Ricardo García Blaya
| Néstor Pinsón

n an interview, when Héctor Varela was asked about his singers, he said that it was Carlos Nogués the one who forced him to play with nuances. We shall never know if it was a compliment or if he was sincere, but the truth is that this singer was the perfect match for the bandleader.

He owned a baritone range with the phrasing and style of the 50’s. He reminds us of the strong, masculine Rodolfo Lesica’s nature, but he also made use of the mezza voce.

He was born in Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Palermo, precisely in the house on 4645 Paraguay Street.

His debut was at age 18 with the group of the now forgotten Juan Caruso (please do not mistake him for the author of “Cascabelito”).

In the early 60’s he sang in the Graciano Gómez orchestra and, as testimony of his tenure in that aggregation, we have six recordings: “Allá en el bajo”, “Eras como la flor”, “Hablame corazón”, “Esta noche de luna”, “Y olvida corazón” (by Juan Pomati with words by Leopoldo Díaz Vélez) and “Pregonera”.

Later he joined several orchestras: Baffa-Berlingieri, Fulvio Salamanca (with whom he recorded “Organito del amor”, a milonga by Vicente Demarco and Leo Lipesker), in 1964 with Alfredo Gobbi (about that tenure there are a couple of radio air takes: “Budinazo”, tango by Dante Gilardoni, and “Esta noche de luna”); thereafter he was with the Osvaldo Piro orchestra until he quit in 1965 to join the orchestra led by Héctor Varela. Piro replaced him by Carlos Casado.

He also sang in an aggregation called Los Embajadores, led by Omar Valente (piano) and which included Abelardo Alfonsín and Héctor Díaz (bandoneons), Eduardo Walczak and Ángel Bodas (violins), José Alegre (string bass), Omar Aris (cello) and Juan Carlos Navarro (electric guitar). With this group he cut three recordings: “Ruiseñor de las calles porteñas” by Miguel Ángel Pepe (Mapera) and Rubén Ramón Trousel, “Estrella” and “Quiero hablarte nuevamente” by Fernández Earle and Jorge Vilela.

With the Héctor Varela orchestra he reached a wide acclaim. With it he made several recordings for the Odeon company. In June 1966: “Tus lágrimas benditas” (by Juan Carlos Howard and José María Contursi); in September “Mi barrio tenía cosas”; later “El desafío”, in a duet with Jorge Rolando, “Ay Aurora”, also teaming in duo with Rolando and “Se tiran conmigo”, the three tracks in November. In April 1968 he recorded “Te necesito tanto”.

In March 1969: “Andate con ella”, “Que más quieres” and “Ven a bailar”; in June: “Veredas con escalones” (by Roberto Pansera and Roberto Lambertucci) and “Las cantinas de la Boca” by the same authors; in August: “Mi fama de burrero”, “Al final para qué” by Erma Suárez and Ernesto Rossi.

And for the Embassy label in 1972: “Caminito” which was his last recording with the Varela orchestra. As his substitute the vocalist Marcelo Peña joined the orchestra.