Posts Tagged ‘ 10 best female tango singers ’

1988, January 27 – PREMIERE OF “TANGO BAR”

“Tonight Antonio will walk into Tango Bar, will walk through that door, back into your life, our lives says” says Ricardo, “There is nothing left between Antonio and I, nor fire nor ashes, you are only hurting yourself needlessly”, Elena responds to Ricardo trying to reassure him, …”Tango Bar” is a movie about a classic love triangle…Antonio, a bandoneon player and singer, had fled  Argentina during the period of state sponsored terrorism to save his life leaving behind his wife, tango singer Elena with his show business partner, pianist and songwriter Ricardo…in the mean time Ricardo and Elena have fallen in love…Ricardo is played by Raul Julia, Antonio by Ruben Juarez and Elena by Valeria Lynch; the film was directed by Marcos Zurinaga with music by Attilo Stampone .

***

Throughout the movie, there are flashbacks to the duo’s sellout show 11 years earlier, called ‘Este es Tango’ (This is Tango) including a series of dance sequences that illustrate the history including a tango danced in a sumptuous Buenos Aires brothel, a 1920s European style tango, a street tango, a stage show, Abott and Costello dancing Tango and even the cartoon Flintstones dancing the tango…the pinnacle is an authentic ‘tango argentino’ where Antonio, in a bit of provincialism says, “this is tango danced the right way by the people who dance it best”…Valeria Lynch was born on January 7, 1952 (Capricorn) in the Villa Urquiza neighborhood of Buenos Aires…for a time she was a singer for the rock group “The Expression” but in the 1990s she became a tango singer and made successful tours all over the world…Tango Bar was also the name of a movie made by Carlos Gardel in 1935 in which he sings his immortal “Por Una Cabeza” which has been featured in so many films including “Scent Of A Woman” and “Shindler’s List”…Tango Bar was Gardel’s last film before dying tragically in an airplane crash in Medellin, Colombia in June of 1935

____________________

1933, January 23 – Gardel Records “LA CANCION DE BUENOS AIRES”

Who knows that if Carlos Gardel had not recorded “La Cancion de Buenos Aires” it might have been just another of the thousands of tangos with momentary flashes to then be relegated to the dust bin of oblivion…instead this piece, which was written by Orestes Cufaro and Azucena Maizani, is one of the most successful tangos in history…it would be hard to find a tango performer of renown who has not recorded it…twice it was made into a film; in 1945 directed by Julio Irigoyen and in 1980 directed by Fernando Siro…it was a minor hit for singer Alberto Castillo when he sang it in Manuel Romero’s 1948 film El Tango Vuelve a Paris…Orestes Cufaro was born in the city of Rosario, Argentina where his father was a pianist and an orchestra director…his father was his first teacher and it soon became evident that young Orestes was a child prodigy…he made his performance debut at the age of eleven at the Belgrano Cinema as the pianist for the Abel Bedruna Orchestra; he was so impressive that he soon found himself playing in the best cafes, cinemas and theaters in Rosario…

***

At age 18 he made the big move to Buenos Aires where he debuted at Radio Prieto; along the way he met singer Azucena Maizani  who would record his first tango “Usted Sabe Senor Juez” ….within these circles he came to know playwrite and future icon of the Argentinean film industry Manuel Romero who asked him to write a theme song for his play “La Cancion de Buenos Aires”; for this he sought the collaboration of Azucena Maizani …Carlos Gardel was very fond of Azucena; he seemed to take an almost fatherly concern for her, frequently inquiring of Orestes about her well being…it was out of friendship for Azucena that Gardel agreed to record “La Cancion de Buenos Aires”….Orestes would compose a number of other hits including “Vencido” and “Una y Mil Noches”…Manuel Romero was one of the most successful lyricists in history; Carlos Gardel himself recorded 19 of his tangos…Romero would write 180 plays and direct 53 films in his career all them with similar characteristics; simple and heart-moving scripts where the typical characters were the poor young lover, the young rich girl in love with him and the cavalier son of a tycoon who vies for her hand

______________________

1924, January 13 – 1ST RECORDED, “DOPADOS” (LOS MAREADOS)

“Los Dopados” was a melody which was written by Juan Carlos Cobian for the play by the same name which premiered on July 4, 1922 at the Teatro Porteno…it was soon forgotten…20 years later, legendary poet Enrique Cadicamo penned new lyrics to the music and converted it into a major hit which to out very days remains a favorite of tangueros all over the world and has been recorded by many musicians…in particular, it was a great hit for Anibal Troilo and his orchestra with the voice of Francisco Fiorentino in 1942…much later it would become a major hit for Adriana Varela and one of the most requested by her legion of fans…the lyrics say, “my soul harbors three things, love, regret, pain…it’s strange how our great and passionate love is no more…tonight we will get inebriated together and after this we shall never see each other again….I found you beautiful and foreboding in the mist of much champagne, laughing so as not to cry”

***

It’s airplay did not last long…in 1943 the censor of the military dictatorship summoned Enrique Cadicamo to his office…the government, in a misguided campaign to modernize and change the image of Argentina, had imposed a ban on tango lyrics which made any mention of any form of  immorality or drunkedness…Enrique, cast a glance at the censor, calmly took a chair in front of the typewriter and began to rewrite the objectionable lyrics…he drew the paper out of the typewriter, rose from his chair and using an exaggerated tone of respect said, “is this better excellency?”….the censor, straightening his shoulders, with an air of  haughtiness said, “ah yes, much better Cadicamo”.…to the censor’s stunned eyes, Enrique reached out, grabbed the sheet from his hand, tore it up and said, “this is bull shit” and stomped out….six years later President Juan Peron, now in power and a supporter of tango culture, rescinded the ban and “Los Mareados“returned to its original form

___________________

1912, January 6 – BIRTH OF CARMELITA AUBERT

Singer (Capricorn) – when Carmelita Aubert sang the tango “Clemencia”(forgiveness) in the film “Abajo Los Hombres” it was a coded message seeking a pardon for the miners who had participated in the legendary “Astruias Uprising” which director Valentin R. Gonzalez, a supporter of the Republic, had inserted into the film…authorities saw through it and the tango was censured… these were tense and chaotic days in Spain, one year before the outbreak of the tragic Spanish Civil War whose carnage would cost 500, 000 lives and wounds that would take generations to heal…when Carmencita returned to Spain on October 6, 1944 from self-exile in Portugal, she was immediately arrested…when the news reached Portugal, her beloved, loyal fans engaged in spontaneous and protracted demonstrations in front of the Spanish embassy and the news became front page headlines around the world…20 days later the Franco dictatorship gave in and released Carmelita

***

Carmelita Aubert was born in Barcelona, to a mother who was a well-known vaudeville actress and dancer…early on it became obvious that Carmelita loved to sing and dance and she enrolled her in the noted Cariteu Academy...her break came when legendary comedic actor Carlos Saldana “Alady” happen to hear her sing and was immediately impressed with her gifted voice and ability to connect with the public…19 year old Carmelita  found herself performing along side “Alady” in her debut with him at the sea port resort town of Arenys De Mar…in Barcelona she made her first tango recording, “Con Todo Amor”, with Mario Visconti,  a young singer and guitarist; she was praised by the magazine “El Tango De Moda”…she starred in her first movie “Mercedes”  in 1932 , where her screen partner was Argentinean singer and song writer Hector Morel; the film was an enormous success…two tangos from the film, “Alma de Tango” and the waltz “Mercedes” became big hits on radio but her “mystique”, that elusive, coveted quality, emanated when she sang the “Cocaina En Flor (cocaine in flower) radio perfume ads.

___________________

1911, December 31 – BIRTH OF AMANDA LEDESMA

Singer (Capricorn) – working  in a dress shop, shy Amanda was beloved by the customers for her sweetness and her attentive service…when she was not working she was singing but she did not think she was particularly good; she just hoped some day the right boy would ask her to get married and take her away…her friends would ask her to sing at their celebrations…one day one of them  told her about a singing contest at the Gaumont Theater and encouraged her to enter but she was highly reluctant; eventually she was convinced…she did not win but a director of the renown Radio Prieto happened to be present, like her voice and ask her to do a tryout at the stati0n…for her debut she sang “Alma En Pena” where she was accompanied by non other than Miguel Calò on piano…it was a success and invitations from other radio stations followed and then performances in the one-act theater farces which were all the rage at the time…

***

Eventually Luis Moglia Barth picked her for his second film “Dancing” which was a box office failure; still Amanda was one of the few bright spots in the film…in her career she would star in 21 films…for her first recording in 1937 she sang “Condena” and the waltz “Primavera”…She was to see her greatest success however, in Mexico to where she moved in 1942…there she was “The Blond Goddess of Tango”, an image she cured assiduously by dyeing her hair blond and taking  fanatical care of her skin that it remain white…indeed it was rumored a film contract stipulated that she was never to sunbathe….for her appearances she tended to dress in white; never provocative….her film “Cuando Quiere Un Mexicano” in 1944 with Mexican singer and Latin American heart throb Jorge Negrete skyrocketed her fame….she was the first Argentinean star to move to Mexico to further her career; many others were to follow including the legendary Libertad Lamarque….in 1956 at the age of 45 apparently she had had enough and returned to Argentina and retired

__________________

1906, December 26 -BIRTH OF IMPERIO ARGENTINA

Singer (Capricorn) – Adolf Hitler was so enthralled with her that he had Joseph Goebbels request an audience with her; she came and he asked her to film the life of the exotic dancer Lola Montez…at German studios UFA she met Marlena Dietrich with whom, credible rumors said, she had a lesbian affair..but the night of “Kristalnacht” opened her eyes on Nazism and she left…nevertheless it was true that her political sympathies were with fascism; during the period of dictatorship she was one of “Franco’s Untouchables”; for a time she was boycotted in New York, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires…she was born in the neighborhood of San Telmo, Buenos Aires to a guitarist English father and an actress mother from Spain…when she was six years old she debuted as “Petit Imperio” at the Comedia Theater in Buenos Aires…Now back in Spain, she debuted at Madrid’s Romea Theater in 1924…when she was only 21 years she auditioned for Spanish Director Florian Rey who was so taken by her that he not only offered her the lead role in the film “La Hermana San Suplicio”, he also insisted that she sing in it even though it was a silent film; it was an immediate hit….

***

Seven years later Rey would divorce his wife and marry Imperio; together they would produce Spain’s most successful films in the pre-civil war era…the marriage however, lasted only briefly and she then married the Count of Cabezuelas Ramon Baillio in a storybook church ceremony but when she divorced him, she incurred the wrath of the catholic church…she starred alongside Carlos Gardel in two films “La Casa Es Seria” and“Melodia de Arrabal”; the later made her enormously popular in the United States; following an appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York, a star-struck, young Fidel Castro timidly approached her and presented her with a sketched portrait…in 1992 at the age of 82 years old and practically forgotten she made an appearance  at the World Exhibition in Sevilla Spain where she thrilled the audience and earned a standing ovation…at the age of 93, ill and bedridden, reflecting on her life she became solemn for a moment remembering the painful passing her two children while they were still young and then, suddenly, she her face lite up, she asked her granddaughter Teresa for her castanets and died singing

______________________

1916, December 24 – BIRTH OF HECTOR STAMPONI

Composer, Pianist (Capricorn) – he was the composer of one of the most unique, beloved and most often recorded tangos in history, “El Ultimo Cafe”…it won first prize in a tango contest in 1964 when it was sung by Raul Lavie…his three waltzes (the first two in collaboration with Enrique Francini ”Bajo Un Cielo de Estrellas”, “Pedacito De Cielo” and “Flor De Lino”, perhaps the most beloved in the genre, are continuously played in milongas  from the smallest towns to great metropolises all over the world… the same holds true for his milonga “Azabache” which was a great hit for Raul Beron in 1942…one critic called him “an unparalleled figured in the history of tango, a brilliant arranger, an exquisite pianist, an inspired composer”...indeed there are few of the greats of tango that did not come in contact with his 60 plus years long career, beginning with his first composition“Inquietud” which he composed when he was in his late teens and was recorded by the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra on July 12, 1939…more than 50 other memorable compositions were to follow

***

Hector Stamponi was born in the town of Campana just outside of Buenos Aires to Italian immigrant parents…from very early on he demonstrated unique musical ability and his parents, with much sacrifice, procured lessons for him with renown maestro Juan Ehlert who quickly recognized his talent and asked him to join his personal musical ensemble…the group earned an appearance at the famous Juan Manuel’s Matinee…he then formed a trio with two would be legends of tango, Enrique Francini and Armando Pontier, to accompany artists on Radio Argentina; he later  joined the Scorticati Orchestra to play on Radio Stentor…Hector then briefly joined the Miguel Calo orchestra…in the early 40s he accompanied the singer Amanda Ledesma in Mexico where she was immensely popular…it is there that  he composed music for films and composed two tango with Ernesto Cortazar, “Somos Dos” and “Cruz”…he began a period as a piano soloist,accompanist and arranger; his services were in great demand by all the greats of the time most notably the legendary Charlo in his celebrated appearances on Radio Splendido…in 1963 he composed the music for the film “Carlos Gardel Historia di un Idolo”..in Spain  he teamed up with poet and lyricist Horacio Ferrer in appearances which won rave reviews from critics and the public.

__________________

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”

_________________

1969, December 4 – Goyeneche Records “BALLADA PARA UN LOCO”

In the classic film “King of Hearts” (1966) the residents of a small French village during World War I leave because the Germans plan to bomb the village…the inmates of the local insane asylum take over the village and create a festive, gay, surreal, make belief atmosphere totally oblivious to the war; the message of the film is, perhaps normal people are more crazy than those in the asylum…it is precisely this film which inspired Horacio Ferrer to write music…when the piece was premiered by Amelia Baltazar at the Buenos Aires Tango Festival, it created a great controversy because many did not see it as real tango and even hissed at it while Amelia was singing it…it was leading in the voting on the final day but the controversy forced the judges to give it second place instead…when “Balada Para Un Loco” was recorded, it was a great hit selling over 200,000 in the first week alone

***

Horacio Ferrer was born June 2, 1933 in Montevideo, Uruguay (Gemini) to a cultured family; his father was a professor of history and his mother, who was eleven years older than his father, spoke four languages…already as a child, he started writing his first poems, simple plays and even milongas to which he accompanied himself on guitar…at the age of 20 his was invited to participate on a weekly radio program called “A Selection of Tangos”…he soon started a groundbreaking magazine called “Tangueando” which he wrote and illustrated himself…in 1970 he wrote “Book of the Tango, Peoples Art of  Buenos Aires”its three volumes and more than 2000 pages is one of the most complete works on tango in history…he has collaborated with Astor Piazzolla on a number of hits; one writer called them “the Lennon – MaCarthy team of tango”

_____________________

  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DBmUoy6Q2c to hear Roberto “Polaco” Goyeneche sing one of his great hits “Ballada Para Un Loco” with lyrics by Horacio Ferrer and music by Astor Piazzolla

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…

***

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

_______________________

  • 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