Abel Palermo

e was born in Rosario, province of Santa Fe. He was still a child when he became interested in music and singing. So much so that he began to study the secrets of vocalization. The first group in which he appeared was an infantile trio along with two of his five siblings.

When he was 18 he teamed up with a friend pianist to form the Puertas-Garrido duo and they appeared on radio stations of their hometown. Their appearances attracted the attention of Héctor Lincoln Garrot —El Fresedo Rosarino— who summoned them to join his famous Orquesta Los Provincianos. It was a short tenure because he had already decided to travel to Buenos Aires.

The bandoneonist Antonio Ríos was in charge of guiding his steps and told him that he would try to get in touch with Osvaldo Fresedo —who was looking for a singer besides Roberto Ray— because his style perfectly matched with the maestro’s.

A few days after his arrival he had the chance of singing with the Ciriaco Ortiz orchestra at some balls and at dancehalls outside the Capital city. Ricardo Tanturi was also interested in him but, finally, the awaited connection with Fresedo came through Ríos. The latter had talked about him with the bandoneonist and arranger of the orchestra, Roberto Pansera.

Then, facing the maestro who was willing to hear him, he was auditioned and accepted immediately. Let us remember that Fresedo was resuming his show business activity after one year of withdrawal. After a 25-year relationship with Victor, he was now going to record for Odeon by means of an associate company: Columbia. Besides Pansera, the orchestra was lined up, among others, by Roberto Pérez Prechi, also arranger and José Scalise on piano. Garrido joined the orchestra to replace Osvaldo Cordó.

His debut was on LR1 Radio El Mundo and he recorded, between November 1950 and November 1951, seven numbers: “Del tiempo de Gardel” composed by Pansera and with words by Homero Cárpena on November 29, 1950; “La calle maldita” (Martín Darré and Roberto Lambertucci) on December 8, 1950; “Vamos vamos zaino viejo”, on December 19, 1950; “Déjame soñar” on May 31, 1951; “Una y mil veces” (Pérez Prechi and Alberto Andrés Silva) on June 13, 1951; “Paisaje” (tango), on August 9, 1951; and “Sombra de humo” (Pansera and Cárpena) on November 21, 1951.

Thereafter he split with the orchestra and the vocals were only in charge of Héctor Pacheco. The reasons he had for quitting were never known. In the milieu there was some gossiping that he felt pushed back by Pacheco. The latter in 1952 cut 17 tracks, that is to say, many more than Armando.

Soon later he made a tour of several cities of our country and on his comeback he had a short tenure in the Carlos Demaría orchestra which used to appear at renowned night clubs in Buenos Aires.

Also in 1952 he was summoned by his friend —also from Rosario— Nito Farace, with whom he recorded on four occasions. They were recordings not commercially released but I was able to hear them. I mention their titles: “Carillón de La Merced”, “Cuando llegue el invierno”, “Amores de estudiante” and “Hermana”.

Thereafter and for some years he was accompanied by the Manuel Buzón orchestra. Those were live performances in different venues but they were never recorded.

Between 1955 and 1956, he was summoned by Lucio Demare to fill the vacant post left by the singer Héctor Alvarado when the pianist formed his second and last orchestra. He returned to the recording studios with: “Barrio de tango” and “Dónde”.

At this period we must highlight his appearance at the movies. It was in the film El último perro, directed by Lucas Demare, a color movie —something not very common at that time—, starring Hugo Del Carril and which portrayed different aspects of the fight against the Indians at the frontier. The cast included Nelly Meden, Nelly Panizza, Mario Passano, Jacinto Herrera and some others. It was premiered on March 14, 1956 at the Cine Ocean. In a scene early in the evening, in the open air, by a fireside, several gauchos talk and strum guitars. Then one of them started to sing a song composed by Lucio Demare entitled “Buscándote”. That is our man when he was thirty years old.

They had a good season on LR3 Radio Belgrano and finally he quit. He was the last singer in the aggregation led by the composer of “Malena”.

In the early 60s he settled in Mar del Plata and, either there or in the surroundings he never gave up singing. His knowledge of music and singing, plus his delicate style allowed him to fully carry out his profession.

Finally, he cut his last two recorded tracks in 1965 accompanied by a group led by Juan Carlos Cirigliano. They were: “Cristal” and “Un minuto nada más”.