Archive for the ‘ Scorpio ’ Category

1907, October 28 – BIRTH OF MIGUEL CALO

Growing up in a poor family of 16 children, intense and sensitive Miguel, the eldest, was nevertheless a determined child; he learned soon enough to fight and to overcome…this along with rare musical gifts would one day make him a legend but his hard early years would also help make him a compassionate and generous person and when he finally passed away at the age of 65 from a massive heart attack, he was eulogized by his grateful musicians and his adoring wife and children…his parent were immigrants from Puglia, in South Italy…Puglia was originally part of the ancient Greek Empire and in fact the name “Calò” comes from the Greek word “kalos” which means “beautiful”…Miguel attended only elementary school dropping out to work as a delivery boy to help the family finances…however, what Miguel and his six brothers (10 of the children were girls) had inherited from their father and grandfather back in Puglia was musical talent…Miguel (Scorpio) bought his first musical instrument, an old violin, with his meager savings; later an uncle gave him a bandoneon to which he devoted himself with passion…in his neighborhood of Balvanera, in Buenos Aires, a local musician encouraged the shy Miguel to play in public…

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Miguel invited a pianist friend to join him in an audition at the Independence Cinema in their neighborhood…the owner of the cinema was delighted at the enthusiastic applause of the public and gave Miguel an 18 month contract at 250 pesos a month which for the times was a huge sum of money…Miguel promptly gave the money to his father to help the famly…at the age of 20 Miguel Calò was hired by the Francisco Pracanico Orchestra whose singer was a young Azucena Maizani…the year after that he joined the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra with which he toured the United States…still in his early 20s he formed his first orchestra; it was the beginning of a glorious career of uninterrupted accomplishments…his first recording “Milonga Portena” was a tango of his own composition…other personal compositions were “Jamas Retorneras” and “Que Te Importa Que Te Llore” which were both great hits for his most representative singer Raul Beron...many great musicians and singers would pass through his ranks including Osmar Maderna, Osvaldo Pugliese, Enrique Francini, Roberto Ruffino, Carlos Roldan, Jorge Ortiz and Raul Iriarte…his was fond of saying to his musicians as he selflessly encouraged them to strike out on their own, “everything in life is a cycle….when one ends, another begins”

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1907, November 21 – LUIS TEISSEIRE WEDS MISS GIANELLI

Poet, Composer, Flutist (birth 24 October 1883, Scorpio) – returning home late at night from gigs at cheap cafes where he played, he would always buy a yellow magnolia for his wife Elvira Gianelli which he would ceremoniously place in her hand when she joyously greeted him at the door…his devotion  to his family was total; something he expressed in a tender, moving poem dedicated to his son German who would collaborate with him on some of his compositions…Son of a poor French father and an Italian mother, Luis early on would amaze his parents with his love of verse and music….the boy would one day grow up to become a prolific tango lyricist and composer not only of tango but of other kinds of music as well, mazurkas, marches, and passo dobles; in fact in 1921 he would win first prize for his lullaby “Germinase”

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But in the beginning, times were tough and he had to leave school to work to help the family survive…at various times he worked as a cobbler and a railroad mechanic’s assistant untill he got a job in a flower shop which he especially liked but from which he was eventually fired for attempting to organize the workers….this was a period of a fiery and impassioned youth who read copiously especially the fashionable avant guard anarchist political tracts of the times…to help ends meet he would play at various venues at the lower end of town but little by little his verses and his musical compositions began to be noticed and requests for collaboration began to arrive from composers like Juan de Dios Filiberto and Carlos Di Sarli….from his little book of poetry, “Mis Humildes Versos” a poem entitle “Tango” says...”time passed and with street formed faith, tango arose from its  laurels to the encounter, trembling with emotion like a fluttering flag.

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1880, November 18 – BIRTH OF JUAN MAGLIO “PACHO”

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Scorpio) – in the 1910s when people went into a record shop they merely said “give me a ‘Pacho'”…Juan Maglio “Pacho” sold so many records that his name was synonymous with buying a record…..he was one of a handful of true early pioneers of tango; it is estimated that he composed over 900 tangos among them immortal hits like “El Lloron”, “Viejo Smoking” and the waltz “Orillas Del Plata”…his father Pantaleon was an Italian immigrant who settled in the neighborhood of Palermo; Pacho one of eight children…Pantaleon played the bandoneon but he forbade his accident prone son to touch it…one evening he found Pacho secretly playing it and in a fit of rage he called him a “pazzo” or crazy in italian…when the neighborhood kids tried to say “pazzo” it came out “pacho”; it was to stick with him for the rest of his life…he taught the first woman bandoneon player in history, the mythical,  Paquita Bernardo

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At the age of 18 he debuted with a trio at the Cafe Vasco in Barracas…later his group played at La Paloma Cafe which had just recently opened; Pacho would laugh years later recounting how the rats would scurry when they began to play….in 1912 his major break came when he was given a recording contract with Colombia Records; it was that same year that he composed his first tango “El Zurdo”…in 1929 he hired an uncertain, 15-year-old boy who walked in lugging his bandoneon; that boy, would one day become the legendary Anibal Troilo…on July 11 1934 in dire pain and weakened condition he was helped into the studios of Radio Belgrano; it was to be his last performance…three days later he would succumb to lung cancer the result of smoking 6 black tobacco cigarettes per day…on his desk were found several unfinished compositions which he apparently was trying desperately up to the last moment of his life.

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1918, November 16 – BIRTH OF AIDA DENIS

Singer (Scorpio) – born in the neighborhood of Boedo, Buenos Aires, as a child of seven she was marveling  her parents with her escapes into singing with perfect diction mimicking singers on radio…her father was her first teacher; he began placing her into neighborhood festivals where she quickly gained a following …one day while listening to his favorite radio station Radio Belgrano, her father heard that the Puloil Soap Company was sponsoring a contest for girl singers and he decided the moment had come for a major test, to the delight of everyone, she won; she was 17 years …she was given an exclusive two-year contract with Radio Belgrano where she was accompanied by the acclaimed Jaime Vila guitar group…

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It was during one of her performances that she met a young man  about whom she would say years later “I loved him from the moment I laid eyes on him”….they married  in 1941 and for eight years she quit show business to devote herself to her family..In 1950 she returned to Radio Belgrano and that led to a collaboration with the orchestra of Roberto Calo; with him she made her first recording “Lagrimas de Sangre” and the milonga “A Mis Manos”…she was sought after by night clubs and was a favorite at “La Armonia” and “El Olmo” and later at the legendary “Cano 14″…In the late 1970s she recorded a new release entitled: “Tres estrellas para el tango” to critical review…toward the end of her career she was a frequent guest at Grande Valores Del Tango on TV Chanel 9 which immortalized her in the memories of her beloved tango world…she once said, “I have never stopped being that girl of seven who each night would sit close to the radio to follow my tangos”

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1895, November 15 – BIRTH OF ENRIQUE DELFINO

Composer, Pianist (Scorpio) – he began to discover tango as a as a toddler watching shyly, half hidden behind the curtains  of the Politeama, a theater tea room in Buenos Aires, which his parents owned; the boy would grow up to be one of the key figures in the history of tango, composing some of its most beloved music….when his parents realized that he had musical inclination they sent him to a musical institute in Torino, Italy to study…it is there that he discovered his love of Puccini’s operas which would so influence him throughout his life…his materpiece “Grisetta” is very clearly a take on La Boheme for example…he had the reputation of being gentile and a gentleman

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His “Milonguita”, is considered the first “tango cancion “; it became an instant hit when it was premiered by Maria Esther Podesta at the old Teatro Opera on May 12, 1920, on occasion of the one-act farce “Delikatessen” by Samuel Linnig….as a youth he exiled himself to Montevideo, away from his parents, to better indulge in bohemian night life; it is during this period that he started composing…with the nickname “Delfy”, he began to perform on stage as a humorist and fantasy piano player with such aplomb that he toured several European countries with his act…As an accompanist he worked with, among others, Sofia Bozan and Azucena Maizani…He composed over two hundred tangos, wrote music for the movies and for numerous theater plays; Carlos Gardel recorded 26 of his numbers….about his music he said, “My tangos are like me, kind of porteño, kind of romantic, kind of nostalgic”

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpS8XDbscv8 to hear Enrique Delfino play his composition “A Quel Tapado De Armino” at his home in 1966 at the age of 71; he would pass away a few months after this impromptu performance

1896, November 14 – BIRTH OF JOSE RIAL

Poet (Scorpio) – he was a bit of an odd, simple, extremely modest and shy postal clerk…he was born, lived and died in the neighborhood of Parque Patricios when it was still called “Corrales Viejos”, the birthplace of tango..he had the habit of wearing a suit and a hat with a wide brim tilted backwards and always a black or white neckerchief even when he wore a necktie; he did not wear socks, he was uncomfortable in them….he inherited his love of poetry from his father a poor Spanish immigrant…he bought his first guitar at 17 and in time became a true “payador” a singer with the ability to ad lib lyrics… he was invited to join the gaucho group “Gloria, Patria y Tradición” which became very popular attaining a bit of notoriety

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He started writing lyrics for a group of street musicians and eventually requests from others began to arrive…from the very instant he laid eyes on Gregoria Buzeta, the young daughter of his neighbor, he fell in love with her but his shyness prevented him from talking to her and for months he suffered for it…in one of countless sleepless nights he got up and began to pen a poem to her which the next day he silently presented to her…they eventually married in 1925…when Carlos Gardel chose to record that poem,” Rosas De Otono”, in 1923 he immortalized it and its author…Jose, perhaps out of gratitude, had the habit of paying homage to Gardel at his grave site; on June 24, 1954 he made one of those visit and just two weeks later he was struck by a heart attack and died

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1937, November 12 – BIRTH OF HECTOR MAYORAL

Dancer, Choreographer (Scorpio) – In 2009  fictionalized film of this man’s life and career it describes him as “the greatest dancer of all time”…he plays himself in the film, The Man Who Dances,  which is a collage of the different stages in his life…he grew up in a tough Villa Pueyrredon neighborhood and had to leave school early but his salvation was his love of dance….during the day he worked odd jobs but at night he would hang around the milongas where the old milongueros took him under their wing and showed him how to dance…in one of life’s turning moments, one evening at a milonga he struck by a shy girl standing alone and he asked her to dance..

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Elsa Maria Borquez was from the mythical neighborhood of La Boca who at the age of 8 had started studying ballet, music and art; she would become his life’s and career partner…their destiny would take them, as dancers in the award-winning “Tango Argentino” and “Forever Tango” all over the world….they have danced and taught people like Lady Di, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Robert Duvall, Frank Sinatra, Placido Domingo, Robert Deniro, Mijail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Liza Minelli, Julio Iglesias, Whoopi Goldberg…As innovators, they have developed a new health alternative therapy, “Cardio respiratory benefits during the tango dance”, together with professional scientists from the “Fundación Cardiológica Argentina”….Hector says “when you hear the beat of the tango and it travels through your ear annd into your heart, and it becomes your legs, you feel that you are telling the story of your barrio”

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