Ricardo García Blaya

his Buenos Aires musician, born in the neighborhood of Almagro, belonged to a constellation of bandleaders that put together their orchestras in the 50s, together with Armando Cupo, Carlos Demaría, Alfredo Attadía, Eduardo del Piano, Enrique Alessio, Roberto Caló, and Ángel Domínguez, to name a few of them. To try mentioning all the aggregations that Pedevilla joined is a task almost impossible. We’ll try to accept the challenge as from the 30s.

Surely it was not the first one, but in 1934, he appeared with the group led by Daniel Álvarez, alongside his peer Nicolás Pepe and the pianist Armando Baliotti; the vocalist was Agustín Volpe.

He formed a trio with the pianist Samuel Averbuj and the violinist Oscar de la Fuente —composer of the beautiful number “Bailarina de tango” and the instrumental “Intermezzo” which was recorded by Aníbal Troilo for TK—, that in 1935 and 1936 backed up the female singers and actresses Elena Lucena and Aída Luz on Radio La Nación (radio station which soon thereafter was named Radio Mitre).

With Nicolás Pepe he furthermore teamed up also in a bandoneon trio specially put together to play in the Radio Stentor shows. I don’t know who was the third instrumentalist.

In 1936 he was member of the orchestra fronted by Joaquín Mora; in 1938 he played in the Oscar Rossano’s aggregation that appeared on Radio Belgrano; later he joined Miguel Padula’s that appeared on Radio Splendid and, as well, he played in the outfits led by Ricardo Malerba and Rodolfo Biagi. In the latter the charts were written by his long-time pal Oscar de la Fuente.

In 1950, and now with his own orchestra, he cut records for the Pampa label, with a style and a repertoire that evidenced an important influence of Carlos Di Sarli. Some examples of that are his renditions of “Nueve puntos”, “Cuidado con los cincuenta”, “El pollo Ricardo” and “El incendio”.

Throughout the ranks of the bandoneon section passed consecrated names like José Dames and promising young guys like Osvaldo Piro. The latter made his debut with him when he was only fifteen years old.

Leading his aggregation he accompanied the singer Roberto Quiroga when he recorded the H. Vescio’s tango “Agonía de amor”, and in 1952 he recorded in the above mentioned label the tango “Misa de once” with Jorge Ortiz on vocals.

Many were the singers that passed through his aggregation: Hugo Soler, Roberto Beltrán and Carlos Yanel –the three for a short tenure-; Luis Omar Zunino, Mario D’Elía and Hugo del Valle –with whom he recorded some discs-; Carlos Olmedo –he sang between 1952 and 1953 and the following year he switched to Osvaldo Pugliese-; Oscar Serpa –he cut three numbers and later was hired by Di Sarli-; Héctor Omar –his vocalist at the mythical Marabú-; Roberto Mancini –his singer at the cabaret El Avión of La Boca-; Carlos Paiva –who made his professional debut with him in 1954-; Mario Luna –with a 6-year tenure with Pedevilla- and, possibly, there is some other one that I cannot remember now.

Of his oeuvre as composer it is hard to find some hit, but we can mention some of his tangos: “Profecía” with lyrics by León Jadlli, “Antes que sea tarde” with words by Casimiro García, “Del viejo San Telmo”, in collaboration with Atilio Cresta and lyrics by Carlos Bahr, “Ginebra”, with words by Reinaldo Yiso, “Hoy brindo por ellos”, in collaboration with Julio Martel and lyrics by Alberto Lago, “El tango es eso”, with his own lyrics in collaboration with Susana Accorinti and music by Víctor Laudari, and the instrumental “Algo más”. I don’t know if some of these pieces have been committed to disc.

But the following numbers of his were committed to record: “Y siempre pasa igual”, with lyrics by Yiso, and an instrumental: “Para ella”, both recorded by Pedevilla. The former with the singer Mario D’Elía in 1951 and the latter in 1952.