Walter Fiorito

Real name: Fiorito, Ronald Walther
Nicknames: Alberto Olmos, Ricardo Cortez
(18 March 1933 - 11 July 2020)
Place of birth:
Corral de Bustos (Córdoba) Argentina

e was born in Corral de Bustos and was brought up in his gradfather’s farm which was near that locality in the province of Córdoba. His father also worked there. His mother was teacher in the rural areas.

At age twelve his family moved to the city of Zárate, in the province of Buenos Aires, where his mother was born. When he was attending the third year of high school he tried to enter the Naval Liceum to continue his secondary studies but he was rejected due to his eyesight problems. Then he enrolled in the Navy and was transferred to the Puerto Belgrano naval base which was very close to the railroad tracks of Punta Alta.

On one occasion while visiting the city, at a barroom he met a boy that was bandoneonist in a tango group. They talked about tango and he told him that he liked singing. So, three days after an audition, he made his debut with his friend’s aggregation at the Officers’ Casino at the Comandante Espora Base in Bahía Blanca.

It was a quartet with which he stayed a year and a half —until the mid- 1951— and appeared under the sobriquet Alberto Olmos. Later he switched to the Orquesta Típica Los Andes led by the bandoneonist José Cutropia in which he was renamed and began to be called Ricardo Cortez. He sang until the mid- 1953 when he was summoned by Antonio Volpe to join his Ritmo de Juventud (Young Rhythm) orchestra with which he made three recordings from airshots taken from LU3 Radio Splendid of Bahía Blanca.

In this latter aggregation he had a three-year-and-a-half tenure until he appeared at a contest named Buscando la voz tanguera (Looking for a tango vocalist) broadcast by Radio Belgrano and sponsored by the magazines Radiofilm and Cantando. The contestants were: Carlos Casado, Andrés Peyró, Silvia del Río, Ruth Durante, Roberto Mancini and Ernesto Herrera, among others. When he was about to contest for the third round an important event for his career took place: Alfredo Attadía invited him to join his orchestra to make a long tour of the interior of the country and abroad. Then he decided to use his true name.

For a year he was traveling from one place to another but for political reasons Attadía was forced to dismember his orchestra, and leave Argentina to settle in Venezuela —where he soon thereafter died— and he had to come back to Buenos Aires.

He went on working in the Capital city, encouraged by his great friend and excellent vocalist, Héctor Insúa, until the late 1958 when other beats and other kinds of music broke into the market and tango began a nosedive stage in which to make a living with tango became very difficult. Because of that Fiorito returned to his hometown and was employed in a bank of Zárate. But he never ceased singing.

During that period he was vocalist of several tango orchestras of the area: the one led by the Berenguer brothers, the Juan Carlos Aiello orchestra with which he recorded three numbers, the aggregation fronted by the Domínguez brothers, the one led by Faccio and, until 1966, with the group Ocho Para el Tango, a very good outfit of the city of Campana. With the latter he appeared on TV Channel 9 in the program Viñetas de mi ciudad and they cut a live airshot (1964).

Thereafter jobs began to be scarce and it seemed that it was his farewell as singer but thirty-two years later, in 1998, his strong vocation made him return to his old flame and he appeared at a cheap venue in the neighborhood of Saavedra.

Unexpectedly, after a long time and experiences, he recorded again alongside the Jorge Dragone orchestra fourteen numbers in 1998 and eight more in 2000. But what is still harder to believe is that his old-time bandleader, Antonio Volpe summoned him again. The latter, together with his son Víctor, put together the Grupo Volpe that used to appear at different venues: the Teatro General San Martín, the Café Homero, the Club del Vino and the Café Tortoni, just to name a few. Furthermore, with that group he made a tour of the city of La Paz (Bolivia).

In 2003 he was acquainted with Roberto Álvarez, leader of the group Color Tango and under his supervision he recorded two compact discs between 2004 and 2009. The first one with the accompaniment of the above aggregation and the other with the Grupo Volpe.