Rubén Llaneza

Real name: Llaneza, Rubén Aldo
Nicknames: La voz varonil del tango
(9 November 1931 - )
Place of birth:
Chivilcoy (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Néstor Pinsón

n the back cover of the album Sueño querido published in 1977 by the Almalí label, the emcee of the well-remembered radio program Una cita con el tango, the late Osvaldo Martín, provided some data about Rubén.

He was born in Chivilcoy, province of Buenos Aires. He was the third of the seven siblings of Miguel Llaneza and Agustina Quiroz.

At a very young age he tried to sing but he had to wait until his teen years came to make his dream come true and to join an aggregation of his town. He was accepted by Gaspar López, bandleader of Los Rítmicos, back in 1950. They used to appear at different venues of the city and at nearby localities on short weekend tours.

After a year he thought that stage had come to an end, possibly due to his eagerness to travel to Buenos Aires. His expectations finally came true. In the Capital city he worked for a living at several jobs until some friends told him about a talent contest for singers sponsored by the popular Bols gin to be held on Radio Belgrano.

The contestants were many but Rubén was able to reach the final. Among others were Daniel Izaguirre (who time later would record numbers like “La palanca”, “La milonga celestial”, “El carretero”, “Media noche”, “Manos brujas”, “Anclao en París” and others) and Roberto Goyeneche.

The winner was the boy from Chivilcoy. The prize was in cash and also a two-month contract to appear on the same radio station. There he sometimes shared the bill with Ángel Vargas and also with the Rodolfo Biagi orchestra. After this success nothing important for him happened and he returned to his hometown.

The sowing was made and sometimes you can harvest some fruit. His appearances in the Capital had shocked certain ears. Comments spread and unexpectedly Celedonio Flores’ widow was interested because of the way he had sung some tangos with his husband’s lyrics. Then he was recommended for an audition with Joaquín Do Reyes who at that time was with only one singer, Hugo Soler. The orchestra leader liked him and he became the singer of the aggregation from 1952 to the late 1955 when he decided to become a soloist.

As it was customary by that time, but not for much later, tango was permanently required and there were many jobs. Regretfully, he recorded only once and accidentally. That was fun for some and I think that for Llaneza it was quite bothersome. But it caused that the record would become out-of-print and, time later, was unavailable even at second-hand shops.

The TK label, unfortunately, released low-quality recordings even though its discography had important players. In this case, furthermore, the disc at issue was released with the disc labels changed. On one side there was the tango “Prohibido” sung by Rubén Llaneza and on the other, “Cómo querés que te quiera” sung by Hugo Soler. But in fact, it was exactly the other way around.

He appeared at several important radio programs but he began to undergo some problems in his throat. Finally he had to turn to a surgeon and he had to wait for about two years before he was able to feel himself capable of singing again. But now it was not the same as before; with so much waiting time his enthusiasm had declined.

He appeared on some radio stations, at unimportant venues in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and recorded on several occasions. But soon he quit show business as profession. He sang on certain occasions when he was invited and, after he married and with a daughter, he worked as employee in some state enterprises.

This brief story broadly reveals the career of an interpreter that, even though, he did not reach a wide acclaim, along with so many other artists, contributed to the spread of tango and so his name is already written in the history of a genre over a hundred years old.