Néstor Pinsón

raditional tango men, mostly, think that the 40s meant the golden age of tango. Maybe because of the large number of artists, but also due to the notable development and musical evolution of the genre.

But how can we put aside the 20s? Then there were outstanding creators that in a short time became classics and a special word deserves the emergence of the great female singers that suddenly appeared all together to stay at the top of the interpretive quality of tango.

Many are the names of exceptional stars that have remained in our memory but many more are those that were forgotten by the passing of time.

One day, checking notes, a clipping from an old magazine appeared among a bunch of papers like a card which was trying to get away from the deck. The photograph of a man, nearly full-length, and an interview of those so customary in the old days, a lot of words by the journalist and scarce information. The character: Alberto Tagle.

«At age seven you were discovered as a singer and you had to show it, not only at home but also at school parties, and soon later you appeared at the Teatro Colón. How was that?

«— I was not a child prodigy, we were invited because we were part of a school children group together with other groups. But as I stood out I was always the soloist of the choir on some pasagges.

«— And later?

«As usual, with the passing of time, when I was a teen ager I had learnt by contesting with the boys in the neighborhood. Tango was everywhere and we expected to become singers on the radio and things of the sort. I debuted with Roberto Firpo in whose aggregation the late Príncipe Azul was already singing and I some times teamed up as duo with Osvaldo Novarro who was also bandoneon player.»

«— My first public appearance was at the Teatro Apolo in the play Hoy te llaman milonguita which was successful because it was on the billboard several months. Next I joined the trio led by Antonio Sureda, by replacing Santiago Devin who had split after a great number of hits, especially when he recorded the waltz “A su memoria”. I was lucky to premiere a large number of hits, among them: “Plegaria [b]”, “Yo quiero que sepas”, “Te quiero mucho más”... I spent a year and a half with the trio which later backed up other singers such as Eduardo Márquez, Juanita Larrauri, Roberto Maida and Agustín Volpe, among others. In 1934 I sang on Radio Cultura as soloist. There I attracted the attention of Pablo Osvaldo Valle who, one month later, made me join the Alberto Gambino orchestra in which I stayed one year and a half.

«But Tagle is not a boy capable of growing accustomed so easily. One afternoon he met Juan Canaro, he told him his plans which were hungry for hits, and soon thereafter they shook hands to make a deal. His first rendering with that orchestra was the waltz “Sueño fue”, a boom in popularity seldom found. As you will see, waltzes were always vehicles for success in the singer’s voice. Two years later he joined the Enrique Lomito orchestra. So Tagle fulfilled one of his greatest expectations because he was admirer and, later, friend of that musician.

«— A note without an anecdote is not complete, is it? Didn’t something strange happen to you that you can tell us?

«— A funny memory. I was reading while I was on a streetcar and heard female voices coming into the car. I looked at them with great attention because it was the female charm that happens to pass by at any time. They sat behind me and all of a sudden I heard that some of them mentioned my name. They were wondering if Tagle, whom they seemed to know better than I myself, was limp or not. Finally they agreed that he was limp. I blushed a little and when I arrived at my destination I got off and stepped firmly with both feet on the ground. I verified that the girls were mistaken.»

In that defective interview it is not mentioned that he traveled to Paris with Rafael Canaro, along with another vocalist, Aldo Campoamor. With that orchestra he succeeded in recording on several occasions. We were able to find the following numbers: “Desengañao”, by Fioravanti Di Cicco and Mendivil; “Desaliento”; “Falsedad” (we are not sure if this number was recorded with Rafael Canaro) and “Desencanto”. By listening to these recordings we hear his pleasant tenor range, his clear diction and his adjustment either to a romantic piece —without gimmicks— or to a dramatic number like “Desencanto”, in which he seems to sing in a higher range, but that was his style. He sorts out with facility and good taste the situations posed by the lyrics.

He joined Juan Canaro in 1940. In that aggregation there were names that later would stand out: Eduardo Del Piano and Alfredo Gobbi, for example. Other vocalists were Fernando Díaz and the Desmond sisters. Furthermore, he was in the ranks of Enrique Mora and Ricardo Malerba, though for short tenures.

His friendship with the singer and composer Hugo Gutiérrez drove him to a tour of Brazilian cities. When Domingo Federico put together his orchestra to debut on June 16, 1943 at the Café Select Buen Orden, the vocalists were Alberto Tagle and Alfredo Castel. They also appeared at the Richmond Constitución on Lima Street.

The above is the information we collected about a singer that, even though he did not reach the highest levels of popularity, contributed to the wide history of tango, the music that identifies our idiosyncrasy.