Armando Guerrico

Real name: Ambrústolo, Armando
(2 June 1919 - 28 March 2011)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina

e was born in the Federal Capital and was raised in Quilmes, province of Buenos Aires. At an early age he began to sing and he quickly learnt to play guitar.

In his teen years he was known as Armando Barrié and with that stage name he formed a duo with his friend Carlos Fiorina. They both played guitar and Armando was the lead voice. They appeared at parties in the neighborhood which were organized by relatives or, simply, by friends. With their guitars they used to go to wedding parties despite they had not been invited and ended up singing and entertaining the guests. When their show was over they shared the tips they raised. By that time any kind of event was valid to become well-known and to get some bucks.

When he was very young he joined the orchestra led by Francisquín, an aggregation of Quilmes quite renowned by then in the neighborhood.

In 1934 Carlos Gardel sang at the Cristoforo Colombo theater of Quilmes. Armando, since he was a kid, had been a great fan of the Zorzal Criollo. He, not only had the chance of watching him sing but also he was able to meet him and personally greet him at the square which was in front of the theater. He shook his hand and Gardel signed an autograph for him.

He was still a teenager when he began to professionally appear for the first time at the cabarets in the neighborhood of La Boca, among them, the Charleston, located on Don Pedro de Mendoza and Necochea Street. It was a milieu rather heavy in comparison with other cabarets of Buenos Aires. Due to the nearness to the harbor it was frequented by sailors and by dark characters of the waterfront.

With the passing of time he appeared at better venues and he made successful appearances at the famous Café de los Angelitos. So much so that in 1946 when Enrique Campos split with the Ricardo Tanturi orchestra, people connected with the bandleader recommended him that Armando would fit for an audition.

He made a good interpretation of the Campos songbook but he ended up rejecting the offer because Tanturi wanted him to emulate the Uruguayan singer and did not allow him to do it in his own style.

It is interesting to mention that he not only used to sing tangos, milongas and waltzes, but he also liked very much to sing folk songs. By that time, as a soloist, when he was in the folk vein his sobriquet was Armando Duval.

In 1957 he was summoned by Fulvio Salamanca, who had put together his own orchestra, after a 17-year tenure with Juan D'Arienzo. He was auditioned by singing “El Tigre Millán” and Fulvio realized that that tango did not match his style, so the audition continued with other numbers and he was hired. From that moment on, because of the leader’s suggestion, the singer was known as Armando Guerrico, a name he would keep forever.

He became the signature singer of the orchestra and the one who recorded most. He cut 20 successful recordings. His first numbers were “Mano cruel” and “Adiós corazón” in 1957. And the last four were in July 1961: “Quereme corazón”, “Dónde estás cariño”, “Y el último beso” and “La uruguaya y la porteña”.

In 1963 he quit the Salamanca orchestra and continued his career as soloist and worked with several aggregations, among them, the one led by Oscar de la Fuente and the one headed by Roberto Zanoni. With Zanoni he formed Los Cuatro para el Tango. They made tours and recorded two long-playing records.

In 1967 for the Doma label he recorded with Oscar de la FuenteBomboncito” and “No digas que no”, a guarania in tango beat composed by the accompanying leader and Lorenzo Spanu. Two years later, they recorded “Melodía para una novia”, written by the above authors, for the Forever label.

For the same recording company he committed to tape a series of rancheras accompanied by the Daniel Lomuto orchestra but these tapes were lost and were never released.

He never ceased singing folk music and, whenever it was posible, he appeared to sing at some party or reunion. In 1970 he made his last professional appearance singing folk music on the stage of Mi Refugio, a few yards from Radio El Mundo. And many were surprised that he appeared under the stage name of Armando Duval.

Thereafter he definitively retired and passed away at age 91.