Alfredo Lucero Palacios

Real name: Lucero Palacios, Alfredo
Singer, lyricist and guitarist
(26 October 1910 - 2 June 1974)
Place of birth:
Rosario (Santa Fe) Argentina
Lito Bayardo
| Néstor Pinsón

is career lasted a rather short time and he was only able to record a little over 20 numbers. Out of them only two were tango pieces and three waltzes that used to be included in the tango songbooks. The rest of them are songs and zambas.

He had a sort of melancholic temper which influenced his work, hence so many ups and downs in his career.

He was a singer with a pleasant range voice with a delicate color. A typical light tenor of the thirties, quite soft and with good intonation, even a little bit sad. It’s a pity he has left so few recordings.

For some chroniclers, he was the first vocalist of the Aníbal Troilo orchestra, but that is completely mistaken. When that aggregation made its debut the first one was Francisco Fiorentino, who had to quit for some time —around four months— for some reason that was never revealed and then he was replaced by Lucero Palacios. He main reason he was the substitute and no other was because at that time —1940— he and Troilo were coincidentally appearing on LR1 Radio El Mundo. He made no recordings with Troilo so he and Roberto Achával are the only singers in the orchestra led by Troilo that left no recordings.

In his book of memoirs, Lito Bayardo tells us that he got acquainted with Lucero Palacios when he appeared for a season on Radio Belgrano as member of the cast of a show entitled Cuadros Argentinos which was devised and directed by Antonio Molina, by that time impresario and also the first and only Nelly Omar’s husband.

«Those were two comfortable months and later we had to hit the road to get some job. So one evening on the corner of Corrientes and Libertad I met a friend that had just arrived from Rosario and who was also looking for a job. He was the pianist Manuel Sucher. He had come to accompany the female singer Fanny Loy, wife of the dancing teacher Domingo Gaeta, very well-known due to the advertising that offered courses by mail published in many journals. We arranged to meet at the Nobel tearoom and when the appointment came we noticed that Lucero Palacios was seated at a nearby table. We gathered and the chat was about how we could make some money, that was our urgent problem. His was even worse because he rented a room and as he owed four months he was able neither to recover his suitcase nor his guitar. An acquaintance of ours that had come closer and heard our conversation said inspiringly: “You two sing and he plays the piano, with the guitar you can do something. Why not putting together a trio?”. We were speechless.

«Certainly, Alfredo had got experience in Rosario working on several radios, in an orchestra, also as soloist and in a duo with other boy but as I was more experienced in the city I had the responsibility of going to the radio stations to see if they were interested. I talked to Gaeta who had rented a room with piano on the then Cangallo Street (today Presidente Perón) so that he would allow us to rehearse a few hours. We did it with five pieces. A good number to face any audition. Our friends thought that the trio had a pleasant color as for the harmonic blend, especially when Palacios placed his lead voice and Sucher improved the musical arrangements. We were unable to get a gig on a radio. But still there were two stations remaining, Prieto and Argentina, that operated together on Bolívar and Independencia.

«Radio Prieto was directed by José Zatzkin, writer of several song lyrics. I had to lie, I said that we were back from a tour throughout South America, that there that radio station was well heard and that our style was connected with the one of the Irusta, Fugazot, Demare trio. The man was interested and we made an appointment for some days later. He was eager to hear us. We made the audition, we were accepted and we had to appear twice a week for two months and we would be paid 25 pesos each per show.

«It was a happy time. The season was coming to an end, it was 1936, when we went to rehearse to the Julio Korn publishing house on Entre Ríos Avenue. There I saw José Razzano whom I had already met. I introduced my buddies to him and he told me he had heard us. He came into our dressing room and we sang a song he had written with Gardel: “La criolla”. I noticed he was pleased so I took a chance. His answer was affirmative. He was friend of Pablo Osvaldo Valle’s who was in charge of Radio El Mundo. When he met us, days later, he told us he wanted Irusta, Fugazot y Demare, but they had just dismembered and we, according to the recommendation, were quite suitable. He offered us a thousand pesos each monthly, twice a week and for a two-month tenure. We were unable to believe it. Furthermore, he offered us the guitarists of the house, the Puccio brothers. Lucero Palacios and I appeared but Sucher followed another road. The guitar accompanists were then Alberro, Spina and Zaldívar, plus the pianist Juan Larenza. We also sang with the group led by Alberto Gambino, with the tropical orchestra fronted by Efraín Orozco and sang in a trio with La Mejicanita.

«Lucero did not share the good time I was living, a halo of anguish, of disappointment was always around him. We split in a friendly way. Thereafter he was member of the Palacios-Riverol-Cabral trio with short appearances in the Miguel Caló orchestra and, briefly, he joined an aggregation led by Sebastián Piana. In 1942 he recorded two tangos: “Hormiga negra” and “El payador”.»

Previously, between 1940 and 1941, the Bayardo–Palacios duo committed to disc four pieces but none of them was a tango: the zamba “Tierra gaucha”, the chacarera “Tan presumida”, the pasillo “La despedida” and the estilo “Paloma”. With Caló the above trio recorded two waltzes: “El plebeyo” and “Abandono [b]”. Finally, with Juan José Riverol and Ángel Cabral they recorded, between 1951 and 1954, over 15 numbers, from which we can single out: “Que nadie sepa mi sufrir” which was worldwide known in the great Edith Piaf’s rendition, but with other words and another title.

Source: Mis 50 años con la canción argentina, by Lito Bayardo and notes by Carlos P. Álvarez.