Alberto Acuña

Real name: Acuña, Alberto Hilarión
Singer, guitarist, lyricist and composer
(21 October 1896 - 6 December 1975)
Place of birth:
Lomas de Zamora (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Orlando del Greco

is interests in singing were felt when teen-ager and his early stints were at a folk center in the city of La Plata; later he performed in several native art circles in the Federal Capital and Avellaneda.

Around 1924 he formed with René Ruiz, the Ruiz-Acuña duo, one of the best to be remembered, of great public recognition, a strong number for Nacional Odeon records, on different radios and at Max Glücksmann cinema chain. This duo was backed since its beginnings by the great guitarist Ismael Gómez, to whom later was added Guillermo Daviz, playing at the Nacional, Empire, Paramount, Florida theaters and at others in the capital and at the provinces.

In 1931 he formed the Acuña-Díaz duo, and later the Acuña-Maciel duo, with them he performed on radio, and in 1934 he returned to join the Ruiz-Acuña duet.
He composed his early musical pieces when he was part of his first duo and had the satisfaction that his colleague Carlos Gardel recorded “La choyana” (chacarera), and “Del infierno adelante” (gato); in duet with José Razzano and in solos “Mi suegra no me quiere” (gato); “Colorao colorao” with lyrics by Celedonio Flores; “De salto y carta” with lyric by José De Cicco and “Tenemos que abrirnos” with the collaboration of Agustín Irusta, tangos. The first three were made with his partner Ruiz.

Even though Gardel committed to wax those six songs, he did not regarded himself as his friend; on a personal note of 1965, he said: «I had little contact with Gardel, because I did not often go to Odeon house, but rarely due to business matters. The repertory was sent by the management to his place and he performed those he thought were fit for his style, the others were sent back».

Other successful numbers of his are his criollo waltzes “Temblando”, lyrics by Gualberto Márquez (Charrúa) and “Noche de tormenta”, lyrics by José De Cicco, recorded by Ignacio Corsini. Among many more, we find “Capillita de la sierra”, “La flor de los payadores”, “Botarate”, “Trenzando recuerdos”, “Flete gaucho”, “Aquí estoy porque he venido”, “Autocaricatura”, “El carau”, “El campero”, “El 180”, “Tu vuelta”, “Dame el alma que te di”, “Churrasqueando”, “Mi buena estrella”, “Llorando mis penas”, “Regalito”, “La ofrenda del trovero”, which with rhythms of tango, zamba, waltz, tonada, milonga, estilo, etc., have lyrics by Roberto Roncayoli, Enrique Dizeo, Salvador Riese, Carlos Pesce, Claudio Frollo, Márquez, De Cicco, his own lyrics or in collaboration with Ruiz.

Of the singing duos who dug our music, the one formed by Carlos Gardel and José Razzano was the most famous and maybe the best, but Ruiz-Acuña was not far behind, they were almost at the same level. From El Canta Claro magazine of April 19, 1929, we transcribe: «After the unsurpassable duo Gardel-Razzano disbanded, the best that is left as duet interpreting our sentimental popular muse is unarguably the exquisite Ruiz-Acuña duo».

Acuña was born in Lomas de Zamora (province of Buenos Aires) on October 21, 1896 and died in Buenos Aires on December 6, 1975.