Abel Palermo

e was a singer that deserved a wider recognition not only because of his interpretive quality but also for his personal voice and phrasing. Possibly, the hard competition he had to face at a time when the great vocalists were many and the ranking of the orchestras was quite important was against his definitive consecration.

His best period was when he sang with Rodolfo Biagi, an orchestra that had its followers but which was not among the most acclaimed. However, by listening to his recordings, we can appraise his baritone range with tenor-like overtones and the balance with which he collocated his voice that, despite its strength, achieved a gentle and delicate result.

His story began in 1935 when the lead violinist of Osvaldo Fresedo split with that orchestra to put together his own aggregation. The man at issue was Florindo Sassone. After he found the musicians for his group he began to look for a singer. After auditioning several candidates he chose a nineteen year-old boy to whom he gave the sobriquet Alberto Amor.

He made his debut at the café El Nacional on Corrientes Avenue and was the vocalist of the orchestra of the Radio Belgrano broadcasts and, the following year on Radio El Mundo. By that time the orchestra used to appear at the cabaret Marabú, the mythical venue of the Buenos Aires nights.

In 1937 he sang with the outfit led by Ciriaco Ortiz but for a short tenure because he soon returned with Sassone and his successful season on Radio El Mundo. This was a period of frequent changes for the singer. In 1939 he had a brief tenure in the Carlos Di Sarli orchestra and later switched to the one headed by Osvaldo Pugliese in which the other vocalist was Alberto Lago. Thereafter, in 1942, he joined Antonio Rodio. It is important to highlight that none of these aggregations succeeded in recording.

After the carnival balls of 1943 Rodolfo Biagi summoned him to substitute for Jorge Ortiz who had switched to Miguel Caló. Also Carlos Acuña had joined the orchestra and both made their debut on Radio Splendid.

On March 3, that year he started his recording career with two numbers: “Por algo será”, by Carlos Rivero and Otello Elli, and “Arlette”. In July he continued with “Tres horas”, a tango by Héctor Varela and Alberto Nery and the waltz “Prisionero”, by Julio Carresons and Carlos Bahr. And by the end of the year: “Si la llegaran a ver”. In 1944 he recorded “Lisón” (by José Ranieri and Julián Centeya) and later his first record hit: the tango “Nada” which sold many records. Later followed “Como el hornero” and “Seamos amigos”, co-written by Príncipe Cubano and Domingo Rullo.

In 1945 Carlos Acuña quit and Jorge Ortiz joined the orchestra again. Amor cut 31 recordings with Biagi, between 1943 and 1947, besides the ones above the following are standouts: “Me quedé mirándola” (by Vicente Spina and Roberto Miró), “Café de los angelitos”, “Anselmo Laguna” (1945); “Adiós pampa mía”, “Con mi perro”, “Cuando llora la milonga” (1946) and his last recording of the period: “Y dicen que no te quiero” (1947).

After his successful performance with the orchestra of the pianist, in 1949, he decided to form his own aggregation with which he made important tours of the country and Uruguay, Chile and Brazil. He had become widely known in the neighboring countries due to the important airing of Biagi’s recordings made by the Odeon label.

In the early 50s the bandoneon player Francisco Grillo requested him to join his orchestra that was to appear in the studios of Radio Splendid. Furthermore, they appeared at the Tango Bar and the Marabú, the first important venue where Amor sang in the early days of his career.

For the Pathé label the orchestra made four recordings, among them, two with Amor: “Una página en blanco”, by Francisco Grillo himself with words by Juan Cirilo Ramírez (1953), and “Desvelo” (1954).

When the military coup took place in September 1955 Grillo, who was a sympathizer of General Perón, had to flee from Argentina. Likewise did Amor who, again, made an extensive tour that kept him away from Buenos Aires for a long time. Finally, on his comeback, he quit singing to devote himself to trading.

He wrote some tangos. At this time I remember only one: “Ragazzina” with music by the double bass player Norberto Samonta. In SADAIC are also filed in the record: “Tu ausencia llorarán” co-written with Ángel Urbino and “Zamba y ausencia”, with Sabino Alfonso Ciorciari.

He was a great singer that we lovingly restore to the public knowledge in this short portrayal and whom we shall go on enjoying by means of his magnificent recordings.