Genaro Veiga

Real name: Veiga, Genaro
Nicknames: El Cholo
(n/d - n/d)
Place of birth:
Juan Ayala

y purpose was to find more information about this guy but I start as always leaving the door open in case someone comes to bring something better about him.

By 1920 our friend was on the road carrying his guitar, singing and accompanying singers all over the country.

We can say with certainty that in New York in 1927 he met Juan Carlos Cobián who had been there since the mid- 1923. The latter led an orchestra known as “Argentine-Band" that was recording jazz numbers. In this genre Cobián was able to display prodigious musical ideas on his piano and with his orchestra. Veiga recorded with Cobián a large number of pieces but we shall only mention the ones we have found. No doubt he recorded some more.

From a discography the record collector and a close friend of mine Fermín Barnard has I read that Rudy Vallee is mentioned as singer in the tangos "Mujer de fuego" written by César Petrone, Charlo’s "Pinta brava" and "¡Batí que sí!" composed by Julio Falcón. The latter number is wrongly mentioned as "Decí que sí" in the discography. And like that it was announced on a well-known radio station. A big mistake! You only need to listen carefully to realize that all the tangos were sung by Genaro Veiga. Furthermore on the disc labels is written that the singer is El Cholo. That was Genaro Veiga’s nickname or sobriquet. Also Fermín Barnard himself told me some months ago that he had an recorded interview he made to Julio Falcón in which the latter said that the only vocalist that recorded tangos with Cobián was Genaro Veiga. Undoubtedly the discography was published before the interview or the recordings were not available to be listened to and to check who the singer at issue was.

As for Julio Falcón and his tango "Batí que sí" we can verify, by listening to this recording, the facility he has playing bandoneon with both hands and the way he plays some brilliant variations that are worth mentioning. Julio Falcón was also lead bandoneon of the Juan Cruz Mateo’s tango aggregation when it accompanied Carlos Gardel in the tangos "Melodía de arrabal" and "Silencio". Agustín Magaldi himself recorded Falcón’s foxtrot, "Raquel", subtitled as "Noche de amor".

José Moriche that appears in the recordings was the famous Spanish tenor. He was very well-known at that time and also he worked as an extra alongside Gardel in the movie El Tango en Broadway.

Genaro also recorded with the Cuban soprano female singer Pilar Arcos the tango composed by Federico Ruiz "Tierra del Plata". It was a brilliant recording in which the fabulous singer was showcased and Veiga had a good performance. On that occasion he was backed up by the orchestra headed by Enrique Madriguera. The latter was one of the most famous tropical orchestras in the 30s.

In 1935 the Antena magazine transcribed an article about Genaro Veiga, «Traveler and globe-trotter», that appeared to great acclaim on American radio stations when he was in the United States in 1929. He played on the WOR and aired for the first time our folk music when he appeared as guitarist and singer and where he was accompanied by the orchestra led by Vincent López, by The Castillians, The Floridians and by Osvaldo Fresedo. On that same radio station he also accompanied the female singer Lina Loyo. Among the published photos we can see Veiga playing guitar in a quartet that also included two violins and an accordion in one of the scenes that were shot to be shown before every movie show.

Below we read that Veiga was mentioned as the accompanist of the singer Fernando Díaz that appeared on those radio stations and that performed in different countries of the American continent and Europe. Also there is a photo of the Italian-Argentine boxing fighter Campolo, along with Kid Chocolate and other boxers that were trained there. In another photo the Lehar sisters appear, a guitarist named Font and Veiga himself in a performance in Chile in 1934 which seems it was the last Genaro’s appearance.

It’s interesting to point out that he accompanied Agustín Magaldi on a tour of Bahía Blanca and the south of our country. We see two photos in which Magaldi is singing in the Villa Floresta prison –one at the women’s ward and another at the men’s cellblock- and among the guitarists also Genaro Veiga was. By the way, he was a good-looking man.

Magaldi recorded two of his pieces. One, a rhumba entitled "¡Sí señor, como no!" for Brunswick (11661 B) and an air (tonada) entitled "Qué importa" for Victor (70.783). Both as a duo with Pedro Noda.

In a magazine published by the police of the Federal Capital Roberto Selles wrote an article dedicated to Genaro Veiga in 1971.

I hope that this information about Genaro Veiga will be useful for those who research and want to know about the life of many of the unknown and forgotten heroes that so much did for our music. To identify these humble artists that, like in the case of this singer, contributed to spread our folk and popular art throughout the world is our duty.

Editor’s Note
He must have been an important artist for the Brunswick label if we take into account the praising comment that the enterprise made in the introduction of its catalogue: «The Guitar Wizard truly honors his title in all his recordings. His sentimental and faithful interpretation of Argentine tangos and folk music material has made of him the choice of audiences».

For his recordings he was accompanied with guitar and piano. Also by the above mentioned orchestras and we would have to include the Orquesta Los Argentinos conducted by Don Alberto (Orquesta Típica Don Alberto).

Among the recordings for Brunswick, Mercury and Columbia the following tangos stand out: "Adiós muchachos", "Alma en pena", "Amurado", "Arrabal", "Arrepentida", "Celos", "Criollo viejo", "El tísico", "Gato", "Haragán", "La última copa", "Nene lindo", "Portero suba y diga", "Potro que me afloja el lomo", "Siluetas", "Vieja careta", "No te engañes corazón", "Cierra esa puerta viejita", "Celos", "Campanilla de la iglesia", "Payaso", "Yo te imploro", among others more.