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by Héctor Marcó

Poet, singer, actor and musician
(December 13, 1906 - September 30, 1987)
True Name: Héctor Domingo Marcolongo

More Marcó:

was born at a house on Boedo Street, on December 13, 1906. Since an early age I liked to sing and write and I joined the usual school choirs at the patriotic celebrations. At the parties on graduation days I danced pericón, I had ability for those things. And at the carnival seasons I went to a gaucho circle, this kind of associations used to be very popular in the neighborhoods at that time.

That was my first contact with music. I liked it so much that an uncle of mine gave me a guitar. I began to get acquainted with my first tangos. When my family moved to a locality of the interior of the province for a couple of years, I learnt everything I know of singing. Back in town I started to write for different beats: zambas, estilos, all that. I was around twenty when the then famous Ruiz-Acuña duo (René Ruiz and Alberto Hilarión Acuña) recorded two numbers of mine for a 78 r.p.m. disc, they were the waltz "Dolor" and the tonada "Fiel riojanita".

After serving in the Army I thought that I could earn some money singing and I was really lucky. A friend got me a recommendation to see Pablo Osvaldo Valle, who was the artistic director of L.O.Y. Radio Nacional, which later became Radio Belgrano. I was offered 40 pesos a month, a good money. Charlo was paid sixty. I kept on writing and the Ruíz-Torres duo recorded my "Jue pucha qué mala suerte". I was also crooner at a jazz orchestra and I premiered my foxtrot "La hija del pescador", which later Agustín Magaldi recorded (in 1931).

I was as well actor on radio soap operas, at some cycles well remembered much later, like "Chispazos de tradición" and Alberto Vaccarezza's "Sainetes porteños". I worked in the theater, also with Vaccarezza, at the Teatro Nacional de comedia and at the Teatro Sarmiento, with the Camila Quiroga's theater company.

But what I liked most was singing and I was not bad at that. By 1930 Domingo Scarpino reunited a group of people to make a tour of Europe, which finally did not come true due to the disproportionate pretensions of the impresario. Then one of those days when I was walking in the street with a pal musician, the latter told me that my artistic name -my true name- was too long: «If Devincenzi shortened it to Devin, why don't you use Marcó.» I liked it and I adopted it.

Working in "Sainetes porteños" on radio I came to know Gardel, because at the following program he sang I had the chance to hand him a tango, and asked him to record it. He was about to travel to France and he told me that he was not willing to learn anything else, «But bring it to me that I'll read it. At Maschio's stud I already heard that you're a good author and a good singer». It's worthwhile saying that I liked horses very much, the turf. But I didn't take it to him, it was a tango quite suitable for him, it was titled "Conscripción" but I forgot about it because except Gardel I was not interested in anyone else to sing it. Time later, I knew that Alberto Marino rehearsed it, but nothing else.

I became a very close friend of Magaldi's, in fact, I liked Magaldi very much. He recorded my waltz "Alma mía", on July 15, 1936. Also it is the thing about "Yo tengo una novia", I had written the lyrics, later his guitarists: Diego Centeno and Rosendo Pesoa made the music. But, Magaldi had signed an exclusive contract with a movie company and the theme was to be included at a movie and had not to be sung by anyone else. So, we and the guitarists went to every radio station to ask them not to broadcast it, because it had become a boom. Finally he interpreted it at the film "Monte criollo", premiered on 5/22/1935, with Azucena Maizani, Agustín Magaldi, Pedro Noda, Francisco Petrone, Nedda Francy and others, under the direction of Arturo Mom. But paradoxically that scene was cut for the screening in our country. They say that some copies for abroad were left. But the reality is that the disc was not recorded.

I even had my own orchestra, in fact, only an intent. We played at the riverside resort "El Ancla", in Vicente López (a city adjoining Buenos Aires). From there we went to radio El Mundo, whose artistic director, Luis Gianneo, because he loved me very much he had called me. In my orchestra I had Santos Lípesker and Julio Ahumada on bandoneons and Juan José Paz on piano. It was a decent orchestra, but at the second rehearsal two musicians were absent so I decided to quit. I knew the experience of several friend leaders that even wept due to the impossibility of reuniting their musicians. Others may have the facility to do it, not me.

I composed the music for the film "El camino de las llamas" (4/8/1942), directed by Mario Soffici. There I met Edmundo Rivero, who was working as guitarist.

And I met Carlos Di Sarli, Cayetano Puglisi introduced him to me. He praised "Alma mía" and he already knew "Callejón" and "Que nunca me falte". He asked me if I was willing to collaborate with him. We went to a barroom on Tucumán and Maipú and he began to hum a tango to me. Soon I told him its name: «It's going to be called "Corazón".»

Roberto Rufíno recorded it on December 11, 1939 and, fifteen years later, Mario Pomar, on February 2, 1955. After the first recording, I was in the studio, Di Sarli left the piano and told me: "Congratulations. If you like we can be collaborators from now on". Since then there followed "Alma mía" that I had written with Diego Centeno, recorded by Rufino on 2/15/1940 and "En un beso la vida", with music by Di Sarli, recorded with Rufino on 9/23/1940.

Later followed the waltz "Rosamel", the tango "Bien frappé", "Nido gaucho", "Cuando el amor muere" (with music by Alfredo Malerba), "Acuerdate de mí" (with music by Alfredo Cucci), "Esta noche de luna" (with music by José García and Graciano Gómez), "Tú, el cielo y tú" (with music by Mario Canaro), "Tu íntimo secreto" (with music by Graciano Gómez), "Tus labios me dirán" (with music by Emilio Brameri), and again with the maestro Di Sarli "Así era mi novia", "Juan Porteño", "Porteño y bailarín", "Por qué le llaman amor", "La capilla blanca", "Con alma y vida", "Tangueando te quiero" and "Cuatro vidas". As author and composer he made: "Whisky", "A mi padre", "Cómo querés que te quiera", "Mis consejos", "Tardecitas estuderas" (milonga), among others.

Because of an ailment in the vocal cords he gave up singing too young. He died on September 30, 1987.

Director's note:

AS we can see Marcó has been Carlos Di Sarli's emblematic lyricist. We have to say that Edmundo Rivero included in his repertoire several titles by Marcó: "Mis consejos", "Tirate un lance", "Sangre de pato" and also "Whisky" and "Cómo querés que te quiera" and "Tardecitas estuderas", a milonga related with his liking for turf. He even had his own stud called "Nido Gaucho", which his brother Ricardo took care of in San Isidro. The lyric of the milonga tells us: "Ricardo prepará el mate / y alguna copita fuerte/ que pa'relojear la suerte / voy a caer al stud."

Ángel Vargas, Charlo, Ricardo Tanturi, Enrique Rodríguez, Miguel Caló, Pedro Laurenz and many others also recorded his numbers.
He was a simple poet but very responsive to human behavior, a good painter of people's habits, with direct verses, with detailed descriptions of characters and everyday situations. The lyric of "Mis consejos", on one side and "Whisky" on the other, are an example of his gaze towards the inner self of the Buenos Aires inhabitant.