Andrés Falgás

Real name: Falgás, Andrés Salvio Miguel
Nicknames: Miguel De Salvio
Singer, composer and lyricist
(15 January 1916 - 15 May 1995)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Néstor Pinsón

uring the great epoch of tango all vocalists, either male singers or female singers, had their own style, their way of singing, their personal features. And while I regarded Alberto Castillo as the prototype of the extroverted singer, a sort of town crier; the other way around was hearing Falgás. When his recordings were played back I imagined his face wrinkling, worried, slightly opening his mouth, letting go out his voice like a repressed sob.

Like Castillo and so many others, he was an easy prey for those imitators, very common then, that stressed with rough strokes the characteristics of each singer. This did not mean minimizing at all the attraction drawn by his interpretations. About 130 recordings and the excellent recognition he received in the countries every time he appeared ratify this.

Son of a Catalonian father and an Italian mother, he was born in the neighborhood of Caballito where he attended grammar and high school. Thereafter he worked at different jobs to help his family but his deep devotion for singing finally had its reward in 1933. Tango chronicles frequently mentioned that contest aired by LR4 Radio Splendid sponsored by Puloil, a cleaning product. A couple of thousand contestants filled the applications and in the final rounds the competitors were accompanied by the Trío Puloil, comprised by Miguel Caló, Luis Brighenti and Raúl Kaplún. The winner was Hugo Gutiérrez, as well composer and violinist, precisely in Caló’s orchestra. Falgás was second. As for the girls, the chosen ones failed to become known. They were Elena Valdéz, Nora Flores and Nelly Aguirre. The prize was a medal, a certain amount of money and a several months’ tenure on Radio Splendid.

On his radio journey he was accompanied, among others, by occasional outfits led by Federico Scorticati, Enrique Rodríguez, guitar duos or trios. On May 5, 1936 for Odeon he made his debut on record with the Jorge Argentino Fernández’s and José María Contursi’s tango “Pena de amor” and the waltz “Cofrecito”.

Autógrafo de A. Falgás, dedicado a Néstor Pinsón

In 1938 he started his association with Juan Canaro and performed at different locals and radios and made five new recordings. Later he joined the Rodolfo Biagi Orchestra replacing Teófilo Ibañez and made eleven more recordings between July 1939 and April 1940.

Juan Canaro engaged him for a long tour of the American continent. They went to Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, almost all Central America and also Mexico.

After several months, Canaro decided to return because he missed his family. Gabriel Clausi, a bandoneon player of the group, led a newly formed aggregation to fulfill the signed engagements. Then Los Reyes del Tango group was born.

He was based in Mexico for a long time, he was starred on a film in which he sings several tunes and recorded for Victor.

It is a period when the singer traveled frequently, very often to Chile, Venezuela, Cuba (where he recorded with Joaquín Mora), Puerto Rico (the birthplace of the romantic female singer Elsa Miranda, his couple for several years) and many other countries, including some seasons in Buenos Aires.

Here he was accompanied by Tití Rossi, by the orchestra led by the singer and violinist Raúl Garcés and gigs, but he did not make recordings, with the Julio De Caro Orchestra in 1951. He recorded instead with the accompaniment of Roberto Pansera, Gabriel Clausi, the guitars led by Aníbal Arias and others.

He came back to Colombia in 1956 and later he traveled again to Central America and Mexico. Two years later he returned to Argentina and bought a share of a night venue Le Tucán. Later that year he embarked to Colombia and performed to great acclaim. There are some recordings of that period that evidence his success there.

Continuing with his permanent traveling, in 1983 he went to the United States and appeared at La Casa Gardeliana of New York and in other important venues.

He composed a large number of pieces, some with his own lyrics and music, others in collaboration with the lyricist Abel Aznar and especially several titles with José María Contursi: "Buzón de mi vereda", "En el olvido", "Mañana a las ocho" and the waltzes "Triste" and "Tu voz".

He went on singing until he was over 70 years old.

He was a truly ambassador of Argentine tango and a correct singer, whose timbre and phrasing are unmistakable. I am still touched every time I hear his rendition of "La brisa" with a rare and almost unknown lyric by Caruso, different to the one recorded by the remainder of his colleagues.