castillo…two years earlier he had decided to quit singing altogether to devote himself to his medical studies….he was seduced to come back by an invitation from Ricardo Tanturi to join his important orchestra….”Recuerdo” was also the first major hit for the Tanturi orchestra; Tanturi, interestingly was himself a dentist…Castillo was to remain with Tanturi for five years producing some notable hits during that period…a year after the release of “Recuerdo”, Alberto graduates from medical school and becomes a board certified gynecologist…he tried to practise medicine but in the mornings he would find his studio full of young ladies waiting to see him and he finally and reluctantly had to give up medicine and devote himself exclusively to singing…there was one famous incident in 1944 whereby, for a concert at the Teatro Alvear, the swarm of people waiting to get in was so huge, that the police had to call in extra forces to control traffic…..

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Alberto was also a naturally gifted actor; he made 12 films starting with “Adios Pampa Mia” in 1946…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

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1884, December 20 – BIRTH OF DOMINGO SANTA CRUZ

Composer, Leader, Bandonist – Inspired by the colorful Uruguayan revolutionary activist Aparicio Saravia da Rosa, Domingo Santa Cruz wrote the tango “Union Civica”; it was an immediate hit and continues to be recorded and played in milongas one hundred years later…at the time that he wrote it, he had to hum it to a friend at the piano, as he was totally uneducated in music…he was to write other popular tangos like “Hernani”, “El Viejo”, “Una Duda”….at age 15 he had an accident, while closing a warehouse door a thick iron bar fell on his face landing on his leg; it was to leave him with a permanent limp and for the rest of his life he would be known affectionately as el “El Rengo…he was born in the neighborhood of El Once, in Buenos Aires…his father had fought in the war in Paraguay and was later a railroad foreman; in his moments of leisure he would play a small bandoneon which he had acquired in  pawn shop for a few pesos…

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From the moment the toddler Domingo, strong-willed in character, touched that bandoneon he was entranced with its sound and he would become an accomplished bandoneonist practically self taught…as a young man he found his first work playing in the neighborhood hangouts, La Morocha Cafe, El Cafe Atenas, the Cafe Tupi Namba in Montevideo often accompanied by his brother who was an accomplished pianist…eventually he and his brother opened a dance school , The Santa Cruz Academy of Popular Dances, where they would sponsor joyous tango dance contests often announced with great fanfare; the prize was more often than not, a handsome tailor-made suit provided by a neighborhood  tailor..Domingo had only one serious vice, he was a heavy smoker and he began to have health problems associated with it..doctors eventually told him that he had an intestinal tumor and that he would have to undergo surgery…a charity event to raise money for his medical expenses was held at which the best musicians of the day performed for free…nevertheless, during recovery broncopheumonia set in and he passed away at the age of 47

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1953, December 19 – BIRTH OF ALBERTO DE LOS SANTOS

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”

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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 A. Piazzolla, A. Zitarrosa, A. Bardi, E. Arolas, Alfonso y Zabala.

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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…

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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”

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