Pedro Lauga

Real name: Lauga, Pedro José
Singer and lyricist
(27 May 1906 - 28 January 1979)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Néstor Pinsón

e was a singer with a small voice but with a refined musicality and an intimate phrasing. With a pleasant personality and good taste, he is considered one of the vocalists that best matched the style of Julio De Caro.

He was born in the neighborhood of Almagro, near here, a few meters from the boundaries of the neighborhood of Balvanera, on Virrey Liniers Street. His parents were French, from a town near the Pyrénées. He was a child when his family moved to Villa Crespo. There he began grade school.

He inherited from his Dad two qualities: the liking for singing and the responsibility for getting a working career. He started singing in family and began to work, at a young age until his retirement, in a State office that, at that time, meant financial security and stability. But the crisis of the 30s came and he became jobless. He was already married and had a child.

Then it was the time. Even though the pay was small, unexpectedly, he had the chance to get some bucks: by singing as a professional.

He began in the outfit of the pianist Pedro Vergez, former member of Juan Bautista Guido’s aggregation. The latter was composer of the tangos: “Arlequín”, “El embretao”, “Humillación” and “Engrupida”, among others. They appeared at several locals and at the Real cinema theater. At the latter place Julio De Caro heard him and later persuaded him to join his orchestra.

During his long career with De Caro we can highlight his appearances at the Teatro San Martín, in the carnival balls of 1930; on the tango bandstand at the Cine Real (there were two, one for jazz and another for classical music); in the carnival balls of 1931, at the Teatro Cervantes. They also appeared on several radio stations such as Excelsior and París and on the recently opened Radio El Mundo (1935). They toured the country, Chile and Uruguay. In the late 1936 they performed on the stage of the Teatro Ópera as part of a notable group of stars of that time.

In 1932 he returned to work as a State employee, —an official in the private secretary of the Presidency of the Nation, when Agustín P. Justo was president—. This time, definitively, until his retirement.

In an interview made by the Radiolandia magazine, Lauga himself tells us: «What encourages me most to continue, because I don’t have much time ahead, is having achieved an intimate identification with the personal way of Julio De Caro. It’s difficult to be near his level but it’s a pleasure to work with him. The most interesting thing I have to tell you is that I come from a family of singers and musicians. My grandmother used to sing in the cathedral of the Pyrénées. My father was also a singer, in Paris. One brother was vocalist in orchestras and in the rest of my family there are several musicians, many of them very good and well-known. During these four or five years I’ve been with De Caro I’ve succeeded in getting involved with his trend. And even more. I had many proposals to appear as soloist on different radio stations. I have not accepted, at first because I don’t want to be a boom and secondly because I don’t want to split with these great boys that are my buddies.»

His career alongside the leader lasted seven years, but he was allowed to appear on his own and to cut recordings with other groups.

As for movies, the last premiere of 1937 was Murió el sargento Laprida directed by Tito Davison. In it the De Caro’s orchestra appeared with Pedro Lauga on vocals. He sings “Fuego” written by Julio De Caro and Carlos de la Púa. But curiously when it was committed to record on March 10, 1938 the vocalist was Luis Díaz because Lauga was already retired.

With De Caro he committed to disc 18 numbers. The first ones in 1929 for the Brunswick label were the tangos “Recoveco”, by Luis D'Andrea with words by S. Bozzano and “Solterona [b]”, by J. Barreiro and L.A. Zeballos. The last ones of these series were for the Odeon label on December 13, 1936: “Noche estrellada”, by Julio Rosenberg, “Aquel amor” and “Viña del Mar”, both by Julio De Caro and Mario Gomila. With his brother Juan, also refrain singer, he recorded in French in duo “Dónde estás corazón”.

He also appeared and recorded with other orchestras: with Luis Petrucelli, between July 1930 and January of the following year (11 tracks); in 1930, with Pedro Maffia, only one number: “Páginas muertas”. In 1931 he made several appearances with the orchestra led by Armando Baliotti. And in November 1935 he recorded a disc with the Orquesta Victor Popular: “Illimani” written by Néstor Portacarrero (a tango dedicated to Bolivia) and a cueca, “La pollita”, by Francisco Pracánico.

The year 1942 was bad for Pedro because he had a serious accident on a highway —coming back from Mar del Plata— and he hurt his hip and made him lame. He spent two years in his recovery. When he died he was living in the neighborhood of Agronomía.