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1939, July 13 – BIAGI RECORDS “DICHAS QUE VIVI”

Andres Falgas at 19 was not particularly self-confident and he had an uncertain future in front of him…he worked at a number of odd jobs to help bring in some money to his struggling family and to help pass the time he sang…always…prodded by a friend and with great reluctance he entered the Puloil Soap singing contest on Radio Splendid which his friends often spoke about…to his astonishment, out of an estimated 2000 contestants, he came in second place…he was rewarded with a cash award which amounted to what he would earn in a year’s time and a six months’ contract to sing on the radio…it was indeed, a dream come true…..among the staff musicians of Radio Splendid was a wide-eyed Raul Kaplan and a young Miguel Calo still glowing from his tour of the United States with the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra…Falgas soon made his first recording, “Pena De Amor” which was moderately successful…

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His big break came when he was summoned by Rodolfo Biagi; his first recording on July 13, 1939 “Dichas Que Vivi” was a big hit and continues to our very day to be popular in milongas all over the world…the title essentially means, “the low blows which I have endured in life”…Andres Falgas, son of a Catalonian father and an Italian mother, was born in the neighborhood of Caballito where he attended grammar school and high school……in his two years with Biagi, he would make a total of eleven recordings including hits like “Queja Indiana”, “Griseta” and “Cicatrices”…like many tango musicians, he moved to Mexico where he remained for many years and became popular in the Mexican cinema…Andres Falgas would go on to have a glorious career, singing throughout Latin America and even an appearance at the celebrated “La Casa Gardeliana” in New York…he made over 130 recordings; among his numerous compositions perhaps his best known is “La Brisa” which was made into a hit by Carlos Dante with the Alfredo De Angelis orchestra

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1939, July 12 – FRESEDO RECORDS “INQUIETUD”

It was said of Hector Stamponi,  “an unparalleled figured in the history of tango, a brilliant arranger, an exquisite pianist, an inspired composer”….this modest, shy man would one day compose one of the most beloved tangos in history, “El Ultimo Cafe” which launched the career of Raul Lavie when he won first prize with it in a singing contest in 1964… but it all began with his “Inquietud” which was recorded by the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra on July 12, 1939 with the voice of Ricardo Ruiz…over 50 of Stamponi’s tangos would be recorded including his three immortal waltzes (the first two in collaboration with Enrique Francini) “Bajo Un Cielo de Estrellas”, “Pedacito De Cielo” and “Flor De Lino”…these three waltzes are perhaps the most beloved in the genre, 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..indeed there are few of the greats of tango that did not come in contact with his 60 plus years long career…almost until the end, in his unassuming manner, he loved to play piano in his neighborhood cafes

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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 moved to Mexico to work with the singer Amanda Ledesma…it is there that  he composed music for films and composed two tangos 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 Spain  he teamed up with poet and lyricist Horacio Ferrer in appearances which won rave reviews from critics and the public.

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1914, July 11 – BIRTH OF ANIBAL TROILO

Leader, Bandoneonist, Composer (Cancer)…He sacrificed his life to his art and there were many regrets…one of those was never having had any children…his beloved wife Ida was eternally devoted to him although he belonged more to the nights and the glasses of whiskey…Horacio Ferrer called him, ” a man of true class and elegance”…but above all he was a gifted musician even though no one in his family was musical…his father was a butcher who died when Anibal was only eight years old; he was brought up with much sacrifice by his mother Felisa whom he never forgot…toward the end of his career, his body wracked by abuse, in an interview he said, “you know I never left my neighborhood, not really…I never really left my mother and I am always returning to her”...it was she who, with much sacrifice, bought him his first bandoneon; 140 pesos in 14 installments, he was ten years old…the poet Julian Centeya would one day call him “the best bandoneon player in Buenos Aires”…his first public performance was at the age of eleven in the Abasto Market at the Petit Colon Cinema…

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At the age of 14 he formed a quintet; at 16 he was part of the renown sextet of violinist Elvino Vardaro with Osvaldo Pugliese at the piano…later he would play with some of the greats, Juan Maglio “Pacho”, Juan D’arenzo and Angel D’agostino…toward the end of his life, he would recall 1937 with nostalgia; that was the year that he put together his own orchestra and the year that, in a night club, he met a shy hat girl, Ida Calachi whom he would marry and who would become his beloved partner for the rest of his life...the following year he made his first recording “Come Il Faut” by Eduardo Arolas …but Troilo, a master of pauses, was also an accomplished composer of some immortal hits like  ”Toda Mi Vida”, “Barrio de Tango”, “Garua”, “Sur”, “Romance del Barrio”,“La Ultima Curda”, “Mari…at the age of 18 he appeared in his first film “Los Tres Berretines”…others included the celebrated “Radio Bar” which premiered  in 1936 when he was part of the Elvino Vardaro orchestra…in the movie “El Tango Vuelve A Paris” which premiered in 1948  he has an acting roll…he died of cerebral hemorrhage and cardiac arrest at the Hospital Italiano with Ida at his side

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1919, July 10 – 14 YEAR OLD ELVINO VARDARO DEBUTS

The publicity read, “Violin Recital by Child Prodigy at The Argentina Saloon – Entrance Fee 2 Pesos”…for the first part of the program Mendelson, for the second, Bach and Tschikovsky…in fact his performance was a resounding success and a great future in the classical world was whispered about for young Elvino Vardaro but in time Elvino discovered that his true love was tango….to help support the family he began playing in the silent movie theaters always with a watchful eye toward the door for he was still underage…it is in this milieu that he met another underage musician, the future legend, Rodolfo Biaggi who was there without his parents conscent…it is there that the legendary Juan Maglio “Pacho walked into the theater and discovered both of them

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He was twenty fours years old when he formed “The Vardaro Pugliese Orchestra”; it was a dream come true…with great fanfare and promise and including a wide-eyed Anibal Troilo and Osvaldo Pugliese, the group debuted at the Cafe Nacional to an ecstatic reception…the dream however, was to turn into a nightmare when, embarking a long tour of Argentina, the lack of proper organization and management not only resulted in the curtailing of the tour and the dismemberment of the group…Elvino had to pawn his “Sartoris Bow” to be able to buy train fare back home…like Elvino, the protagonist in Bellinis “La Sonnambula” after whom his father named him who sings “all is lost, nothing can be done, my heart is dead to joy and love”, he went through a period of great despair but Elvino would not only survive but go on to have a diverse and exciting career as few tango musicians would ever have…tango historians often refer to “the Vardaro school” to describe musicians and events

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1921, March 6 – Premiere “Four Horsemen and The Apocalypse”

Julio is beguiled by the seductive girl dancing the tango…with a confident, menacing stare he strides to the center of the dance floor, with gaucho whip in hand and asks the man let him cut in….in a cavalier manner the man simply ignores Julio and continues to dance with the girl…Julio is enraged and shoves the man brusquely away from the girl…the man takes his knife out and lunges at him but Julio adeptly evades the knife and hits the man on the head with the handle of his whip.. the man falls down and Julio takes over the girl to finish with a spectacular tango dance to the enthusiastic applause of the audience...it is precisely this scene from “Four Horsemen and the Apocalypse” which launched the tango craze throughout the world…based on Vasco Ibanez’s classic novel, several studios had tried unsuccessfully to adapt the novel but it was writer June Mathis who finally succeeded…it was she who hired Rodolfo Valentino, an obscure B film struggling actor who had worked as a taxi dancer…the tango scene in fact was not part of the original story but Mathis included to take advantage of Valentino’s dancing skills

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It premiered to great acclaim and had a huge cultural impact; it became the top grossing film of 1921 and the first ever to earn one million dollars at the box office…it turned Rodolfo Valentino into a superstar and launched the tango craze; June Mathis would become one of the first powerful women executives in Hollywood…Valentino was born in Castellaneta, Puglia to an Italian father and a French mother…he spent some idle time in Paris and finally returned to Puglia but unable to get a job he left for the United States and arriving there on December 23, 1913…he ran out of money and for a while he lived on the streets of New York…he eventually moved to Los Angeles where he taught dancing to older high society women…on August 15, 1926 he collapsed at the Hotel Ambassador in New York; he was operated on, for a ruptured appendix; surgery had gone well and a recovery was expected…however, he unexpectedly developed pleuritis in his left lung and fell into a coma..he passed away on August 23, 1926; he was 31 years old…interestingly, the film inspired a young Betty Davis to try acting; in 1999, the American Film Institute rated Davis as number two on the list of the “Greatest Female Stars of All Time”

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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

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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.

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1927, October 4 – BIRTH of VIRGINIA LUQUE

Singer (libra) – she was born in Buenos Aires at the Rivadavia Hospital, the same one where Azucena Maizani was born and who would be a model for Virginia…at the age of 12 her father entered her in a singing contest on Radio Belgrano and won….still a teenager, she became a regular on radio programs singing boleros and spanish songs…She entered the tango world in 1946 when Francisco Canaro had her sing his “Si Tu Mi Quisieras” in his play “La Cancion del los                                                        Barrios”…

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At the age of 16 she stared in her first film “La Querra La Gano Yo”…the critics and the public responded favorably and other films were to follow in quick succession; by the age of 22 she had already starred in a total of 7 films…her first major role was  in the film “La Historia del Tango” with renown actor Fernando Lamas where inspite of being only 22, she played a mature woman to great acclaim; in her career shewould star in over 30 films…….She recorded three LPs in Spain and one in Israel, singing in Yiddish; she made recordings in Galician, French and Portuguese….She made over a hundred trips in her career and was especially beloved in Japan

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