Archive for the ‘ Uruguay ’ Category

1956, April 06 – FIRST RECORDED “MADRE”

The lyrics of “Madre” speak of  man who has hit bottom…he laments his wayward life, his abandonment in vice and worldly pleasures…he recalls the disillusionment of women who professed to love him and now deeply distraught, he realizes that without his mother’s guidance he has fallen and that she was the only one who truly loved him…no doubt composer Francisco Pracanico was inspired by his own sad and lonely childhood…having grown up in a destitute family, he had to quit school when he was no more than a child and began working as a shoe shine boy…working long hours, roaming the city by himself, he would assuage his loneliness playing the harmonica…the heart wrenching melancholy and nostalgia that was to characterize his immortal compositions, moved passersby to stop and marvel at the sensitivity of the boy…eventually one of his customers gave him an old piano which he repaired with make-shift parts he found on the streets; it became his passion…his debut occurred by accident; he was working in a musical cafe as a dish washer and one particular evening the piano player of the tango orchestra did not show up and the customers were increasingly restless….


The owner, out of desperation, sent in young Francisco; it was to be the start of an incredible career…Francisco Pracanico became one of the most successful tango composers in history…Agustin Magaldi would have a hit with his “Afilador”, his “Mentira” was a hit for Carlos Gardel in 1932, his “Corrientes Y Esmeralda” would be a hit for Adriana Varela in the 1990s and even the legendary Maurice Chevalier premiered his “Tango Porteno” in 1925…Chola Luna, the vocalist of “Madre” was inclined to singing from an early age and she was much encouraged by her proud father; at age sixteen, he entered her in the famous Puloil Soap Singing Contest on Radio Belgrano and out of hundreds of contestants she was declared the winner…she sang with a number of orchestras including the influential Francisco Canaro…she later made a successful tour of  Europe with the Francisco Lomuto Orchestra…she was part of Eva Peron’s preferred list of tango artist but when Juan Peron was overthrownin 1955, Chola was not only blacklisted but threatened with imprisonment and so she exiled herself to Montevideo; “Madre” was one of the last tangos she recorded in Argentina



spanish/las_obras/Tema.aspx?id=xS70q+gbxgY= to hear Chola Luna sing “Madre” with the Miguel Calo Orchestra



Singer (Pisces) – he was torn by the whole idea; he had already spent years with a stage name and now Ricardo Tanturi was telling him he had to change it again but the chance to replace the renown Alberto Castillo with his “Los Indios Orchestra” in Buenos Aires was a major break and so he reluctantly aquiesced…Ricardo Tanturi opened the phone book at random, scanned the page and said, “ah, here it is ‘Enrique Campos’”…ludicrous as the whole scene was, it embarked the realization of his boyhood dreams…he debuted with Tanturi on Radio El Mundo to critical acclaim and soon after, he made his first recording; on one side “Muchachos Comienza la Ronda” by Luis Porcell and on the other side the waltz “Al Pasar” by Raul Iglesias…a dedicated family man, many years later reflecting on a long and full career, he would recall that, that was also the year that he met his beloved wife with whom he would raise a proud and successful family


He was born Enrique Troncone to struggling Italian immigrants in the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay…his parents noticed him musical talent on and encouraged him as far their humble means could permit…he began singing at a very young age in the local bars and cafes while during the day time doing all sorts of odd jobs to help support the family…his professional debut came relatively late for a singer of that era; it happened at the Cinema Helvetico in the village of Colonia Suisa, originally a swiss and german settlement; he was twenty-three years old…his first break came when he was called by Radio Station CX 18 and in March of that year he debuted on the station’s popular program“Caramelos Surtidos” with two guitarists; the telephones began to ring at the radio station and his popularity began to skyrocket…in his career he would sing with a number of orchestras and make several hit recordings; he starred in one film “Radio Candelario” which premiered at Radio City Cinema on August 21, 1939


  • CLICK HERE – to hear Enrique Campos sing “Oigo Tu Voz” (I hear your voice) with the Ricardo Tanturi Orchestra…music by Mario Canaro, lyrics by Francisco Garcia Jimenez

1887, February 25 – BIRTH OF JOSE RAZZANO

Singer, Composer, Guitarist (Pisces) – at the end of negotiations with the renown Club ArmenonvilleCarlos Gardel boyishly leaned forward to hear the results from his partner Jose Razzano, “Well, what do we have he asked” rubbing his hands together,“Seventy pesos” answered Jose, “Per month?”asked Gardel happily, “No, per night” added Jose,“Well” said Gardel incredulously “for that sum, I’ll even wash the dishes”…besides being an extraordinary musician Jose Razzano was a keen business man and crack negotiator…the singing duo of Gardel – Razzano would be immensely successful locally and abroad; they toured  Uruguay, Brasil, Chile and Spain in whose capital Madrid, sang to packed audiences…they met at a singing contest at which an aspiring Gardel generously complimented Jose on his singing voice; it was that night that the idea of combining their talents first emerged…they debuted together at the celebrated Teatro Nacional in 1914 to great acclaim; their performance schedule became immensely busy


Jose Razzano was born in Montevideo to a poor immigrant italian family…when he was two years old, his father’s died suddenly and his desperate mother moved the family to the neighborhood of Balvanera in Buenos Aires… from a very early age Jose demonstrated keen musical ability and with much sacrifice his mother enrolled him in guitar lessons…at age eight he was already performing for neighborhood audiences…in 1925 tragedy struck when he developed a problem with his throat and he had to give up singing…he then began to devote himself exclusively to managing Carlos Gardel’s career which often meant paying off Gardel’s considerable race horse gambling obligations…later would come a bitter separation from Gardel which gave rise to many malicious rumors nevertheless the legendary singer Charlo hired Jose as his manager…Joe would accompany Charlo on a toursof latin america and the United States



“Who would have thought back then, sixteen years ago that one day I would be singing here” wrote Carlos Gardel to his friend and manager Jose Razzano referring to their boyhood when the thought of performing at the mythical Paris Opera House was only a wildly unattainable dream for boys from poor immigrant families…indeed to have been invited to sing at the Paris Opera House for the “Bal de Petit Lits Blanc”, the most important social event of the year, was to have conquered Paris and therefore the world…he became the darling of a decadent aristocracy and it is they  who would catapult him to international fame; it is they who would export tango into a world sensation…on this particular night the well liked President of the Republic Gaston Doumergue was especially thrilled and he sent down a note to Gardel, would he please re-sing “El Cerretero”; with deep respect Gardel bowed to the president and did, to the enthusiastic applause of his excellency…


Ten days later he opened at the Casino in Cannes for the unbelievable sum of 4000 francs a night; a famous magazine “La Rampe” in the luxurious end of the year edition, ran a full color photo of him….telegrams were personally delivered to him, a service reserved for only the most important people…he relished his success in paris, “I am living better than a millionaire in paris, in the best district in a comfortable house” he would write in letters to friends; much of his fortune would be squandered in his horse gambling habit…..150 years earlier, other Gardels were conquering an earlier version of the Paris Opera, Maximilien and Pierre Gardel ballet dancers and choreographers…Maximilien became the dance instructor of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI…he died young from an infection resulting from a small toe injury sustained while dancing…his brother Pierre became a renown choreographer and ballet master for 35 years surviving a number of political upheavals including the French Revolution…on the day that Louis XVI was beheaded, the Paris Opera was performing Pierre’s “The Trial of Paris”…Gardel would meet his own premateur demise just six years later in a fiery airplane crash .



Francisco Canaro had the midas touch, he made money in everything he touched with one exception, film making…he was to say, “sound movies left me completely silent” “Con La Musica en El Alma” was his last film and it was in theory successful but not for Canaro, he had to sue his production partners to recoup his 400, 000 peso investment…not that he needed the money; he was undoubtably the richest man in tango history…a common saying to refer to some one of means was, “he is rich like Canaro”….after this attempt, he sold what was left of his Rio Plata Production Company…the film was based on the musical by the same name, written by Homero Manzi, which had been produced two years earlier…it was staged at the Teatro Casino and was headlined by legendary child actor Andres Poggio  ”Toscanito”,  and singer Alberto Arenas;


It was also the early start of actor Alberto Dalbes who would have a long and fruitful career in Argentinean films…Francisco Canaro, as well as providing the music, also had a small role…the play had a highly successful six month run and was then moved to the Teatro Artigas in Montevideo, Canaro’s home town…the success of the play inspired Canaro to convert it into a film which premiered at the Normandie Theater…Toscanito and Alberto Arenas reappear in the film with the addition of beloved comedic dancer Tito Luisardo who appeared in over 40 films to the delight of his legion of fans…the film was directed by Spanish film director Luis Bayon Herrera who found success in Argentina and remained there for the rest of his life…several notable tangos were featured like “Mataderos”; “Boliche de barrio”; “Sentimiento Gaucho” and Canaro’s intriguing Tango Fantasia in F…when Canaro died of a strange and rare bone growth disorder his immense fortune was apportioned between his French wife and his daughters born of his affair with a young, seductive chorus  girl he had met through one of his musicals



Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Capricorn) – as soon as Juan Peron came into power, Alfredo Attadia, declared himself an ardent Peronist and thus gave a great surge forward to his career; this was to have dire consequences for him years later when Peron was overthrown in 1954…he would find himself, like so many other artists, blacklisted and exiled; in the case of legendary poet  Enrique Santos Discepolo for example, it would hasten a premature death from a broken heart…..but this would come later, for now he was summoned to cut the tangos “Descamisados” and the march “Peronista” to be used for political propaganda by the Peron regime… a period of rapid ascendancy commenced; there was a lucrative contract with Radio Belgrano, performances at the chic Dancing Ocean Club and at the legendary Cabaret Moulin Rouge.. . in Montevideo his notoriety took a great jump forward when he began playing at the historic café El Ateneo


He was born in the neighborhood of San Andres in the town of San Martin which is just outside of Buenos a young Piazzolla, as a young boy he was mesmerized by the sound of the bandoneon; his father reluctantly bought him his first one…he had envisioned a professional career for his beloved son…eventually through  a family friend, young and shy Alfredo garnered an audition for an all girl’s orchestra and he was hired; at the age of 17 he debuted with them at the Cafe Paris…this was the start of a grand career including stints with some the best tango groups in history , Alfredo MalerbaAngelo D’Agostino and Rodolfo Biaggi for whom he wrote his first arrangements….with a young and ambitious Alfredo Di Angelis he formed his first orchestra which they called “Tipica Florida”…among his numerous compositions, perhaps his best was “Tres Esquinas” which he composed with Angel D’Agostino and was a great hit for vocalist Angel Vargas



Poet (Capricorn) – he was so passionate about his work, that during rehearsals for one of his great hits“Que Falta Que Me Haces” with singer Alberto Podesta and the orchestra of Miguel Calò, he was such an annoyance with interruptions and suggestions that they finally had to ask him to leave; flaying arms and grumbling to himself he reluctantly left….such incidents were frequent and he would always murmur an apology and promise to contain himself…indeed it was his devotion, his sensitivity and his romantic nature that led him to produce some of the most beautiful tangos; tango like the immortal “Hasta Siempre Amor” which with the music of Donato Racciatti and the voice of Jorge Valdez was a great hit and continues to be played in milongas all over the world to this very day


Federico Silva was born in Montevideo Uruguay and as a young boy already showed a unique curiosity and a love of literature and poetry; he learned to love tango through his father who was totally devoted to evening tango radio programs…at the age of 17, a gruff editor saw something in young Federico and gave his first break as a cub reporter for “El Pais” , Uruguay’s most important daily…starting in 1955, for 10 years he was a writer for the weekly magazine “Marcha” a high brow magazine covering music and tango.. other assignments included the magazines “Tangueando” of Montevideo and “Cantando” in Buenos Aires…his first tango was “Dejame Verte” in 1943…in 1968 he was contracted by the Victor Label to write the lyrics for a 12 piece LP for music composed by Armando Pontier and sung  by Roberto Goyeneche, out of which several notable hits emerged…he wrote biographies on Carlos Gardel, Julio Sosa and Anibal Troilo…he was the creator and talent of an immensely popular radio program “Motivos Populares” which aired for 20 years