Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Gardel’


At the gate (I want to go to Mar del Plata )

Singer: Carlos Gardel
Music: Francisco Lomuto
Lyrics: Francisco Lomuto

The ranchera has its roots in the mazurka, and it appeared in the second decade of the twentieth century. The popularity of the mazurka in the rural areas of the province of Buenos Aires along with the use of the eight bass accordion by Italian immigrants and been, encouraged the Creoles to provide the accompaniment with their guitars, using the 6/8 strumming of El Gato, a popular folklore rhythm. Gradually the transformation of the mazurka in the new world resulted in the ranchera.

Almost all popular singers included in their repertoire this popular musical motive. The two who are among those who contributed to make the Ranchera a famous musical genre were the unforgettable Agustin Magaldi and of course Carlos Gardel.

Recorded on Aug 21, 1930 this is the version by Carlos Gardel with the guitars of Aguilar, Barbieri and Riverol.

To Mar del Plata I want to go
there is only one thing missing
I have a lot of courage
I only need money for travel

I have a house in Colon Street
a few meters from the old Torreon
it’s an the old style cottage
that a good friend is letting me use.

Don’t think that because of this I’m a freeloader
that I do not pay anyone or I’m a shark
Let it be known that I’m very decent,
intelligent and a good-hearted fellow.

If a girl wants to get married
and easily conquer a boyfriend,
two conditions are essential,
having money and a mom who does’t talk;
It is very difficult at present
that little problem of making a home.
And those with pretensions
better to lower those illusions.
Don’t think that I’m a freeloader
that I do not pay anyone or I’m a shark
Let it be known that I’m very decent,
educated, intelligent and a good-hearted fellow.




3. VIEJO RINCON, Carlos Gardel
4. EL PANGARE, Carlos Gardel
5. EL MORO, Carlos Gardel
6. EL CIRUJA, Carlos Gardel
7. SILBANDO, Carlos Gardel
8. EL CARRETERO, Carlos Gardel
9. MI NOCHE TRISTE, Carlos Gardel
10. MILONGUITA, Carlos Gardel
11. POBRE PAICA, Carlos Gardel
12. MANO A MANO, Carlos Gardel
13. BAJO BELGRANO, Carlos Gardel
14. SOY UNA FIERA, Carlos Gardel
15. TOMO Y OBLIGO, Carlos Gardel
16. MELODIA DE ARRABAL, Carlos Gardel
17. SILENCIO, Carlos Gardel
18. VOLVER, Carlos Gardel
19. CUESTA ABAJO, Carlos Gardel
20. EL DIA QUE ME QUIERAS, Carlos Gardel


Every year on this date, June 24th, we’re haunted by the imagery of the fiery airplane crash that took the lives of Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Lepera in 1935. For most folks born outside South America, it is nearly impossible to understand what it meant for the nation of Argentina, and many other South American countries, to wake up on the morning of June 25, 1935 to the chilling news shaped in bold letters headlines that, except for minor variations in copy, were saying the same unthinkable fact: GARDEL IS DEAD.

Gardel and Lepera had become very successful partners in the tango-for-films department. Under contract with Paramount, Carlos Gardel was becoming a box office attraction in South America because of his personal appeal, his baritone voice, and his successful tours around Western Europe. Yet, the underlying attraction of Gardel, the music and lyrics of his tangos, had presented a public relations problem for the Hollywood suits. There was something about the language and jargon embedded in the lyrics of the tangos Gardel sang that didn’t fly very well outside Buenos Aires.

So they brought Alfredo Lepera, a Brazilian born writer and poet then living in Buenos Aires. His mission was to write new lyrics in a more pure Castilian language that would be universally understood and appreciated in all of South America and Spanish speaking Europe. The resulting body of work represents the most popular and celebrated songs that are easily recognized by people all over the world, even when many may not realize that they were all written for films starring Carlos Gardel. Can you remember hearing any of these titles: Cuesta abajo, Volver, Melodia de arrabal, El dia que me quieras, Por una cabeza…? It was during a promotional tour for his latest film, El dia que quieras, that Gardel and Lepera met their untimely deaths. First Puerto Rico, then Cuba and finally Colombia were visits that attracted large crowds eager to see, touch and listen to Carlos Gardel.

Towards the end of the tour, Gardel and his entourage boarded a plane at Medellin airport for a short flight to Cali, where he would make his final appearance on a radio program before returning to New York, in time to board a ship to Buenos Aires to fulfill a promise he had made to his mother, that is, spending more time with her. The aircraft never got completely airborne as it suddenly veered of course and slammed into another aircraft waiting to enter the runway. Among a twisted pile of melting metal and an infernal blaze, Gardel ended his mortal existence.

Almost instantly he became immortal, and his image, his legacy and his works eternally became the subject of a religious adoration and veneration for a large majority of people spanning many generations.

When his remains arrived in Buenos Aires almost a year later, the city came to a grinding halt. He laid in wake for a day at the Luna Park stadium, located where Avenida Corrientes begins its growth up into the heart of the city. Dignitaries, musicians, singers, artists, and plain people all shed tears of sorrow and mourning before his casket began its final journey along Corrientes Avenue to the cemetery of Chacarita where he was laid to rest. The slow pace of the funeral march was accentuated by a shower of flowers and tears being cast from every balcony and every door along the way.

So, if shouldn’t come as a surprise that every June 24th, as it has been happening since 1935, men and women in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico will listen to Gardel with a very special purpose, to continue paying respect to his memory, to continue admiring a singer that sings better every day.

Perhaps what it is most important to understand about Gardel, the man, the myth, the icon, is the identification that the common people of Buenos Aires have with his rise to fame from humble beginnings. With his unmatched fame and success, and his eternal smile, he has been shining a ray of hope over the tribulations of those who face life challenges from a less than ideal social standing. Gardel is the epitome of the socially challenged immigrant who made it out of the tenement and into the royal palaces of Europe all the while retaining the modesty, humility, loyalty and generosity of those who never forget the friends they make on their way up because they know that they’ll still be there when it’s time to come down. The eternal smile reminds us of that.




1. MILONGA PARA GARDEL, Osvaldo Pugliese with Abel Cordoba
2. MI NOCHE TRISTE, Carlos Gardel
3. BARRIO REO, Carlos Gardel
5. MANO A MANO, Ricardo “Chiqui” Pereyra
6. SUS OJOS SE CERRARON, Libertad Lamarque
7. TOMO Y OBLIGO, Carlos Gardel
8. SOLEDAD, Julio Sosa
9. SILENCIO, Osvaldo Pugliese with Jorge Maciel
10. MELODIA DE ARRABAL, Osvaldo Pugliese with Abel Cordoba
11. SIGA EL CORSO, Carlos Gardel
12. A MEDIA LUNA, Carlos Gardel
13. EL DIA QUE ME QUIERAS, Carlos Gardel
14. VOLVER, Hector Falcon
16. CAMINITO, Carlos Gardel


December 11 is National Tango Day in Buenos Aires in commemoration of the birthdays of Julio de Caro and Carlos Gardel. This special edition of EL CANTO CUENTA SU HISTORIA is dedicated to celebrate another anniversary of the birthday of Carlos Gardel.

Carlos Gardel representing the lyrics of tango was born December 11, 1890 and Julio De Caro representing the music of tango was born December 11,1899.

The story behind the date tells that one night of 1965 composer Ben Molar, standing on the corner of Corrientes and Esmeralda, on his way to celebrate Julio De Caro’s birthday came out with the great idea of an national day for tango.

Eleven years later, after fighting bureaucracy and getting no official response, Molar issued the threat of a great radial, television and media campaign announcing the organization of a monster festival in support of the “Day of the Tango”. The Luna Park was reserved for the 11 of December. The pressure worked. On November 29, 1977 Ben Molar received the news that the Decree Nº 5830/77 of the Municipality of the City of Buenos Aires had been signed. On December 19, 1977 by Decree Nº 3781/77 the Federal government established December 11 the “National Day of the Tango.”




1. EL TORITO, Francisco Canaro
2. ARRABALERA, Francisco Canaro
3. RECUERDO, Osvaldo Pugliese
4. EL MONITO, Julio de Caro
5. TIERRA QUERIDA, Julio de Caro
6. BOEDO, Osvaldo Pugliese


Roberto Firpo is considered to be the first serious musician of tango. Little by little, the unforgettable nights of the cabaret Armenonville saw the birth of what it would be a long list of musicians and styles.
Leopoldo Thompson, a bass player who had joined Firpo’s group, created a special effect striking with the arc and the extended hand the cords of the instrument. That particular sound was named the canyengue effect. The word, very controversial and used and abused too much, has a clear and specific meaning, deteriorated, lethargic. Its application to the rhythm of the tango seems to be a consequence of the turn of the century choreography. The ostentatious dancers showed their skills affecting indolence, laziness, and reluctance. At the beginning of the twentieth century there exist numerous prejudices, among which was the belief that the lower layers of the society produced lethargic and useless individuals. The tango may evolved as a much needed way of expression for a social class.

The situation of postwar period and the international prices of Argentine farming products allowed President Marcelo T. de Alvear to administer a prosperous country without any acute social conflicts. The new ruling class under the conservative regime, one step below the aristocracy, became a tango consumer and constituted the new customer of the night clubs. The cabarets of the nineteen twenties witnessed the arrival of conservatory musicians that were going to give to tango music a greater melodic and sonorous richness.
These are the times of the first book of Borges, Fervor of Buenos Aires, the astonishment of fascism in Italy, and the films of Charlie Chaplin and Rodolfo Valentino. In the nineteen twenties, a melody with a calmer rhythm, to be danced by walking, is the founder of a lineage that persists until the present.

These are the times when Boca Juniors becomes the first Argentine futbol team that tours Europe, when Luis Angel Firpo knocks Dempsey off the ring, when the voice of the tango is Carlos Gardel, and music is Julio De Caro. The Decarean sound becomes the foundation of all the typical orchestras that helped the tango become the music of Buenos Aires. The music that has captivated the entire world with his musical and poetic wealth, with its melodic variety and its unmistakable beat.




1. TANGO MIO, Alberto Paz
2. CUIDADO CON LOS 50, Carlos Di Sarli
3. TIERRA QUERIDA, Osvaldo Pugliese
4. PIMIENTA, Osvaldo Fresedo
5. LOS MAREADOS, Hugo Baralis


In the early times the tango was not stranger to the social commentary but its tone was festive and trivial.
Although it lacked a lyric for the argumentation and the message, the anecdotes of the city were recorded in the allegory of the title and the illustration and the song that adorned the title page of the musical score.
The tango kept its joy until the arrival of the professional lyricist who knew how to extract from the misery of its personages succulent benefits of popularity.
The arrival of the tango with a plot framed the end of the glorious age of the old guard and its most outstanding characteristics, Bohemia, interpretative improvisation, primacy of the dance, absence of a singer, survival of the reduced ensembles and amateurism.
Once upon a time happiness climbed over the pink mud walls of the suburb, and it permeated the Sunday clothes of the compadrito and the noisy chit chat of the lasses in the inner door.
The individual and collective failures of the Argentine man who had his greater poet in Enrique Santos Discepolo, contributed enormously to the saddening to the tango.
The old happy tango was left behind buried by that disclosed national sadness, hoping that the Argentines understand that the world is not a filth and that the sun rising every morning is the image of the always renewed joy to live, to live in that beloved land.


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