Archive for the ‘ Virgo ’ Category

1996, November 19 – JULIO RELEASES “TANGO”

Tango” became Julio Iglesias’ number one set album on Billboard Top Latin Albums and that same year won  the World Musica Award…in 1998 it was awarded a nomination for a Grammy Best Latin Pop Album; his competition included his own son Enrique for his album “Vivir”…it is comprised of 12 of tango history’s top classics including “La Cumparsita”, “A Media Luz” composed by Edgardo Donato and  “El Choclo” composed by the fascinating Angel Villoldo…one critic said of the album “Iglesias’ emotional commitment to these 12 songs is palpable, he involves himself so completely in every song that one is almost surprised he can walk away from one song to begin the next”…Julio has sold over 260 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released 77 albums; he is one of the top 10 best-selling music artists in history.

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Julio (born September 23, 1943, Virgo), is the son of a Galician physician who had fought for General Franco during the Spanish Civil War and a jewish mother…Julio was a professional soccer player when a truck ran him off the road and his car flipped… after 14 hours of surgery he awoke completely paralyzed from the waist down…with iron will determination and the devotion of his father, Julio pursued rehabilitation and was eventually able to move again…to pass the time he would play guitar and thus, relatively late in life, discovered his love of singing…his career was launched in 1968 when he won the Benidorn International Song Festival with “La Vida Sigue Igual” …interestingly, while a car accident launched the singing career of this Julio, it  ended the singing career of another one, the legendary Julio Sosa in 1964…meanwhile the father of Julio Iglesias, at the age of 86, married 37-year-old african american Ronna Keitt and the couple had two children; he passed away 8 days after the birth of his second child at the age of 90…Julio says of his singing, “My goal is to make people dream…I seduce them but I must seduce myself first.”

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1949, September 19 – BIRTH OF SALLY POTTER

She had a dream; to become a film director…a beguiling voice beckoned teenager Sally Potter’s gentle, sensitive nature…she was restless; she felt as if she was wasting her time but her options were limited; she had no money…what to do…one day she made a decision, to the astonishment of everyone around her, she courageously quit school and joined the London Film Makers Co-Op…and then she had a unique insight; inspired by a comment by celebrated French film critic Andre Bazin that “the essence of cinema is movement”, she decided to study dance and choreography; she enrolled at the London School of Contemporary Dance…in time would emerge one of the most visionary and creative film directors in the history of film…a polymath of film, she wrote, directed, produced, composed, danced, choreographed and starred in her films succeeding  in fiercely competitive and often closed world…

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At the age of 19 she began to be noticed with two short films “Jerk” and “Play”; others were to follow continuing to hone her skills and becoming more adept at transferring her vision on to celluloid…it finally all came together for “Orlando” which premiered in 1992…based on a Virginia Wolf novel by the same name it was nominated for two academy awards and won 25 international awards…noted film critic Roger Ebert said of the film, “it was directed with sly grace and quiet elegance”…her next film “The Tango Lesson” came out of her passionate love of tango awaked in her by the music of Astor Piazzolla…its success helped spur the world-wide reawakening of the tango boom…for this film, largely autobiographical, she directed, wrote, starred, danced and even sang the final song of the film…she discovered dancer Pablo Veron who today is probably the best known tango dancer in the world…she said of the film, “I wanted to create authenticiy…to get very close to the bone, to the skin of what tango is”

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1912, September 18 – BIRTH OF JORGE ORTIZ

Having lost the up and coming Raul Beron who would one day be called the greatest tango singer of all time, Miguel Calo summoned celebrated singer Jorge Ortiz with great hope…but for some reason it just did not work out; the chemistry was missing…perhaps it was Calo’s serious, introspective nature which did not mesh well with Jorge’s restlessness…and yet with Rodolfo Biagi it was completed different…in fact they would flower in each other’s presence…with Biagi he would record over 37 tangos including immortal hits like “Humillacion”, “Por Un Beso De Amore”, “Querio Verte Una Vez Mas”, “Misa De Once”, “Indiferencia…Jorge Ortiz was born in the neighborhood of San Cristobal in Buenos Aires to an Italian immigrant family…early on he demonstrated precocious musical ability whose development was encouraged by an uncle who was an amateur opera singer…

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Jorge began taking singing lessons with celebrated voice teacher Eduardo Bonessi who one day entered a group of his students into a radio singing contest…to the delight of everyone Jorge was anointed as the winner…the legendary Azucena Maizani happened to hear him sing and facilitated a contract for him at the prestigious Radio Belgrano…his first serious job was with the Edgardo Donato orchestra with which he sang the theme song for the Luis Moglia Barth film “Picaflor”…the key moment in his career howeveer occurred in 1940 when Rodolfo Biagi recruited him…Jorge Ortiz would make several tour of South America and even briefly have his own orchestra…it is on one of these tours that he discovered his special love for Rio De Janeiro where he finally settled…his last appearance in Buenos Aires was in 1979 on the TV program “Ronda De Ases”…he passed away from a heart attack at the age of 77

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1972, September 12 – BIRTH OF SAULE ISKAKOVA

In Latvian and Lithuanian mythologies with its Zoroastrian influence, “Saule” is a solar Godess…and indeed brightness is what Saule Iskakova extracts from Astor Piazzolla when she sings him…one critic called her “the best Piazzolla vocalist in the world”…Saule was born in the ancient, nomadic people’s republic of Kazakhstan which in the mid 19th century became part of the Russian Empire…already as a child Saule demonstrated a particular talent for music and singing…encouraged by her parents, she was sent to the St Petersburg State Theater Arts Academy where she marveled her professors in voice, acting and dancing calsses

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Her first break came when she was  acquired by the Zazerkalie (“behind the mirror”) Theater as a soprano where she earned wide acclaim for her operatic roles especially Mozart…but in 2004 she crossed paths with tango and Astor Piazzolla and it changed her life…in 2005, with subtle and sensual stage movements, she and the Anima Ensemble were “El Premio De La Critica” at the Piazzolla Musical Awards Festival at Casale Montferrato, Italy…she appeared to critical acclaim at the 2007 World of Tango Festival in at Tampere Finland and dazzled audiences at the White Nights Tango Festival in St Petersburg…she has appeared with legendary poet Horacio Ferrer, the lyricist of Piazzolla’s  masterpiece “Ballada Para Un Loco”…along the way she became a passionate and accomplished tango dancer

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1936, September 10 – PREMIERE OF “RADIO BAR”

Director Manuel Romero was not a nice person…like Carlos Di Sarli, he had a terrible temper and was difficult to work for….he tended to work frenetically, writing as he went along and finishing a film as soon as possible; perhaps he was motivated by his considerable gambling debts…he was immensely prodigious in his career; he was to make 53 films…he relied on the same formula: simple, heart-wrenching scripts complete with the poor boy in love with a rich girl who is being pursued by the cavalier son of the local tycoon all of it contrasted by a good dose of comedy and lots of tangos; the critics hated it, the people loved it…Romero (born Sept 21, 1891 Virgo), son of impoverished Andalusian immigrants, began as a teenage journalist at the mythical “Fray Mocho”…

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He penned the lyrics to some of the most beloved tangos including “Aquel Tapado De Armino”, “Buenos Aires” and “Tomo Y Obligo” which was the last tango that Carlos Gardel sang before his tragic death in Medellin…he was also a successsful playwriter producing around 180 plays…Radio Bar, considered one of his best films, was a parade of the most popular radio stars of the day… it is a comedy set in a radio studio and night club satirizing radio sponsors… the film was conceived as a vehicle for catapulting singer Alberto Vila  into Gardelian like, international success and indeed critics liked him very much…like Sir Ivan Wilzig, Vila was a banker who became a singer…Vila was a bank official in Montevideo who loved to sing and one day, to his astonishment, he won an audition to become the singer for the group Atienenses…he would eventually leave show business at the height of a successful career to become a businessman…Radio Bar features the orchestra of renown violinist Elvino Vardaro including a 22 year old Anibal Troilo

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  • CLICK HERE – http://tinyurl.com/RadioBar  to see a clip from“Radio Bar” in which Gloria Guzman sings with Juan Carlos Thorry

1906, September 6 – BIRTH OF DORA DAVIS

Shy, coy Emma Gallardo admired Betty Davis; she had just seen her in “The Man Who Played God” which premiered in 1932 and was the film which launched Davis’s fame…a few months later when fame and fortune were inadvertently thrust on Emma; she chose the stage name of “Dora Davis”…one day, Emma’s sister-in-law had asked her to accompany her to an audition at a local radio station…while there, Emma unexpectedly found her self auditioning her voice…to her surprise she and not the sister-in-law were hired…this was to lead to a 12 year-long relationship with Radio Belgrano…her voice and as well as her cheerful, sunny disposition were to make her a darling with the radio audiences…in fact in a poll conducted by Sintonia Magazine, she was rate along with Libertad Lamarque and Amanda Ledesma, as the most popular female singers…Dora Davis (Virgo) was born in the neighborhood of Monteserrat and quit school early to work…her father love to sing and he encouraged a similar interest in his beloved daughter…

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She married Eduardo Regard a magazine owner and club director and had resigned herself to her roll as a wife and a mother when fate intervened…she had the distinction, on March 31, 1944, along with Eva Peron of appearing on Argentina’s first television broadcast…she would appear on two films; the acclaimed “Idolos De La Radio” on which she sang the walz “La Tapera” and “Alma De Bandoneon” on which she sings Discepolo’s “Mis Suenos”…Dorita endeared herself to a grateful public for having organized a special event to honor the legendary Azucena Maizani, “The Queen of Tango”….however, shy Dorita was never really comfortable in the glitter of show business and following a radio interview in 1946 she chose to recede from the public eye and was forgotten for 30 years…in 1972 at the age of 66 she returned to the stage for one final performance to enthusiastic applause and ecstatic reviews…she would recall in her waning years, with deep nostalgia, the early years when chauffeured by her brother, her mother in the back seat would give last-minute encouragement as they raced from home to the radio station and then to publicity appointments afterwards

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1932, September 2 – FERNANDO DIAZ RECORDS “HUMILLACION”

His grandfather had been the ill-fated Uruguayan General Cesar Diaz who had led a failed revolution in 1858 and for which he was summarily executed…his father, a postal employee,  was instead a gentle man who loved music and who took his son Fernando Diaz to see the famous singing cowboys, the “payadores”…it is through them that Fernando began to love music and singing…his mother, an accomplished piano player, encouraged him and was his first teacher…with a friend he formed a duo and began to make a name for himself playing in the neighborhood bars and cafes…his first break came at the age of 23 when he was hired to sing with with a theater group at the Teatro Opera; he then progressed to highly popular performances on Radio Belgrano

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His first important recording, “No Tenes Perdon De Dios” with Juan Maglio “Pacho” occurred in 1930…although he made two recordings with Carlos Di Sarli, he best period was undoubtedly with the dynamic Neopolitan Francisco Lomuto and his Orchestra; out of 180 numbers that he recorded in his brief career, 170 were with Lomuto…he performed in musical comedies including “La Vuelta De Miss Paris” where he debuted one of his hits,  “Aunque Parezca Mentira”…with the renown Adolfo Carabelli’s “Orchestra Typica Victor” he recorded “Humillacion” and “El Beso De Manuelita” with lyrics by Hector Blomberg…with a different stage name he sang with the Eddie Kay Jazz Group with which he recorded the waltz “Noche De Boda”…but the precarious artistic life was, in the end too much to handle and still young and already famous, he suddenly decided to give it all up to pursue business opportunities and consequently his substantial talent and contributions have largely been forgotten

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1972, July 27 – NELLY OMAR RETURNS TO THE STAGE

When Juan Peron was overthrown, one evening Nelly Omar had her home invaded and ransacked by soldiers; she was considered a Peronist and dangerous and all of a sudden there was no more work for her…the radio stations would not play her music and her public appearances came to a stop…there was a period when she tried to downplay her involvement; that she wasn’t really a Peronist, that she wasn’t political….she downplayed the significance of having recorded the milonga “Soy La Descamisada” a theme song for Peronism….much later in life in a radio interview she claimed to dearly love Juan Peron and Evita and that she was an ardent Peronist…a very proud woman, she once said that she never went hat-in-hand to anyone and that the only one who had helped her had been Evita who as a fan…in any case when the military took over she went first to Uruguay and then to Venezuela and in disgust disappeared from the public eye until Jose Canet, guitarist and composer, convinced to come out of retirement…they recorded and did a series of public performances together

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Nelly Omar was born on September 10, 1911 (Virgo) in the city Guamin…her father an immigrant from Genova, Italy was a ranch foreman who in his spar time loved to sing and strum the guitar…he was a true friend to Carlos Gardel who Nelly remembers seeing for the first time when he was at their home….she began to study music and dance; at the age of 13 she auditioned for a folk group “Cenizas de Fogon” which performed on radio as well and got accepted…she continued developing her career on Radio…she joined the group “Cuadros Argentinos” , a theater company which was led by two brothers Julio and Alfredo Navarrine who wrote many tangos still popular today…there she met and eventually married Antonio Molina…the marriage lasted eight years but she was to say, “I knew it was a mistake after the first few months”…she later had an affair with the legendary lyricist Homero Manzi whose “Ninguna” may have been inspired by her…she appeared in two films “Canto de Amor” in 1940 and “Melodias de la America” in 1942…in December of  1997, at the age of 86 she recorded a CD…incredibly, at the age of 101 she is still going strong; still as feisty and fiery as ever

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2005, July 20 – THALIA RELEASES “AMAR SIN SER AMADA”

She had fallen into deep depression and was ready to give it all up…she had just released her first album “Thalia” but its suggestive lyrics  made it highly controversial and she was banned by a number of radio stations in her native Mexico…her mother, her manager, with calm and reason as well as love, talked to her, “you can quit now and devote yourself to studying a profession or you can make up your mind to overcome it all”...Thalia, with steely determination, went on to become not only an international singing sensation but an entrepreneur and a best-selling author as well…she has said, “in order to have success, you must have discipline”…part of that success has been her devotion to the practise of yoga; inspired by Nadia Comaneci, one of her early dreams was to become a gymnast…her other dream, was to become a biologist and scientist like her father who was a pathologist and writer…when she was five years old her father died unexpectedly; it was a devastating blow; for one year she was mute and doctors were hard-pressed to find a medical reason…

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But success has brought its challenges as well…scheduled to marry her beloved boyfriend Alfredo Diaz Ordaz, he contracted hepatitis and died  suddenly; “no one will ever know how much I cried” she was to say…her two sisters were kidnapped in Mexico city; they were released 30 days later presumably after a sizeable ransom had been paid…Thalia was born in Mexico City on August 26, 1971 (Virgo)…she started singing at the age of 10 in a children’s group…four years later she was cast in the mexican version of Grease as the lead “Sandy”….her recordings in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Filipino have sold 40 million albums world-wide …on July 20, 2005 she released “Amar Sin Ser Amada” which is a tango sung in a pop rock beat……the english version “To Love Without Being Loved” was written by Thalia herself…the song advises women who are heart-broken to leave it all behind and to remember the pain to avoid a reoccurence…it reach number two on Billboards “Hot Latin Tracks”…Thalia learned to love tango through her best friend Cynthia who is from Buenos Aires; in fact she considers Argentina as her second country…her first album in English “Thalia” with rapper Fat Joe sold over 150,000 copies in the United States within the first few weeks….in 2007 she published a book  “Thalia” which was a best seller…she married to music mogul Tommy Motola…she said of her first child Sabrina Sakae, “my baby girl is the best thing ever…it is my best project” she says

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1983, December 25 – ARMANDO PONTIER COMMITS SUICIDE

Perhaps his tragic ending was somehow foretold in his moving, heart wrenching music; tangos like “Trenzas”, “Corazon No Le Hagas Caso”, “Cada Dia Te Estrano Mas”; he was to compose many beloved tangos in his career…Armando Pontier was born on August 29, 1917 (Virgo) in the town of Zarate just outside of Buenos Aires to a very poor family…his dream was to play piano but that was too expensive; one day, to the thrill of young Armando, his father showed up with a bargain bandoneon which he had bought from a street vendor for a few pesos…with considerable sacrifice, he enrolled him in the Juan Ehlert music school where he befriended two other boys who themselves would become legends of tango, Enrique Francini and Hector Stamponi…

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All three were invited by maestro Ehlert to play in his personal musical ensemble…it is with Francini that he forms his first orchestra…their major break came when they were invited to play for the grand opening of Tango Bar on September 1, 1945…a key event in his career occurred when Radio Belgrano invited him form a staff orchestra; he was to have a 10 year-long association with that station…his period with the Miguel Calo orchestra was an especially fecund one for him, producing some of his most important work…he was especially smitten with the culture of Japan; he made two successful tours there…fourteen of his compositions in collaboration  with Anibal Troilo, were recorded by Roberto Goyeneche….depression was a problem that he had battled with for many years; for mysterious reasons, the pain of existence was difficult for him to bear…on Christmas Day of 1983, this time he was not able to silence the voices that haunted him and he took his own life…about tango he was to say, “tango is no accident…a person who loves tango, had tango in him when he was still in his mother’s womb”

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