Héctor Farrel

Real name: Cardinale, Héctor Domingo
Nicknames: Héctor Farrel/Héctor Morel
(4 August 1908 - n/d)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Néstor Pinsón

is story does not differ with many other ones experienced by boys that likewise, at a very young age, tried to sing. Tango, by that time with lyrics, was a novelty that strongly ran along the streets of the Buenos Aires neighborhoods. Because of that, when he was still attending grade school he began to be requested to appear in family parties or reunions at clubs and salons of the neighborhood of Boedo.

He was a correct singer, with good intonation, a sober phrasing, and all the customary features of the singers of that time. Listening to him again is a good exercise to verify that all those vocalists used to sing well, even though, like his case is, had neither stood out nor had become stars.

At age twenty, he made his professional debut at the Cóndor cinema theater on the number 131 of the today Pedro Goyena Avenue. He decided to use the name Héctor Morel as sobriquet. His tenure at that stage was short because a spectator linked to the radio media introduced him to the art director of Radio Prieto, the Spaniard Andrés González Pulido, the well-known creator of that boom called Chispazos de tradición. They agreed and he made his debut on the broadcasting. He was accompanied by a guitar trio and his name on the billboard stayed for six months. Later he switched to Radio Buenos Aires and thereafter to Radio Nacional.

On one occasion, back in 1931, he met the guitarist Rafael Iriarte, (Ratita). The latter told him that Carlos Vicente Geroni Flores was planning a tour of Europe and was looking for a singer. The idea caught him. Among others, the travelers were the bandoneonists Héctor Presas (Cachito) and Luis Moresco (author of the variations for bandoneon of “La cumparsita”). As well another singer was to travel, Alfredo Marino, the author of “El ciruja”.

His dream —according to his confessions— was to visit many cities of other countries. And it was so. They disembarked in Spain to make their debut in Tenerife. There were a few appearances and soon problems arose due to the little acclaim they achieved. Therefore, the group split up but the singers remained together on their own.

Since then and, according to his own words, their schedule was long, successful and they got a very good pay. They even were summoned to record for the Spanish Victor company which was there also known as La Voz del Amo (His Master’s Voice). They cut two zambas accompanied by guitars: “El farol de los gauchos” and “Por el camino”.

Later Alfredo Marino returned to our country and Héctor went on with this venture all alone. Therefore in one of the first Spanish sound movies, Mercedes, he was starred singing the title song, a waltz, accompanied by the orchestra led by Jaime Planas. The gate was open and he was to continue but the news of the death of his elder brother made him come back to Buenos Aires for good after a four-year stay.

He had to start all over from scratch. But he was lucky because walking around the tango milieu he reached Pedro Laurenz who was putting together an orchestra. After an audition he accepted him on one condition: he had to bear another sobriquet. The leader himself invented it: «from now on you’ll be Farrel» and then he became his first vocalist. The appearances were varied: Radio Stentor, that aired from Florida 8, the Café Los 36 Billares, on Corrientes 965, different clubs of the Capital and he recorded on three occasions.

On July 14, 1937 they cut the ranchera composed by Laurenz “Enamorado” and “Milonga de mis amores” and on September 24, “Abandono”.

Later he commented in an interview how important was for his career having sung in the Laurenz Orchestra. The tango world paid attention to him and Radio El Mundo hired him as soloist singer. He was backed by one of the guitar trios of the radio station lined up with Spina, Casao and Edmundo Porteño Zaldivar (the composer of the famous “El humahuaqueño”).

After a season, again he had a chance encounter, this time with the inspired melodist, Joaquín Mora who suggested him to form a trio like Irusta-Fugazot-Demare. The offer was good and furthermore they would include Antonio Rodríguez Lesende. The trio was called Morel-Lesende-Mora, (Héctor retakes his previous sobriquet). They were hired by Radio Belgrano, later by Splendid and they had numerous appearances in different venues of Buenos Aires. Regrettably they did not made any recording. The group dismembered when Morel was summoned by Julio De Caro. This time as Héctor Farrel.

Those were four years of hard work, even in the recording studios, which resulted in 24 tracks of his songs. The first was the waltz “Ay Aurora” in May 1939 and the last, “Sorpresa de novia”, waltz by Carlos Marcucci and Juan Carlos Suñé, in October 1943. Of the remaining output the renditions of “Boedo” and “Copacabana”, a true masterpiece, are to be highlighted because both tangos became classics as instrumentals. Another gem among his records was the tango “Esta noche” cut in January 1941.

Authorized by De Caro, in 1940 he appeared in the movie Petróleo in which he sang “No me pidas la exclusiva” written by Julio De Caro and Enrique Cadícamo. And in like manner he recorded two numbers with the light music orchestra conducted by Dajos Bela: “La polca del abuelito”, composed by Primo Cantalupi with words by Antonio Galiana and the waltz “Angustia” written by Osvaldo Cruz Montenegro.

At age 35 he decided to devote to other businesses and gave up singing. He worked as public official, he held an office in the Ministry of Economy. He had jobs in the real estate market. He was an employee at the then renowned firm: Luchetti Hermanos.

It's probable that he has passed away but we don't have any information. With these short lines and according to the policy of our site Todo Tango, the rescue of Héctor Farrel’s figure is an act of strict justice for those who contributed to our blessed music.