Raúl Méndez

Real name: Godi, Raúl Benavídez
Singer, journalist and broadcaster
(28 November 1956 - 2012)
Place of birth:
San Isidro (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Date of birth and birthplace: 28 November 1956, in San Isidro (province of Buenos Aires).Full mame: Raúl Benavídez Godi

e began to sing tangos at age 5 in the carnival balls of 1961 at a neighborhood club where the orchestra led by the bandoneon player Dionisio Delgado used to play. But his professional career started in the 70s and appeared at different venues alongside the greatest artists: Hugo Del Carril, Tita Merello, Roberto Rufino, Carlos Dante, Rosita Quiroga, Nelly Vázquez, Raúl Berón, Roberto Goyeneche, Floreal Ruiz, Alberto Marino, Osvaldo Pugliese, Alfredo De Angelis, among others.

He was finalist in 1975 in the TV show Grandes Valores de Hoy y de Siempre on Channel 9. Immediately after his brilliant appearance at the contest he was hired to join the staff cast of the Casa de Gardel on 735 Jean Jaures Street which at that time was run by the impresario Virgilio Machado Ramos.

He appeared at the historical show at the Luna Park stadium on December 11, 1977 when the Tango Day (Día del Tango) was established thanks to Ben Molar’s suggestion. The singer Roberto Rufino was his art patron and he accompanied the latter in his last days when he was in a bed of the Fundación Favaloro where he passed away.

Privately, he likes to tell two funny stories about two tango figures: «One evening, while walking along in Buenos Aires, I met a black man who spoke with a mixture of porteño and Caribbean accents. The man wanted to play some tangos on a piano. We entered several venues until we got to a local at a basement. I don’t remember if it was on Esmeralda or Maipú Street. Right at the entrance there was a rather out of tune piano, we asked permission and he began to play. After some time he told me: What do you like to sing? Immediately I answered: “Ninguna” and asked him to accompany me in A. I mistook the tango, I ought to have told him "Divina" or “Margarita Gauthier”. The black man was maestro Joaquín Mora

«I had a great teacher: the bandoneon player Alberto Caroprese, composer of “Murales de cantina”, “Bandoneón de mi ciudad” (dedicated to Aníbal Troilo) and the waltz I premiered: “En cada atardecer”, with words by Rufino and Roberto Cassinelli. There was a great difference in age. Alberto was my friend, a sort of father who taught me that lyrics cannot be changed and music, either, though sometimes we can try to embellish it with a sober arrangement. He was a bad-tempered Italian with a good taste for tango. I learned a lot with him».

He traveled for twelve years and appeared in several countries of America and Europe. On one occasion he was hired to sing on the yacht of the tycoon Adna Khashoggi. Among the guests were the American actress Brooke Shields and the actor Pierce Brosnan, frequent visitors to the Costa del Sol, in Spain.

He appeared as guest artist with the Orquesta Nacional de Música Argentina Juan de Dios Filiberto. He was contributor to the radio program La Noche con Amigos conducted by Lionel Godoy.

Nowadays he tours our country singing with the Muestra Pictórica Cultural y Educacional Carlos Gardel of the painter Saide Yamila Abdala and, furthermore, he produces and emcees his own radio program: Viva el Tango y lo demás, which is aired on AM 1620 Radio Italia.