Abel Palermo

e was born in the city of La Plata, capital of the province of Buenos Aires. When he finished his grade school studies he started his contact with music. His parents enroled him at the prestigious music conservatory Beriot, run by professor Fermín Valentín Favero. The initial lessons were about music reading, harmony and he picked up guitar as his choice instrument.

When he was fifteen he widened his devotions and joined the singing classes. He studied for three years and then he thought he was capable of facing an audience onstage. His early performances took place at venues in the surrounding cities: Berisso and Ensenada, among others. At age twenty he decided to go to the big capital city.

He was a charming, pleasant young man that soon made a lot of friends in the milieu. His chance came in 1956 when Osmar Maderna died and his orchestra members, conducted by the violinist Aquiles Roggero, formed the Orquesta Símbolo Osmar Maderna. The vocalists of that aggregation were Horacio Casares and Tito Dávila.

When Dávila quit somebody told the bandleader about the abilities of the young vocalist. Then Aquiles summoned him for an audition and immediately made him join the group. Due to his solid musical instruction his performances did not go unnoticed.

He possessed a bright, ductile baritone range and because of that it was easy for him to fit the different styles of the orchestra leaders with whom he worked. In January 1956 he made his debut on LR1 Radio El Mundo. By the same time he appeared at the Café Adlon on Florida Street and at the Dominó dancehall.

Quite soon he succeeded in recording: on March 22 he cut “Su nombre era Margot”, a tango by Ángel Cabral. His second recording was on July 18: “Fueron tres años”. Thereafter he had to wait until November 8 when he recorded “Y algún día”. In 1957 he recorded only one tango: “Destino de flor”.

After the carnival balls of 1958 he split with the orchestra and soon, on April 1, he joined the outfit headed by Eduardo Rovira which had José Berón as vocalist. Only on one accasion he entered the recording studios: it was to cut the tango “Por quererla así”.

This venture only lasted a little bit more than two months because the leader dismembered the aggregation to join Alfredo Gobbi again. Then Berón joined the group led by Miguel Nijensohn and Jorge Hidalgo joined the cast of Radio Provincia as soloist singer. In 1959, he worked with Graciano Gómez and shared the vocals with Elena Maida.

In the early 1960, he had a brief tenure in the Miguel Caló orchestra and later he joined the cast of the Teatro Nacional on Corrientes Avenue and appeared as singer and actor in the traditional musicals.

In 1961, he was member of the staff of soloists of Radio Splendid who appeared with the accompaniment of the staff orchestra of the radio station conducted by Ángel Domínguez. Thereafter he had short stints with Atilio Stampone and also with Osvaldo Piro.

In 1970, he appeared at the Festival de Tango of La Falda in the province of Córdoba. On his comeback he recorded with the A Puro Tango quartet led by Miguel Nijensohn. Standouts are his renditions of the tangos “Triste comedia”, “Un tango para el recuerdo” —by Rafael del Bagno and Antonio Cantó—, “Te llaman malevo” and the waltzes “Uruguaya” —by Francisco Polonio and Juan Velich— and “Pequeña”.

Later he made a tour of the countries of Orient and Africa. He appeared, among other places, in Cairo, Ivory Coast and Kuwait.

In 1979, he made his last recordings for the Almalí label: a long-playing record entitled El Platense with an orchestra arranged and conducted by Omar Valente. Among other numbers we can mention: “Tengo un amigo”, “Sabor de adiós”, “Un tango para el recuerdo”, “El encopao” and “Amor de marinero”.

Hidalgo was also featured on television —as singer and comedian—, in successful programs of his time: Yo soy porteño, on Channel 13, and Sábados circulares emceed by Nicolás Mancera, on Channel 9.

In 1980, he was vocalist of Horacio Salgán on several appearances, with one season at the mythical venue Michelangelo on Balcarce Street in San Telmo.

Regrettably, he died at a young age —when he was only 53— and at the peak of his show business career. Undoubtedly, he was an exquisite interpreter and his early departure make us miss his talent very much.