Ricardo García Blaya

e was born in the city of Lomas de Zamora, in the province of Buenos Aires. Horacio Ferrer, in his Libro del Tango tells us that he began as actor in 1923 with the theater company headed by Antonio Daglio and that his first piece was the criollo song “El boyero [b]”, with music composed by the dark-skinned guitarist Gregorio Rivero.

One of his early tangos was “Chirusa”, with music by Juan D'Arienzo, that El Rey del Compás recorded on three occasions. The first in 1928 with Carlos Dante on vocals, in 1940 with Alberto Reynal, in 1958 with Jorge Valdez, and also was recorded by Virginia Vera in 1931 with the guitar accompaniment of Humberto Canataro and Roberto Pedretti.

Some time later his greatest hit was released: “El huracán” with music by the brothers Edgardo and Osvaldo Donato. It was premiered at the Teatro Colón when the Sociedad de Beneficencia de Buenos Aires organized a contest in 1932 and it won the second prize after the tango “Ventarrón”.

As like many of his peers, his poetry is hard to be —clearly— connected with some of the trends of lyrics writing in tango. He is rather a story teller of short stories or situations that include characters of Buenos Aires, some times in a romantic mood, and in others, an eclectic one. He did not achieve an outstanding success because of his lyrics but it was rather due to the music that contained them and because of the great orchestras that included his numbers in their songbooks.

His most popular number, “El huracán”, was a hit because of the music composed by the Donato brothers and not by the lyrics that were added later. An evidence of that are the few released renditions with vocals: the one cut by Félix Gutiérrez in December 1932, the recording by Carlos Almada in April 1950 and the one by Andrés Galarce in November 1961. All this vocal renderings were recorded with the Edgardo Donato’s orchestra.

Another example is the waltz “Ilusión de mi vida” composed by Feliciano Brunelli. I don’t know any rendition with vocals among the several ones that exist. It’s a standout the one recorded in 1952 for RCA-Victor by the Horacio Salgán Orchestra, and nowadays the one by the team Julio Pane-Juanjo Domínguez for the EPSA label.

Also belong to him: “Adiós para siempre [b]”, unforgettable in the magnificent rendition by Ángel Vargas with the Ángel D'Agostino Orchestra cut in 1942; “Gardel en París”; “Salvame Legui” recorded by Jorge Vidal in 1952 with guitar accompaniment; the waltz “Cabeza de novia” recorded by Juan D'Arienzo with Alberto Echagüe in 1938, among many other numbers more.

At the movies he appeared in Calles de Buenos Aires with script and direction by José Ferreyra which was premiered in March 1934 and he contributed with the musical numbers.

His passing away was unexpected and it happened in a springtime in Buenos Aires when he was just 56 years old.