Abel Palermo

his notable musician, son of Agustín and Carmen Chirico, was born and lived in the neighborhood of San Telmo at a home of immigrant origin. When he was a kid he dreamed of being a soccer player in the Club San Telmo but his liking for music was stronger and he began to study bandoneon with a neighbor.

At age 22, he joined, together with the young violinist Oscar Herrero, the orchestra led by Osvaldo Pugliese. And he was then in the bandoneon section with Osvaldo Ruggiero, Jorge Caldara and Esteban Gilardi. The double bass player was Aniceto Rossi, one of the responsible ones, together with the above musicians, of performig the yumba style created by maestro Pugliese.

Soon later his gifts as composer were recognized by don Osvaldo who committed to disc his tango "Testamento de arrabal" in December 1949 with Jorge Vidal on vocals and, in June the following year, they recorded "Porque canto el tango", with words by Antonio Cantó.

In the early 1951, he split with the orchestra to put together his own aggregation. He debutted on Radio Belgrano with the vocalists Horacio Quintana and Héctor Insúa that had a short tenure in the orchestra. He also appeared at the La Armonía tearoom on Corrientes Street with the vocalists Roberto Chanel and Julio Martel. The latter had just returned after a long tour of Central America.

In 1952, he made his debut at the recording studios of the T.K. label with the singer Roberto Florio with "Madre hay una sola" and the instrumental "La cachila". Two years later he appeared on Radio Splendid with the singers Pedro De Luca and Eduardo Randal that was his brother. In the sixties he accompanied Carlos Fontán (El Duende) at the 2001 tearoom of the neighborhood of Caballito.

He was summoned by Miguel Montero, in November 1968, to cut a record for the Odeon company. The disc included a number that would definitively consecrate the singer, the tango "El bazar de los juguetes". Among other pieces included in the record we can highlight: "Contramarca", "Charlemos", "El encopao" and "A mí no me hablen de tango".

He returned to the radio in 1973 with a successful season on Radio El Mundo with the singer Reynaldo Martín. Ten years later he cut a new record, this time for the Almalí label, entitled Arráncame la Vida with Eduardo Randal on vocals.

Among his compositions, besides the ones above, the following are standouts: "Usted" with words by Reinaldo Yiso, "Cartas gitanas" with Abel Aznar, "Juntos" with Mario Soto, "Bajemos el telón" with Oscar Fresedo, "Por qué vivir así" with Roberto Cassinelli, "Mi corazón y yo" with his own lyrics and the instrumentals "Y por qué" and "Julie".

Castagniaro died when he was seventy-two. He was a great friend whom I fondly remember always with the same admiration. His name had to be present at the Hall of the Creators of Todo Tango, not only for his quality but also for his honesty and behavior.