My remembrance of a special friend: El Alemancito
remember that each time we thought of an important event to motivate our neighborhood, we used to call Reynaldo Martín so that he would spice up the meeting with his tangos. Furthermore, we knew about his popularity among the old pals fond of tango. He would mean a certainty to convene a good number of people regardless of the politicians invited to make a speech. And he never failed us, he never said no.
Always pleasant, with a constant smile and his social skills, I met him for the first time back in the eighties in some of the neighborhood clubs he used to frequent. On one occasion I told him I had nearly all his recordings, beginning with his first LP for Odeon with an outstanding rendition of “Por la vuelta”. We also talked about his work in 14 con el Tango, that well-remembered production by Ben Molar in which he appeared with three numbers.
In the 80s tango was tossed aside and the singers that attracted people’s attention were very few. El Alemancito was one of them. By that time I used to go to Vos Tango, a mythical tango venue in Villa Lugano, where he appeared alongside other great glories of the past like Alberto Morán, Alberto Marino, Oscar Ferrari and Alfredo Belusi.
He was also a good composer who wrote around 20 pieces and, on some occasions, was also lyricist. Those he wrote in collaboration with the poet Roberto Díaz (b) come to my mind. With the latter he formed a very interesting creative team that released numbers like: “A mi país”, “Buenos Aires, siglo mío”, “Cartón y madrugada”, “Como el teatro”, “Con su melancolía”, “Por los viejos”, “Quién te inventó Buenos Aires”, “Siempre cantor”, “Un fueye sin tristeza” (tangos); “Al maestro de canto”, “Memoria de un patio”, “Tu amor en la casa” (waltzes); “Se llamaba Juan”, “Milonga de amor perdido”, “Nostalgia mía” and “Milonga para un otoño” (milongas). With Daniel Lomuto he co-wrote “Siempre el tango”, a number that was played as curtain tune for our radio program with the same name which was emceed by Néstor Pinsón.
Throughout his career he recorded many discs: in 1967, accompanied by a quartet led by Osvaldo Avena, he recorded a single disc for Discos Metrópolis that included “Un lobo más” and “Esta ciudad”; Tangos por el Alemancito (1971) with the accompaniment of José Márquez, Un mundo nuevo (1974) with the Luis Stazo orchestra, De tangos somos (1981) with the Osvaldo Potenza orchestra, Tangos a mi modo (1984) with the Osvaldo Berlingieri orchestra, Soy tango two volumes (1988), the first one with the Omar Valente orchestra and the guitar group led by Carlos Peralta, the second with the Sextet fronted by Pascual Mamone and the guitarists Peralta and Ernesto Villavicencio, Siempre cantor (1994) accompanied by the orchestras of Berlingieri, Stazo and Daniel Lomuto, Reynaldo Martín (1997) with Alberto Di Paulo and Tangos de Nuevos Aires (2000) with Oscar de Elía.
I want to conclude this short memoir with an image I have engraved in my mind since the early nineties. It was when El Alemancito, arriving at an event in the neighborhood of Saavedra —on a cold evening that seemed that soon was going to rain— and showing in his face amazement for the large number reunited, told me: «Buddy, have all these guys come to hear me? Sorry, but I have a sore throat and I don’t want to let them down». And so I answered: «They’ve come because of you and the General. Today is the 17th and we are in October». Then he laughed and told me: «The General sings much better than I, I’ll do what I can».
So was Reynaldo, generous and humble, a great partner and outstanding singer.