Abel Palermo

e was an essentially popular artist, because of his repertoire and because of the attraction he drew on the public, but that condition didn't mean that he was a smaller interpreter, just the opposite, he was a very good singer. He tried everything, he sang anything, but when we listen to him performing tangos, his tenor phrasing reminds us of Charlo. He had a good intonation and he used his mezza voce. In spite of the jolly mood of the orchestra that accompanied him for almost all his career, he was a neat singer with good taste.

At age 18 he made his debut in the orchestra led by the bandoneonist Enrique Rodríguez to replace the singer Roberto Flores (Chato). Fate, with the passing of time, would turn him into the emblematic voice of the orchestra.

He made his premiere on LR3 Radio Belgrano and the following year he released his first recordings: the double step “Ay Catalina” and the tango “No te quiero más” and in the following disc, the foxtrot “Amor in Budapest” and “María [b]” a polka by Will Grosz with spanish lyrics by Enrique Cadícamo. Given the success of the latter it was included in the movie Hogar, dulce hogar (Home, sweet home) and they both were featured.

In 1941 it's worthwhile to mention that the records sales of the team were successful. They recorded 20 numbers, 17 with Niño Moreno on vocals -so he was called because of his ever-juvenile face- and three instrumentals. We have also to highlight the brilliant success on Radio Belgrano.

In the dancehalls the enthusiastic public requested the performance of the leader's two numbers: “Tengo mil novias” and “Son cosas del bandoneón”. These had already been recorded by their predecessor, Flores.

In 1944 the Odeon label celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with an unforgettable party in the Luna Park stadium located on Corrientes and Bouchard. It was the first Argentine recording company. It was October 21, with the participation of the most successful artists of the label. The orchestras were the ones led by Francisco Canaro, Alberto Castillo, Miguel Caló, Rodolfo Biagi and Enrique Rodríguez with Armando Moreno.

It is important to see how the company Odeon promoted its artists in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and other Latin American countries —as from Gardel— generating a very receptive market to the Argentine artists. That promotion was very positive in Buenos Aires when, in the 60s tango had its great decline. Many groups and singers had work thanks to that opening.

By the mid- 1946, the first breaking-up of the successful team took place. Previously the bandoneonist and arranger Roberto Garza had split with the orchestra. He was a leading figure in it and also the outstanding composer of the tangos: “No te apures Carablanca” and “Sosiego en la noche”. Moreno and Garza teamed up and so he started a new stage as soloist.

In the mid- forties it was common the emergence of new orchestral groups, of remarkable vocalists and the definitive consecration of those groups that began the decade.

Those were orchestras devoted totally to the tango beat and the demand of the dancers —Aníbal Troilo, Juan D'Arienzo, Carlos Di Sarli, Osvaldo Fresedo, Alfredo Gobbi, Osvaldo Pugliese, Francini-Pontier—, so they satisfied that request and, because of that, the ones that included other rhythms were placed into a second level.

The Garza-Moreno team tried to be integrated to the new wave with a completely renewed repertoire, keeping the successful “Tengo mil novias” and “Son cosas del bandoneón” but it could not be successful.

At the end of 1948 the singer Héctor Pacheco split with the Alfredo Attadía's orchestra. Because of that Armando Moreno was summoned to share the role of vocalist with Jorge Beiró. During his tenure with that aggregation, Armando recorded for the Pathe label the tangos “Araca corazón”, “El Yacaré”, that had already been recorded by Ángel Vargas with Ángel D'Agostino and, lastly, “Las cuarenta”.

In 1950 he joined the outfit led by Domingo Federico along with Enzo Valentino, but the following year he cam back to Enrique Rodríguez to replace Roberto Videla. That was his second tenure with the orchestra.

Two years later he joined Federico again and recorded “Ronda sentimental” composed by the leader. They committed to record 17 pieces for the Victor label, from which we can mention: “Percal”, “En la buena y en la mala”, “Tristezas de la calle Corrientes”, “A bailar”, “Otario que andás penando”, among others. With Garza, Attadía and Federico he never had the popular success that he achieved with Enrique Rodríguez, but with them he could demonstrate his interpretive capacity, with an all-tango repertoire.

In 1958, his third and last stage with Rodríguez, he reached a new popular boom alongside the singers Omar Quiroz and Oscar Corvalán: the corridos “Adelita” and “Señorita Luna”.

As from 1960 they suffered, as all, the lack of work and taking advantage of their popularity in all America, they began to make tours of different countries, the last one together was in 1965. Later, on his own he appeared in different shows in Buenos Aires and in the interior of the country until he decided to settle in Colombia where the tango was still in vogue.

He settled in Bogotá where he was based. In full activity, still healthy and with desires of singing, he caught pneumonia and died at age 69.