Abel Palermo

e was a musician whose capabilities as composer were at a higher level than his as orchestra leader. He was a quite correct leader but his aggregations never surpassed a second level.

His oeuvre, even though has ups and downs in quality, reached two important peaks which brought him popular recognition and commercial success. I’m talking about the tangos “Esta noche de luna” and “Tu íntimo secreto”.

But, in fact, he is remembered as leader of groups that backed up vocalists as featured soloists. However, he had his time of fame when he was alongside the great Uruguayan female singer Nina Miranda back in the mid- 50s.

He was born in the province of Buenos Aires, in the locality of Temperley, a few miles from the city of Buenos Aires.

In 1937 he began the leadership of his aggregation when he made his debut on LR2 Radio Argentina. Throughout the forties he appeared fronting his orchestra in different radio programs, at clubs and ballrooms.

But, as we have said above, the success of his activity as musician was achieved by his creative inspiration, due to his oeuvre. His first composition did not stand out and had no acclaim. It was entitled “Siempre a tu lado”.

But in August 1943 José García with his orchestra, Los Zorros Grises, recorded another number of his that turned out a big hit: “Esta noche de luna”, with Alfredo Rojas on vocals and, in December, Carlos Di Sarli with the vocalist Roberto Rufino also committed it to record. This tango was so popularly acclaimed that not only thousand of discs were sold but also was recorded by other important orchestras.

Let us mention some examples of the recordings of this number: Julio De Caro with Roberto Medina (July 1951), Francisco Canaro with Carlos Roldán on vocals (June 1944) and Libertad Lamarque accompanied by the orchestra led by her husband Alfredo Malerba, also that year. Much later Osvaldo Pugliese with his singer Jorge Maciel recorded it.

Another outstanding number of his harvest is: “Tu íntimo secreto” which was recorded by Di Sarli with Jorge Durán, I think this is a gem; Enrique Rodríguez with Armando Moreno, both in 1945 and, a decade later, Alfredo De Angelis with the Carlos Dante and Oscar Larroca duo.

Less known but quite beautiful is the waltz “Rosa en pena” which was recorded in Uruguay by Dorita Davis, also in 1945.

But despite he had succeeded as composer much earlier he only managed to record with his own orchestra in 1961 when he cut his milonga “A todo trapo”. On the other side of the disc he cut the tango “Pa’ que sientas lo que siento” written by Marcelo Salazar Bonilla and sung by Elena Maida.

Six years before, in 1955, a very important event in the career of this musician had taken place. That year the Odeon company hired the Uruguayan singer Nina Miranda as exclusive artist and, to conduct the orchestra that had to back her in the recordings, summoned Graciano Gómez.

The recording debut was with the tango “Julián” which was later followed by: “Mama, yo quiero un novio”, “Maula”, “Arrabalero”, “Perdón, viejita”, “Fueron tres años”, “Esta noche de luna” and the waltz “Pastorcita de Amancay” (by Chito Galindo), among others. They recorded 16 numbers. Thereafter, at the public appearances in Buenos Aires and in other cities, some problems about the billboard announcements arose and then they split up. Nina continued her career as soloist and Gómez, his appearances on radio and his tours throughout the country, featuring Elena Maida who had been female vocalist in the Enrique Mora quartet.

Between 1957 and 1962 he appeared on LR3 Radio Belgrano and on TV Channel 7. Furthermore, he recorded for the Voxor label with the following singers: Dante Rossi (who recorded his hit “Esta noche de luna” again and other pieces), Rubén Cané, Carlos Nogués, Roberto Alvar and the above mentioned Elena Maida.

By that time he also conducted the orchestra that accompanied Enrique Campos and appeared on LR4 Radio Splendid, on Channel 13 of the Argentine television and on TV Channel 4 of Montevideo.

Furthermore, the Magenta label released on record five radio broadcasts with the tangos “Padre mío” co-written by Gómez with Rafael Cardenutto; “A mí dejame de cuentos” also by Gómez with words by Domingo Sciaraffia; “Más allá del corazón”; “Qué tenés que hablar de mí” and the waltz “Me besó y se fue” which were the last recordings of the great Uruguayan singer.

Besides the above numbers he also composed: “Amor en sombras”, with Héctor Marcó; “La misma tarde”, with Justo Ricardo Thompson; “Amor pasajero” with Guido Lima and “Adiós París”, with José Rótulo, among others.