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Poetas

Singer
(12 August 1924 - 14 September 2010)
True name: Orlando Vidal

More Vidal:
fter his debut with the Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra and for more than fifty years, the singer Jorge Vidal holds an important place in the opinion of those that have respect for the most outstanding names of the Buenos Aires song.

With his parents, Estanislao Vidal and Mrs.Damiana Lucero, he spent his childhood in the neighborhood of Caballito. He began his elementary studies at the school located on Canalejas and Pujol Streets, and he also studied singing and guitar at the Conservatorio Marini.

While a boy, he started to work at a company of car sales. By that time, he was also noted as a good sportsman. His devotion for soccer made him play in the fifth division of the San Lorenzo Club (1942).

He attended high school studies at the Colegio Rivadavia and he later was admitted at the Military School in Río Santiago, but in 1947 he was expelled when an aborted coup d´état against the government of president Juan Perón took place.

His first approach to tango happened in 1945 when, one night having fled from the Navy school, he appeared at a contest for new singers at the Smart Theater and won the first prize. That encouraged his inclination to be a tango singer and, in 1946, he teamed up a duo with Luis Peralta.

He made his debut at the La Paz tearoom, placed facing the barrancas de Belgrano, now bearing his artistic name: Jorge Vidal. The opening night was marked by two strange events: a widely acclaimed success before a large audience, when Vidal was completely unknown, at a place scarcely frequented by public; and the other event, precisely on that night, was the macabre assassination of the owner of the tearoom by a stranger who, totally inebriated, struck him a fatal stab.

After some time, recovered from such strange situation, he resumed his shows at the Café Argentino, in the neighborhood of Chacarita, accompanied by the Jaime Vila´s guitar quartet.

His launching towards popularity happened when the bandoneonists Osvaldo Ruggiero and Jorge Caldara, both musicians in the orchestra led by Osvaldo Pugliese, heard him and as they had a good impression they recommended him to the maestro. One evening don Osvaldo accepted to hear him and suggested his immediate inclusion into the orchestra, with no previous audition. The other singer with Pugliese was Alberto Morán, but they never recorded a duet.

His debut with the orchestra was in 1949 at the Racing Club of Avellaneda. He had the possibility to record with Pugliese and he recorded eight numbers for the Odeon label.

In the early 1951 he split with Pugliese and continued his career as soloist, accompanied by the guitars of the Remersaro brothers, Rafael Moreno and Jaime Vila, beginning his early shows at the traditional tearoom La Armonía on Corrientes Street. Between 1951 and 1955 he recorded six numbers with the Argentino Galván orchestra.

After June 1951 he began a long period of recordings for the labels Pampa, Odeon, American Records (USA) and Ricky (USA). From June 1972 until 1974 he recorded for the Magenta label. Some time later he returned to record for the labels Almalí and Lucero.

It is worthwhile to remember his performances as first star at the cabarets "Maipú Pigall" and "Casanova", where he was featured in the main show alternating with Ángel Vargas, at that time also a soloist. At those venues it was possible to hear playing the Héctor Varela and the Alfredo Gobbi orchestras and the San Francisco Jazz band.

He made successful appearances on Radio Splendid and Radio Belgrano and also on television. He also appeared in the movies, playing the leading role on the film "El tango en París" (1956), together with Olinda Bozán, Enrique Serrano and other important artists. He was included in the theater play "Yo soy Juan Tango" (1957) and Francisco Canaro called him for his last musical comedy: "Tangolandia", other members of the cast were Tito Lusiardo, María Ester Gamas, Alba Solís, Beba Bidart and Juan Carlos Copes.

He traveled to the United States in 1958 and sang at the very famous "Ed Sullivan Show". He came back in 1965, but due to the lack of chances for tango artists, he decided to return to the United States, where he stayed until 1969. There he appeared at the most important stages: Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera House, Sheraton Hotel and the Waldorf Astoria of New York. On the recordings made between 1966 and 1967, he was accompanied by American musicians and on some occasions by the Enrique Méndez orchestra. As further information, he recorded as well in Spain "El día que me quieras", accompanied by the Waldo de los Ríos orchestra (1970), and this rendition was released two years later by the Magenta label in Argentina.

In 1986 he founded the Asociación Argentina de Cantantes (Argentine Association of Singers), in which he holds now the chair of president.

As author and composer, we can mention his numbers: "Cuando yo me vaya", "Palpitando el escolaso" and "Gripe liviana", among others.

Jorge Vidal is a singer of pure Gardelian style, not only due to his phrasing, but also due to his look, which he showcased at the Palermo race track, dressed like the Zorzal used to.