HERE COMES THE DOC
1. FLOR DE FANGO, Alberto Castillo
2. CON PERMISO SOY EL TANGO, Alberto Castillo
3. YO LLEVO EL TANGO EN EL ALMA, Alberto Castillo
4. CUCUSITA, Alberto Castillo
5. LOS 100 BARRIOS PORTEÑOS, Alberto Castillo
6. ASI SE BAILA EL TANGO, Alberto Castillo
The proletariat and marginal people who came to power with the rise of Peronism did not need to imitate the upper classes to disguise their origin. By contrast, they were proud of themselves. In the mid 1940’s, when the anti peronism establishment baptized the immigrants from the provinces “cabecitas negras” (black heads because of the color of their skin and their hair), instead of feeling offended, the peronist working class base adopted the insult with pride for their origin.
Evita understood the social transformation that was taken place. Those who were labeled “grasas” (greasers) by the elitist upper class became the affectionate and dear fellow “grasitas” when she turned the verbal adjective and disparaging insult into a symbol of pride.
Alberto Castillo, more than a singer was also a symbol. Perhaps without intending it, he found a place where his vocal capacity was not as important as his emblematic character. Although he had been singing since 1934 during his years as a medical student, his professional debut came in 1939 with the orchestra Los Indios directed by Ricardo Tanturi.
Those who know consider that Castillo’s voice had a good pitch and a tone that was both jokingly and funny, with a drawl on the phrasing and an exaggeration of gestures that set him apart from the stereotypes of the time. They looked at him with sympathy. At least Castillo was different than the massive proliferation of Gardel imitators that had appeared since the accident in Medellin.
After leaving the Tanturi orchestra in 1944 Castillo formed his own orchestra and finally found his definitive form. He amplified strokes, featured the distinctive aspects of his wardrobe, and when he become a movie actor, he stressed the marginal conversational aspects of his phonetics as Gardel had done it before to accentuate the suburban cadences of his speech.
Instead of trying to reflect reality, appearing as the college educated singer he was, and consequently dressing in agreement with the canons of the middle-class, Castillo chose the path of classlessness. He choose costumes of bright blue fabrics, suits with very wide crossed lapels that reached nearly to the shoulders. He wore ties with a wide and square knot that was in contrast to the fashion of the elegant middle class that called for a tight and narrow knot. The coat rampant backwards and a handkerchief protruding exaggeratedly from the pocket. Wide waist trousers with wide cuffs completed the attire that was more a dare than clothing.
The wardrobe that Castillo wore were the fashion created by Guillermo Divito as a ridicule to the commons person. From a position as the drawing pen for the oligarchy, Divito, a famous comic strip creator of classics like El otro yo del Dr. Merengue and Fallutelli, accented lines as if they were a ridiculous caricature reflecting from a mirror . On the opposite side, Castillo along with prizefighter Jose Maria Gatica assumed the role of prototypes of the marginal class that had shown their loyalty to Juan Peron on October 17, 1945. And although nobody actually dressed like them, by elevating their wardrobe to the grotesque, they transformed self-confidence into aggression. This tendency is present in the singer’s lyrics. Castillo makes fun of the middle-class and its uptight rules.