Ricardo García Blaya

hen I hear Floreal Ruiz I have the impression that the singer so naturally and spontaneously does it that he seems to be seated on a chair informally conversing, and the musical notes spring out of his throat with no effort. The timbre and the color of his voice are everyday sounds for me, there are neither stridences nor false resources, he does it in the most difficult way, easily.

He is, undoubtedly, a subtle singer, delicate, of an excellent diction which allows understanding not only the lyrics but also its dramatism.

He was one of the great voices of the 40s, and paradoxically, he achieved his definitive recognition after the passing of years, not at his time of splendor when he was member of Aníbal Troilo´s orchestra. This was due to two reasons. First, because in the 40s quite a lot of singers of an exceptional level sprang out; second, because he had to replace Francisco Fiorentino in Pichuco´s orchestra and perform by the side of the successful Alberto Marino, who was the singer in vogue.

Floreal Ruiz always sang well, even in the late years of his career. He died singing.
He was born in the porteño neighborhood of Flores, son of an anarchist to whom he owes his original name. His father, a severe man of strong ideologic convictions threw him out from home because he wanted to be a singer: «to be a singer is to be a pimp» —he said— «and I don't want pimps at home».

In his youth he was Hugo Del Carril's bosom friend, and with him he commited his first bohemia sins and sang serenatas for the fortuitous lovers who hired them. His professional career started on radio and in 1938 he was vocalist in José Otero´s orchestra and recorded with him in 1939, the “Marcha del Club Platense” (soccer club). He performed with the nickname Fabián Conde.

In 1942, he debuted with his true name at a show on Radio Prieto. His father went to see him and there they reconciled.

In 1943, he joined the orchestra led by Alfredo De Angelis with whom he recorded eight numbers, the first was “Marioneta” (by Juan José Guichandut and Armando Tagini) on July 23, which turned out his most representative tango, so much so that he later recorded it with Aníbal Troilo and José Basso.

The following year and on request of the already consecrated Alberto Marino, Aníbal Troilo hired him for his orchestra, leaving 31 memorable recordings, among them these tangos stand out “Naranjo en flor”, “De todo te olvidas (Cabeza de novia)”, “La noche que te fuiste”, “Equipaje” and the waltzes “Flor de lino” and “Romance de barrio”. All of them, according to my taste, classics of our city music.

In 1948, he split with Troilo's orchestra and, for exclusively financial reasons, he joined Francisco Rotundo's orchestra. Of that period we can highlight the tangos “Aquel tapado de armiño”, recorded on July 6, 1950, and the next year “Sobre el pucho” and “El viejo vals”, in duet with Enrique Campos. Of that stage, 25 discographic recordings remain.

After seven years with Rotundo he switched to José Basso´s orchestra, with whom he recorded forty numbers. His voice kept its quality and its style as ever, but with a lower pitch. His renditions of “Muriéndome de amor”, “Vieja amiga” and “Como dos extraños”, are excellent.

In the early sixties he is an already recognized soloist. From 1966 until his death, he recorded 45 more numbers accompanied by the orchestras of Jorge Dragone, Luis Stazo, Osvaldo Requena and the Orquesta Típica Porteña conducted by Raúl Garello. With the latter, in 1977, he produced fifteen recordings, evidencing a good taste and an extraordinary vocal creativity, in spite of his throat decline. His interpretations of the tangos “Buenos Aires conoce”, “Y no puede ser”, “Perfume de mujer”, “Cuándo volverás” and “Divina” are touching, and this is the great finale of the artistic career of a remarkable singer.

Admired by the new tango generations, he is the model of a way of feeling and interpreting our tango.