Luis Scalon

Real name: Scalon, Luis Juan
Singer, guitarist, lyricist and composer
(3 March 1904 - 19 November 1985)
Place of birth:
La Plata (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Ricardo García Blaya

ome authors mention his surname including in it the letter ‘n’ before the letter ‘l’ (Scanlon), but the documents we have checked show, in a reliable manner, that his real surname is Scalon. In fact, we were able to verify it both in a record, with his signature, of his arrival to Brazil and in a record of the 1895 national census, in which his father Carlos Scalon, Italian, cobbler by trade, appears.

He was born in La Plata, province of Buenos Aires. He was a refrain singer with a long career in Europe, where he sang in several orchestras but today no one remembers him.

He was vocalist of Francisco Canaro with whom he recorded for Odeon, between 1927 and 1928: “Carro viejo”, “Compadrón”, “El tigre [b]”, “Invocación al tango” (which he also recorded with the orchestra fronted by Bachicha two years later), “Mientras rezonga un fuelle”, and “Pobre gringo”.

In the early 1930's he sang with Anselmo Aieta and, for Columbia Records, committed to disc the tangos: “Dejame llorar hermano”, “Deschavate hermano”, by M. Scarone and Máximo Orsi, “Sandía calada” and the waltz “La montonera”.

That same year he joined the Spaventa-Scalon-Morales trio with which he traveled to Spain and, later, to Cuba and Mexico. When the trio broke up, Luis returned to Europe.

He settled in Paris and sang in several night venues. He was an inseparable friend of Manuel Pizarro’s and joined the orchestras of Bachicha and the Brodman-Alfaro (1930), the one led by Francisco Alongi (1931) (who was pianist in the Bianco-Bachicha orchestra and composer of “Pobre Pancho”, which was recorded by Carlos Gardel) and, finally, the one fronted by Rafael Canaro with which he toured the old continent, from 1934 to 1939, year when they came back to Argentina because of the war. What is worth noting is that he cut records with all of them.
I own some of these recordings: with Bachicha, the tangos “Arribeño”, with music by Luis Scalon and words by O. Elena, and the above “Invocación al tango”; with Brodman-Alfaro, “Clavel del aire”; and with Francisco Alongi, “Te odio”.

In 1935 he recorded “Viejo gaucho” with the Rafael Canaro orchestra, which bears music and lyrics by his brother Mario Canaro, with the curiosity that for this piece, José María Contursi later wrote another lyric which became “Quiero verte una vez más”, a hit in the 40’s.

Other recordings with Rafael Canaro were the tangos: “Aunque no lo crean”, “Casas viejas”, “Cómo te quiero” by Francisco Canaro, Antonio Botta and José González Castillo; “Cuando el corazón”, “Envidia”, “Hay que aclarar”, “Paciencia”, “Qué le importa al mundo”, Francisco Canaro’s “Resentimiento” and “Yo también soñé”.

The other two vocalists that appeared in the Rafael Canaro orchestra were Alberto Tagle and, in 1938, Aldo Campoamor.

In the Sociedad Argentina de Autores y Compositores (SADAIC) two of his pieces are filed in the record. One as lyricist, “Mis delirios”, which bears music by Héctor Artola, and another as composer, “Sos tuita mi vida entera”, with words by Fermín Germán Trabes and José Siciliani.

In the French SACEM —an organization like SADAIC— there are many of his pieces filed in the record, among others: “Rey del ritmo”, “Si me faltas tú”, “Vencido”, “Nostalgia del indio”, “Tu partida”.

In the 40’s we lost his track and we have no other information either of his show business activity or of his life but the date of his death, in 1985.