Adolfo Avilés

Real name: Avilés, Adolfo Rafael
Nicknames: Populin
Pianist, composer, lyricist and leader
(11 May 1897 - 9 December 1971)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Orlando del Greco

e was one of the first jazzmen in our country, but he also led tango orchestras, dived very well into the folk genre and musicalized the variety show Hay que ver para creer in 1925.

In the 20’s his jazz material in Nacional records was a great attraction, especially when the vocal refrains were sung by Herminia Velich and Arturo Brown. He also recorded for the Victor label and was a strong number of the early radio stations, simply as pianist and singing his songs or with his orchestral ensembles. With his tango orchestra he opened the París movie theater and with Sureda he put together the Trío América.

His first composition is the tango entitled “El amasijo”, in 1916, forerunner of a large number of pieces in different styles of which we shall mention some: “Buenos Aires tenebroso”, “Loro viejo”, “Entre sombras”, “Firpo”, “Caballito”, “La culpa la tuve yo”, “Sabañón”, “En los tientos del recao”, “El poncho del olvido”, “Tonguero”, “No hay derecho”, tangos; “Sos tan bonita”, “Entre dos luces”, zambas; “Musmé”, fox-trot; “Vidita [b]”, “Jazmín del país”, “Almafuerte [b]”, “A lo lejos”, waltzes; “Fruto bendito”, tango, etc. and all those which Carlos Gardel sang and which mostly are still remembered: “Mal de amores”, “Los rosales se han secao”, “Los ojazos de mi negra”, zambas created by the Gardel-Razzano duo, and the tangos “Cicatrices”, “Micifuz”, “La borrachera del tango”, “Tesorito”, “Desolación” and “La canción del ukelele”, the fox-trot based on the American air by Conrad. The Avilés’s pieces recorded by Gardel bear his own lyrics, words by Eduardo Viera, by Juan Andrés Caruso and his choice collaborator, Enrique Maroni.

He got acquainted with the immortal singer in 1919 when he was gymnastics professor in the Y.M.C.A., where Gardel used to go to lose weight by doing physical exercise under his orders and following the beat of his piano.

By 1930 he became a film commentator, on radio and magazines, and made some trips to the United States and in 1935 he visited his old time friend while he was shooting El día que me quieras in New York. He was contributor for the journals El Diario, Novela, Leoplán, ¡Aquí está!, Antena, Tanguera, etc.

His many years in the milieu, as well as his close relationship with Gardel, allowed him to say after Carlitos’s death: «Some people say that Gardel was not an Argentine, that he was not born in our land. And who cares about that? Who has done more for Argentina and its music? For all of us, Carlos was an Argentine; he has loved like no one else our Fatherland and like no one else he has showed it when he sang his “Mi Buenos Aires querido” with so much feeling and tenderness, leaning on his guitar, and by expressing his love for our land he has touched all the audiences in the world and triumphantly carried our song worldwide.
Someone who loves his country does this, doesn’t he?»

Avilés was born in Buenos Aires on May 11, 1898 and also there he passed away on December 9, 1971.