True name: Carlos Ernesto Di Loreto
(4 November 1915 - 19 February 1999)
ecause of his strong figure in which is blended the most authentic personality of a tango singer. Because of that deep and high voice, respectful of the natural turn of the Buenos Aires song. Because of the thrush spirit that pushes him to spread his singing everywhere. Because of all those things, Carlos was and will be one of our most expressive singers.
He studied singing with maestro Ricardo Domínguez, former tenor at the Teatro Colón and also with maestro Eduardo Bonessi, who, as we all know, had been the teacher of the great Zorzal Criollo (Gardel).
He made his debut on Radio París, in 1933, bearing the pseudonym Carlos Dillon, sharing the limelight with Ignacio Corsini and Tita Galatro, among others. Three months later he switched to LR9 Radio Fénix.
On an occasion, a friend butcher made a critical remark on his pseudonym: why should a national singer like to bear an English name? Since then, he adopted his definitive artistic name, Carlos Acuña, family name that belonged to his faultfinding friend.
Due to his success, in 1939 he appeared on five of the principal radio stations of Buenos Aires, always accompanied by the guitarists Canataro and Pedretti.
Besides his gigs as a soloist, Acuña performed in the orchestras led by Tito Ribero, Mario Rocha and Jerónimo Bongioni until 1940 when he was hired by Ernesto de la Cruz to join his sextet.
In June 1941, he was heard by Carlos Di Sarli, who invited him for an audition in order to join his orchestra. The singer was accepted and made his debut alongside the other vocalist, Roberto Rufino. They appeared on Radio El Mundo, made tours throughout the interior of the country and turned out one of the main attractions at the "Marabú" cabaret.
When he split with Di Sarli, in the late 1942, he joined again the Ernesto de la Cruz sextet, and debuted on Radio El Mundo alongside the female singer Alba Sabino. By the end of that year he was requested by Rodolfo Biagi, and made his debut on Radio Splendid, with the singer Alberto Amor. As they turned out a boom the broadcasting itself organized for them a tour throughout the country. They made as well a successful tour of Chile. His career with Biagi ended in 1944, and he committed to record twelve pieces.
He returned to his work as soloist with the guitarists Alfredo and Antonio Parisi, Orlando and Calabró. The poet Celedonio Flores used to introduce his show. For three years they appeared at clubs, tearooms and dance halls.
On July 28, 1947, at age 50, his close friend Celedonio Flores died. He was then replaced by the speaker Ricardo Barcelona.
He was hired to perform in Uruguay, where he was welcome as an idol. Back in Buenos Aires, he signed a contract with Radio Argentina for the program "Corrientes y Esmeralda". He also appeared in Mar del Plata and was featured at the night club of the Casino Provincial. In 1952 he recorded two numbers with the Nicolás D'Allessandro Orchestra.
In 1955, the conductor and arranger Martín Darré introduced him to Mariano Mores, who heard him and hired him to sing at the Teatro Nacional, alongside Tita Merello, Tito Lusiardo and Beba Bidart. Soon thereafter they made a tour throughout the most important cities of the nation, with the music show "Buenos Aires canta", in which the other great singer was Jorge Sobral. They successfully appeared in Chile and Uruguay as well.
In 1960, he was member of a musical embassy to Mexico, with Mariano Mores and the vocalists Susy Leiva and Sergio Cansino. When he was there, Acuña was requested by the Peerless record company to release a long-playing record comprising 12 Carlos Gardel's tunes. For those recordings he was accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Martín Darré.
In 1961, he traveled to Italy to appear at the Festival of the Argentine Song, alongside Argentino Ledesma, Chola Luna, Antonio Maida and the pianist Miguel Nijensohn. After a short stay in Buenos Aires, he traveled to Berlin and later to Spain, where his life changed, and so he settled there due to his big success.
He began a deep friendship with General Juan Perón, who was then exiled in Madrid, and he became his personal proxy. On such character, he made several trips to Argentina.
Between 1962 and 1978 he recorded 2 numbers for the Iberofón label and 104 for the Zafiro label. Finally, in 1983 and 1984 he recorded a series of 48 pieces, the first 12 with the guitars led by Adolfo Carné and the rest with the guitars led by Juan José Domínguez, among which these stand out: "Virgencita de Pompeya", "Un boliche" and "Isla de Flores".
In 1978, Carlos came back to Argentina and started to sing in television programs, on radio and to appear at night venues.
In 1990 he returned to Spain, and appeared again at shows and on television.
Even though his work as author and composer is not large, it has quality and originality. "Un boliche", his most well-known tango, with lyrics by Tito Cabano; "Al poeta del suburbio", dedicated to Celedonio Flores, with Juan Paradiso; "Che Madrid" and "Ramona Barcelona", with Cátulo Castillo; "Viví el momento" and "Para ti Isabel", with Héctor Polito and Alberto Lago; "Amor y milonga", with José Rizzo; "Dios lo quiso", with Ricardo Martínez and Alberto Lago; "El nombre de usted es Ninón", with Oneca; and "Tiempo del Abasto", with Ricardo Martínez and Ángel Di Rosa, and a few more.
He spent the last years of his life in Buenos Aires, but his voice and his health had already declined.
To conclude this brief sketch of his career, this poem dedicated to him by Roberto Maciel seems quite suitable:
Canta debute y sin cuento
He died in Buenos Aires, after a long illness, but the memory of his honesty and talent shall be forever recognized by the tango lovers.