Rosita Quiroga

Real name: Rodríguez, Rosa
Singer, lyricist and composer
(16 January 1896 - 16 October 1984)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Néstor Pinsón

he was the first female singer, a direct heir of the primitive early payadores (itinerant singing improvisers). Hers is a unique case in the history of woman in tango. No one expressed like she did, she sang with the same cadence and the same «air» as she had when speaking; she was the unique female model who represented the outskirts people features.

She interpreted naturally, without premeditation, and strummed chords in her guitar in the way Juan de Dios Filiberto, her neighbor in La Boca quarter, had taught her.

She talked interspersing slang and vulgar words, with a canyengue rhythm, just like those she had heard from the men at her place, dock workers and cart drivers. She did it lisping and her voice was not strong but it generated an intimate mood as if she were singing for herself. She was faithful to this style until death even though she had overcome poverty and held a comfortable financial position.

The journalist Jorge Göttling called her the «Piaf from the outskirts of Buenos Aires».

She sprang up at the precise moment and was different from all the other singers.

She quickly achieved success, she was the beloved daughter of the Victor company to which she was loyal throughout her career.

She began recording in 1923, her first release was an estilo titled “Siempre criolla”. Her first tango was “La tipa”, by the guitarist Enrique Maciel and lyrics by Enrique Maroni.

It was her and, of course, the Victor label, who started in Argentina the era of the electrical recordings. The event took place on March 1, 1926, on that day she cut four electrical recordings, but according to the matrix number, the first, and consequently emblematic for the discographic history of our country, was “La musa mistonga”, by Antonio Polito and Celedonio Flores.

She had continuity until February 10, 1931, when she cut four numbers as well. Practically then she ended her career, she was 35, although she kept on sporadically appearing on radio. She was not fond of public performances.

During that successful period (1923-1931) she managed to influence the decisions of the recording company, so much so that due to her negotiation the great Agustín Magaldi, by then an unknown singer, was able to record for the company.

For many years the poet Celedonio Flores only wrote for her, creating 24 songs, among which we highlight “Muchacho” and “Beba” (with music by Edgardo Donato), “Audacia” (Hugo La Rocca), “Carta brava” (with her own music), “La musa mistonga” (Antonio Polito) and “Contundencia” (Mario Micchelini).

She returned to record on March 1952 when she cut four numbers and her farewell happened on September 14, 1984 (32 days before her death), urged by her friend and personal physician Dr. Luis Alposta, when accompanied by the guitarist Aníbal Arias and his outfit, she recorded “Campaneando mi pasado”, with lyrics by Alposta and music written by her.

In 1970 she traveled to Osaka, Japan, invited by the members of a tango circle which bears her name.

Most times she was accompanied by guitarists, but in her beginnings she was also accompanied by the orchestras of Carlos Vicente Geroni Flores, Antonio Scatasso, Eduardo Pereyra, Manuel Buzón and others, all them belonging to the Victor label.

Rosita Quiroga is the most genuine representative of tango from the outskirts, today a legend of the most ancient porteña lineage, for many the greatest, and she is highly respected by all who love this genial paradigm called tango.