Ángel Vargas

Real name: Lomio, José Ángel
Nicknames: El ruiseñor de las calles porteñas
Singer, lyricist and composer
(22 October 1904 - 7 July 1959)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Ricardo García Blaya

ossibly, with Francisco Fiorentino, he was the paradigm of the orchestra singer, to such an extent that when we refer to Ángel Vargas, we are inevitably reminded of Ángel D'Agostino, the orchestra leader of his greatest hits.

A singer with impressive personality, he is the symbol of porteño (from Buenos Aires) tango phrasing in the 40s. Vargas sings as only in the 40s tango was sung.
His phrasing was reo and compadrito but at the same time of an infinite good taste.

He had a sweetness which compensated for his small but masculine voice, he generated sympathy and was, above all, a charismatic singer.

The team D'Agostino-Vargas is, in my opinion, one of the most perfect mechanisms which tango had, only comparable to that of Aníbal Troilo with Fiorentino.

His career started in the early 30s. He performed in the orchestra of the famous and veteran musician Augusto Pedro Berto, under the pseudonym Carlos Vargas which he used for some broadcasts in Buenos Aires. In 1932 he made some appearances with whom, later he would form a successful team: Ángel D'Agostino.

José Luis Padula, composer of the famous tango “Nueve de julio”, hired him in 1935 and they recorded two versions, the tango “Brindemos compañero” and the ranchera “Ñata linda”. In 1938 he sang some "estribillos" (refrains) for the well known Orquesta Típica Victor and the following year he recorded two pieces accompanied by guitars, the tango “La bruja” and “Milongón”.

In 1940 he would commence his fundamental period when entering the orchestra led by the pianist Ángel D'Agostino with whom he would stay until 1946, producing 94 renditions on record which stand as legitimate jewels in the genre.

His stage as soloist is handled by putting together his own orchestra, alternately conducted by different musicians: the bandoneonist Eduardo Del Piano, the pianist Armando Lacava, and the bandoneon players Edelmiro D'Amario, Luis Stazo and José Libertella, his total output with his orchestra amounts to 86 renditions. He also made interesting recordings with the Alejandro Scarpino trio.

Among his recordings these tango interpretations stand out “No aflojés”, “Tres esquinas”, “Ninguna” and “Muchacho”, the waltz “Esquinas porteñas”, all of them with the Ángel D'Agostino orchestra and, later as soloist, the tango “Ya no cantas chingolo (Chingolito)” by Antonio Scatasso and Edmundo Bianchi, accompanied by his orchestra conducted by Armando Lacava, which has the double peculiarity of being his only recording in duo with another singer and that, furthermore, this singer was his brother Amadeo Lomio.

Angel Vargas died young and still without a very noticeable decline as interpreter; he was, no doubt, one of the major artists in our tango music.