Jorge Palacio (Faruk)

his story begins with a short tale about her father: Pedro Díaz was born in Extremadura (Spain) and at age two he arrived in Argentina where his parents had decided to settle. They chose the city of Bahía Blanca.

Pedro is fond of guitar and singing and in the mid- thirties he formed a trio with two friends. One of them was a singing teacher and was in charge of the voice harmony. With a tango repertory they ventured on a tour of several cities but they got nothing but hunger and so they returned to Bahía. He became a soloist and singer of a national repertory when he included folk songs. He appeared at neighborhood clubs and his career improved a little when he debutted on local radio stations.

His financial situation improves and he married a girl, daughter of Spaniards. They decided to live in Buenos Aires. He looks for a job and he finds it at the, then traditional, variety shows of the Balneario Municipal (riverside resort). Their domicile is located near a tango corner, Corrientes and Paraná, and after her birth at the Penna hospital, Marina Juliana, their long awaited daughter, will live there.

Working as an artist, although not well-known, he managed to support his family until his daughter was a teenager. Then hard times began and he agreed to work as foreman in a greengrocer store. So they had to return to Bahía Blanca. Pedro, after work hours has time to go on with singing and he sings wherever he is able to just for the sake of it and to get some extra money.

The girl often goes to listen to his performances and then she likes it and starts to sing tango at home. Her friends suggested her appearing at a talent contest for folk singers on the radio. She is persuaded to go and even though she did not win she drew the attention of Aníbal Vitale, leader of an important orchestra of the city. He invited her to join his aggregation. It was a nine-year tenure. In the meantime Gloria got married, had a child, separated and had a problem with her thyroid gland which affected her voice.

She quit for the necessary time but once she is recovered she has to work for a living. It is not easy for her. On the contrary. At last, thanks to a contact, she has a chance in Grandes Valores del Tango, the popular program on TV Channel 9. She is auditioned by the pianist Armando Cupo by singing “Barrio pobre” and “Lágrimas de sangre”. She was accepted for the traditional weekly contest in which three singers appeared and one was chosen to continue at the following stage. She did not win but her contact managed that the producers include her at the following round. And then the board voted for her unanimously and the audience gave her an standing ovation. She had to win and she did.

Hugo Del Carril, who then was the announcer, suggested her going to the Teatro Alvear to audition for Mariano Mores. So she did and after the rehearsals she was accepted and appeared on Radio El Mundo. Mariano conducted his Orquesta Lírica Popular, Gloria appeared as guest artist alongside Marga Fontana. Osvaldo Pugliese heard her and suggested an audition in which she sang “Gloria”.

Singing with don Osvaldo was convenient to get a better position in the milieu and to learn from an orchestra deeply rooted in tango. Television, clubs, theater stages, etc. But it was not the ideal orchestra to get the money she needed.

Roberto Giménez, author of “Lágrimas de sangre”, run a tango venue and was grateful for the good rendition that Gloria had made of his tango. He summoned her to replace Aída Denis for three days but when the latter returned he decided to present both female singers because the former had achieved a warm welcome by the audience.

Her good spell continued in La Casa de Carlos Gardel -run by Virgilio Machado Ramos-, again but now among the outstanding figures in Grandes Valores from 1972 to 1976, summers in Mar del Plata, later tours throughout our country and Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay and Brazil. 1990 she joined a musical delegation that performed in Spain for several months.

She recorded for the first time in 1973. She cut twelve numbers for the Odeon label and was backed by the orchestra led by Luis Stazo. The following year another album was released: Alma, Corazón y Tango with Carlos García on some tracks and other ones with guitars led by Roberto Grela. Another in 1976, Tangos de Seda y Percal, Embassy label, accompanied by different groups led by Luis Stazo, José Basso, Armando Pontier, Leopoldo Federico, Florindo Sassone and Raúl Garello. In 1977 Gloria Díaz For Export was published, again with Luis Stazo.

In 1978 the label Tangos de Lujo released ten numbers that she recorded with the backup orchestra of Armando Pontier. That same year Valses Famosos was published with two accompanying guitar groups: one led by José Canet and another fronted by Carlos Peralta. The year continued with the release of new records: Juan Porteño, all the numbers with José Canet, Nostalgias del Tiempo Lindo, all the pieces with Roberto Grela, Luna de Arrabal, this time Grela, Canet and Peralta were the alternate accompanists. Two more numbers with Armando Pontier and in 1979 for RCA-Victor, with the Leopoldo Federico Orchestra: Gloria en R.C.A.. She reached over 120 numbers, it was her prolific stage. Thereafter she cut several new songs but her appearances were slowly declining in number.

She’s not similar to any other one, to no other woman’s voice. She, with the highest fidelity, describes her numbers getting to the bottom of the words’ meaning. Gloria’s ductility makes credible the pathetism of “Un infierno”, the description of the neighborhood in “Almagro”, the tenderness of “Rosas de abril”, the grace of “El que atrasó el reloj” and the melancholy evocation of “Tres esquinas”.