Osmar Spanu

e was born in Salto, province of Buenos Aires and, after a childhood spent in Pergamino he arrived in the city of Buenos Aires and never again stopped walking along Corrientes street. Those cafés with orchestras, the sleepless wee small hours of the morning at a table in a barroom, and the women and men of that time inspired Lorenzo to write his pieces in which he always rescues the family figure: “Milonga para mi hijo”, “Flores para mamá”, “Milonga para mi padre”, love without betrayals and the depictions of other geographies like the guarania “Tierra roja” and the ranchera “Un fósforo”.

The author José Terragno —father of the politician Rodolfo Terragno and creator of the tangos “Yo tengo un puñal”, “Derrotado” and “Con poca plata”, among others—, introduced him to the tango milieu and Lorenzo wrote his first number titled “Herencia”, with music by Roberto Pranteda, which in 1954 Dante Ressia with the guitarist Roberto Grela committed to disc and later Miguel Nijensohn made a rendition as a piano solo.

That same year —some months before— the Rubén Sosa orchestra with Alfredo Dalton on vocals recorded the waltz “Pasión otoñal” which Spanu co-wrote with Rolando Cao for the TK label.

In 1955, with the bandoneonist Alberto Núñez that was member of the Alfredo Gobbi orchestra, he wrote “De puerto en puerto” which was recorded by the aggregation led by Juan Sánchez Gorio with Osvaldo Bazán on vocals and by Donato Racciatti with the vocalist Víctor Ruiz. That tango number was also in the songbook of the group fronted by Félix Guillán with Aníbal Llanos on vocals (later known as Juan Carlos Godoy).

The following year, again with Núñez, he wrote “Lloremos” that in 1956 was recorded by Juan D’Arienzo with Armando Laborde on vocals, the Orquesta Símbolo Osmar Maderna with Horacio Casares and Félix Guillán with Carlos Vidal on vocals. In 1984 the vocalist Lalo Martel recorded it for the Sonolux label of Colombia.

For two decades, the fifties and sixties, Lorenzo was associated with figures like Florindo Sassone, Aquiles Roggero, Armando Laborde, Jorge Casal, Ricardo Ruiz, Jorge Durán, Héctor De Rosas and Horacio Palma.

In the 60s he co-wrote, with Florindo Sassone and the bandoneon player Orlando Calautti, “Rosa de Tokio” which the bandleader premiered in Japan. This tango piece was included in the repertoire of the Orquesta Símbolo Osmar Moderna, the group Los Tangoleros —with Alberto Cuello on vocals— and Beba Bidart sang it in several television programs.

By that time he also co-wrote his numbers with the violinists Oscar de la Fuente and Félix Guillán, with the bandoneonists Orlando Calautti and Daniel Lomuto and with the pianist Norberto Ramos.

Also in the mid- 60s he designed some record front covers for the Odeon company because he was as well a draftsman. Among them is the double record by Florindo Sassone entitled “Cuatro tangos para Tokio” which includes his number “Porque sé que me querés”.

An indefatigable broadcaster of tango, when he realized that the recording companies were not releasing discs, with the maestro Félix Guillán he founded the DOMA label which allowed many famous singers to again succeed in recording and thereafter he run another label with the same features named Forever.

Besides the above numbers, the following also belong to him: “No digas que no”, “Buenos días año nuevo”, “Buenas noches navidad”, “Viviré para quererte”, “Azul y rosa”, “Melodía para una novia”, “Solamente para novios”, “Peña tango y tinto” and the ranchera “Siempre mateando”, among others.

Lorenzo Spanu unexpectedly died at age 52. He never lived on tango... he always lived for tango.