Américo Podestá

Real name: Podestá, Américo
Violinist, singer, leader and composer
(2 August 1919 - 24 February 1995)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Ricardo García Blaya

e was born in the neighborhood of Barracas, in the city of Buenos Aires. In the late 40’s he appeared in the quartet led by Juan Cambareri, not as violinist but as singer. Its members were Cambareri (bandoneon), José Fernández (violin), Fernando Porcelli (double bass) and Juan Rizzo (piano). They appeared in several neighboring countries and in the Argentina’s most-listened-to radio program, the Jabón Federal radio show, which was aired on Thursdays at 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 12:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

He also sang with the Pedro Maffia orchestra and recorded “Las cuarenta” with Roberto Grela, according to what his son Norberto told me.

Alberto Príncipe commented that when Julio Martel split with the Alfredo De Angelis orchestra, after the carnival balls in Club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, in 1951, he traveled to Montevideo hired by several tango venues. There he had the opportunity of recording for Discos Sondor, with the Puglia-Pedroza tango orchestra, the Puglia-Pedroza’s tango, “Nacional [b]”, disc N° 5227, dedicated to the Uruguayan soccer club. He came back to Buenos Aires, invited by Oscar Castagniaro –who had just split with the Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra-, to appear in his music group as soloist singer. The debut was at the Café La Armonía and they made appearances on Radio Belgrano.

In 1956 Martel decided to put together his own orchestra and summoned Américo Podestá to conduct it because the latter, besides being a violinist, was a good guitar player and, as above said, singer. Their debut was on LR3 Radio Belgrano, where leader and singer stayed for several months and also appeared at dancing venues and clubs. They later traveled to Chile and thereafter to Colombia where they stayed for several years.

For Odeon records they cut four tracks: “Pobre colombina”, “Lechuza”, “Por qué no has venido” and “Fueron tres años”. That was an orchestra with outstanding players, such as: Roberto Casal (piano), Carlos Tavarozzi (double bass), Enrique Méndez, Américo Figola, Fernando Tell (bandoneons), Podestá, Aquiles Aguilar, Carmelo Cavallaro, Nito Farace, Alberto Luongo (violins).

Both characters, Julio Martel and Américo Podestá, from their youth kept a close friendship which was renewed at the Golf Club Boulogne, where they practiced that sport.

He had a tragic death in a car accident on a highway near the city of Gualeguaychú, province of Entre Ríos, on the same curve where the female singer Gilda died.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that his son Norberto Podestá, followed his father’s steps and is also a tango singer who regularly appears in the northern area of the Greater Buenos Aires.