Posts Tagged ‘Planet Tango’


PLAYLIST – All lyrics written by Homero Manzi

1. A HOMERO, Anibal Troilo with Roberto Goyeneche
2. MANO BLANCA, Alberto Castillo
3. BARRIO DE TANGO, Anibal Troilo with Roberto Goyeneche
4. TAL VEZ SERA TU VOZ, Anibal Troilo with Alberto Marino
5. FUIMOS, Anibal Troilo with Alberto Marino
6. DESPUES, Anibal Troilo with Alberto Marino
8. ROPA BLANCA, Anibal Troilo with Alberto Marino
9. NINGUNA, Anibal Troilo with Roberto Rufino
10. FRUTA AMARGA, Anibal Troilo with Alberto Marino
11. SUR, Anibal Troilo with Edmundo Rivero
12. EL ULTIMO ORGANITO, Anibal Troilo with Edmundo Rivero


In the beginning the tango was music, happy music that people danced to. The environmental surroundings of the outskirts of the city began adding refrains that later became words. Words that mixed the language of the thieves and crooks, the lunfardo, with the romantic experiences of the pimps and their prostitutes.

Homero Manzi deserves the honor of being the first to convert the words of the tangos in poetry. Poetry describing nostalgic neighborhood postcards, like the low rise houses with ivy clinging to the bare walls and people seeing through he eyes of a child from the windows of the mythical religious boarding school in the neighborhood of Pompeya. In other words, his infancy’s lost paradise in a remote city where the days were definitely better. A watercolor of nights and suburban moons.

Manzi invented simple metaphors , strictly visual, using a common artifice of the epoch, the enumeration or description of elements as an integral part of painting a scenery.





Alberto and Valorie, are Argentine tango master teachers from New Orleans, LA, USA. They are known to the world of tango for their wonderful newsletter/blog El Firulete.

Aside from El Firulete, Alberto and Valorie produce other blogs, podcasts and materials. See blogroll on the left.

In 2007 they published the definitive reference on structure of the Argentine tango, based on solid field and archival research. They watched and interviewed the scores of the old-time milongueros and systematized the knowledge in this unique book.

This book is an excellent help for dancers and teachers to sort out what and how to learn about the Argentine tango.

The topics of the interview: the evolution of the modern social tango, the teaching and learning styles, cultural differences. All accompanied by great musical intermissions, selected by Alberto and Valorie.


1. RECUERDO, Osvaldo Pugliese
2. DERECHO VIEJO, Juan D’Arienzo
3. GUAPEANDO, Anibal Troilo
4. LA CUMPARSITA, Alfredo De Angelis
5. BAILARIN COMPADRITO, Alfredo De Angelis with Oscar Larroca
6. ASI SE BAILA EL TANGO, Ricardo Tantri with Alberto Castillo
7. EL ONCE, Carlos Di Sarli
8. LA MARIPOSA, Osvaldo Pugliese
9. JOAQUINA, Juan D’Arienzo
10. MANANA ZARPA UN BARCO, Carlos Di Sarli with Roberto Rufino


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1. TRASNOCHE, Sexteto Tango
2. SI TE VIERA GARAY, Eladia Blasquez
4. LA CLAVADA, Gran Quinteto Real
5. MI NOCHE TRISTE, Sexteto Tango with Raul Lavie
6. GUAPO Y VARON, Edmundo Rivero


Although the dance known as the tango originated in Argentina, the word didn’t. In 1786, a full century before the emergence of the tango dance in Argentina, the word was being equated with dancing the bamboula in New Orleans. This is the first time the word ‘tango’ appeared in print. Reacting to a complain from Bishop Cyrillo about Africans dancing the bamboula on Sabath, Governor Miro ordered that “los tangos o bailes de negros (the tango, that is, the black’s dance) be delayed until after vespers.

In 1803 the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy used tango as a variant of tangano , the stone that is used in the game of the same name.

In 1835, Esteban Pichardo, in his dictionary of Cuban voices defined tango as a meeting of blacks born in Africa to dance to the sound of drums.

In Buenos Aires they called tango to the houses where the black performed their dances.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the town hall of Montevideo certified the presence of candombes to which it called indistinctly tambos or tangos, prohibiting them for the sake of public morality, and severely, punishing its practitioners.

By 1899 the dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy added a second definition, celebration and dance of blacks or town folks in America.

The use of the word tango also has origins in some African towns. The slave driver called tango the rendezvous points of slaves in Africa and America.

The Argentine society remained relatively unchanged until 1860 as far as great transformations of the population. It was averse to changes and it had inherited from Spain its conservative nature. The traditional idea was that the nobles couldn’t engage in manual labor, and besides leisure, they ought to dedicate themselves to religious or military activities.

When the children of these native Spaniards took over the governmental functions after the revolution of 1810, they could not change the deep ideology of the dominant class and they only could produce to the social structure lawyers, doctors, clergymen or businessmen.

This brought upon the idea of seeking the arrival of European contingents who could sustain the Argentine development.

The constitutional text of 1853 indicated, “the federal government would foment European immigration and may not restrict, limit nor burden with taxes the entrance in the Argentine territory of foreigners who come to work the land, improve the industries and introduce the sciences and the arts.”

That ingenuous vision of immigration faced reality real soon. The idyllic Europeans that incarnated the values of the civilization did not choose the path of immigration. Those who risked a trip of such magnitude to look for a better destiny were those because of their enormous misery left extremely poor places like Galicia in Spain, Naples, Genoa and the island of Sicily in Italy.

Instead of cult Florentines able to enjoy the works of the Dante, or Spaniards readers of Don Quijote, the souls who arrived in Buenos Aires were generally illiterates, without profession nor trade, who had not had any contact with the millenarian cultures of their countries.

They were men for whom the museums were places prohibited like they were for the gauchos of the Pampas, men who faced a feudal social structure where the land was already distributed among the hands of a few landowners.

The reaction of the oligarchy to the potential political effect of these popular masses was to persecute them. Many displeased immigrants returned to their countries. Others, in spite of being the targets of ridicule and tirades stayed. They did not have another option. They became Argentines and built the country.

They also gave the tango their enormous contribution. They made it nostalgic and melancholic, as the uprooting always is.

Thus, as the Spaniards brought to Argentina their taste for the theater, the Italians contributed their musical passion, their good ear and theirs love for singing.



1. EL CHOCLO, Sexteto Tango
2. EL PORTEÑITO, Los Tubatango
3. EL ESQUINAZO, Los muchachos de antes/Sexteto Mayor
4. EL ENTRERRIANO, Osvaldo Pugliese
5. DON JUAN, Anibal Troilo
6. RODRIGUEZ PEÑA, Donato Raciatti


More than one hundred years have passed since the suburbs of Buenos Aires rocked the cradle of the music that would become synonymous of a nostalgic and sentimental Argentina. With her back bathed by the river with the color of a lion and her chest breathing the untamed air of the Pampas, Buenos Aires , the Silver Queen gave birth to an illegitimate son to whom at first she rejected to maintain her social standing.

Fruit of a forbidden love, of the passion of the man of the outskirts with a city that didn’t belong to him, the tango was rocked in its cradle by malevos and cotorras, men of doubtful morality and women of the underworld.

But that son grew up, matured, and not only forgave its mother city but loved her, idolized her and honored her making her famous around the world, commanding respect and admiration from old and young, rich and poor.

Who educated and nursed that rejected hybrid offspring? Who taught him about life’s chances and misfortunes and the grief and discontent that accompanies pain?

They were the men who saw in the tango their own origins. That in spite of its insolent lyrics and verses and its questionable and blurred origin, went about molding its personality. The men who taught it about eighth and sixty-fourth notes. The men who gave it the 2×4 rhythm that resounded in cabarets and ballrooms of the beginning of the 20th century in Buenos Aires and eventually in the whole world.

They were the priests, the apostles, the masters of the Old Guard.




1. CANZONETA, Jorge Falcon
2. ESTRELLA, Sexteto Tango with Raul Funes
3. LA PAYANCA, Los muchachos de antes
4. EL ENTRERRIANO, Anibal Troilo
5. RACING CLUB, Alfredo Gobbi
6. LA MOROCHA, Blanca Mooney


This is how celebrated poet Carlos de la Pua observed the drama of the immigration at the beginning of the twentieth century,
They came from Italy, they were just twenty years old, carrying their entire fortune in their luggage.
And without respite, between disappointments, they grew old without any advantage.
Their lips never open with reproach. Always consequent, always toiling, they spent the days, they spent the nights, the old man at the forge, the old woman washing.
They had children The sons were malicious. Their daughters, conceited.
The boys are drunk, spurts, assassins. And the women are streetwalkers and dwellers of the night. And poor old parents kept working. They never showed weakness for the daily chores.
But sometimes, when she’s alone, hand washing the laundry, the tears burn her eyes.

It’s not easy to explain to which extent the Creoles Italianated themselves or the Italians went native. In 1895 49% of the population were of Italian origin. That number diminished to 40% by1914.

The Italian contribution to the tango is of first magnitude. To execute tangos, to contribute to its
development, and to invent it, was a way to make a living. But they also demonstrated a desire to assimilate into the country, its customs, its rites. However, in spite of the desire to integrate as soon as possible to the new reality, their nostalgia was very strong.

And often in the nights of the tenements, and in spite of being ridiculed by the compadritos on the patio, the tano returned to his mandolin, to his accordion and intoned songs of the old one country to which he could only go back in his dreams.

The old guard of the tango was heavily influenced by Italians and sons of Italians.
Enrique Santos Discepolo was the son of a Neapolitan. Vicente Greco, Ernesto Ponzio, Augusto Berto, Roberto Firpo, Juan Maglio Pacho, Samuel Castriota, Francisco Lomuto, Francisco Canaro, Sebastian Piana and the brothers Francisco and Julio De Caro were all children of Italians.




1. ESTAMPA DEL 900, Romeo Gavioli
2. MALA JUNTA, Osvaldo Pugliese
3. MILONGA DEL 900, Emilio Ramil
4. ZAPATITOS DE RASO, Oscar Larroca
5. EL ESQUINAZO, Juan Cambareri
6. ALMA EN PENA, Anselmo Aieta
7. COMO ABRAZAO A UN RENCOR, Horacio Salgan with Angel Diaz


The origins of the tango music and dance are uncertain. There are no documents or witnesses to help reconstruct its true birth. However there is enough historical material that allows us to imagine how must have been the city of Buenos Aires sixty years after the Declaration of Independence.

A fierce fight between the provinces and the port city had spilled Argentine blood on the battlefields. In 1873, the National Army, fresh from exterminating the insurgency in the provinces, introduced the Remington rifle to its arsenal, and used it efficiently to exterminate the indian population that had been limiting the expansion of the Buenos Aires landowners.

In spite of great opposition, Buenos Aires was declared the capital city of Argentina. Economically dependent from Great Britain for its exports of agriculatural products, politically ruled by an elite culturally dominated by France, and with the majority of its labor force resulting from immigration, the Buenos Aires society set the frame were the tango was going to be inserted.


This is the first broadcast of the series EL TANGO CUENTA SU HISTORIA, half hour segments dedicated to highlight the history of the tango through its music. You don’t need to understand Spanish to enjoy it, but those who are fluent in the language of the tango will find the program entertaining and educational.



1. EL CHOCLO, Sexteto Mayor with Alba Solis
2. LA CANCION DE BUENOS AIRES, Osvaldo Pugliese with Abel Cordoba
3. PATOTERO SENTIMENTAL, Carlos Di Sarli with Mario Pomar
4. MALEVAJE, Carlos Gardel
5. JUAN PORTEñO, Edmundo Rivero
6. FUEYE, Anibal Troilo
7. CAMBALACHE, Julio Sosa


For over a century, the tango has been the reflection of the country who gave it its origin. The music of tango was the result of a mixture of Creole and imported rhythms. The interracial blending of Italian, Spaniards, Jews and Creoles generated a type of Argentine man whose musical mirror is the tango. That new Argentino inherited two major attributes from the millions of immigrants that arrived to Buenos Aires in less than one hundred years: resentment and sadness. Thus, Discepolo’s description of the tango as a sad thought that people dance.

To deny the citizenship of the tango is to deny to existence of Buenos Aires. Being a hybrid product of the outskirts of the fledging city, Buenos Aires itself was the product of massive foreign population since the 16th century.