Abel Palermo

e was born in the neighborhood of Caballito and later he moved to the southern area of the city of Buenos Aires, between Pompeya and Parque Patricios.

Thoroughly trained as a music instrumentalist, at age 18 he made his debut in the orchestra led by the virtuoso violinist Elvino Vardaro.

Thereafter he was summoned by Osmar Maderna to join his orchestra as a substitute for Leopoldo Federico. He was member of that aggregation until the brilliant pianist tragically died on April 28, 1951. Before the end of that year he was hired by Roberto Caló and made his debut on record in the early 1952 with the instrumentals “Lorenzo” and “La cachila”. The orchestra was lined up by: Osvaldo Berlingieri, later Osvaldo Tarantino (piano), Eduardo Rovira, Edelmiro D'Amario, Celso Amato and Eliseo Marchese (bandoneons), Leo Lipesker, Raúl Garcés, Alberto Besprovan, Simón Bajour, Simón Broitman (violins) and Enrique Marchetto (double bass). The charts were written by Eduardo Rovira.

Also in 1952 they cut his tango “Después que te perdí” with lyrics by the Uruguayan poet Horacio Sanguinetti, with Alberto Santillán on vocals. Later they recorded the instrumental “Sacale chispas” that he composed with Osvaldo Tarantino.

In the early 1953 the Roberto Caló’s orchestra was disbanded and Franco formed an interesting bandoneon quartet along with Carlos Marcucci, Atilio Corral and Julián Plaza.

Before the end of the year Edelmiro Toto Rodríguez split with the Alfredo De Angelis Orchestra and then the leader summoned Ernesto to replace the former who was the leader in the bandoneon section. His tenure with De Angelis is up to the late 1957 when he switched to the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra to replace Roberto Pérez Prechi.

After the carnival balls of 1958 he was invited by Juan D'Arienzo to fill the seat left by the lead bandoneonist Enrique Alessio. The story is repeated but, this time, for a long tenure: 17 years, until January 14, 1976.

All through those years alongside D'Arienzo he played in 423 recordings and he went with the orchestra to Japan twice, in 1968 and 1970. The leader did not travel and the aggregation was conducted by Juan Polito.

His partners in the orchestra were many and very well-known: Carlos Lazzari, Felipe Ricciardi, Luis Maggiolo, Juan Carlos Niesi and Aldo Junnissi (bandoneons), Bernardo Weber, Milo Dojman, Moisés Svidsky, Mauricio Mise, Pedro Liserre and the mythical Cayetano Puglisi (violins), Enrique Guerra (double bass) and Juan Polito (piano).

After D’Arienzo’s death, Franco continued his career appearing at the most important tango venues La Viruta, El Viejo Almacén, Caño 14. He founded the Los Reyes del Compás Orchestra with Roberto Echagüe and Alberto Cuello on vocals.

Lately we can highlight his appearances at Señor Tango, one of the most important venues of our city.

He has recorded several long-playing records for RCA-Victor, Almalí, Tennessee and, recently, compact discs for Forever Music and Fonocal. We highlight the one published in 1996 by Forever Music in its collection Timeless Tango.

From his oeuvre as composer we may mention the following pieces: “De primera clase”, “La biyarda”, “Siempre primero”, “Sacale chispas”, “El gran favorito” (instrumentals), “Despertar”, “En cada tango te llamo”, “Sólo tuya”, “Mi vida yo la reviento”, among others.