Luis Bates

Real name: Bates, Luis Jorge
Nicknames: Calderón de la Piragüa
Lyricist, journalist and writer
(3 February 1907 - 3 September 1979)
Place of birth:
San Juan Argentina
Orlando del Greco

e wrote a large number of songs with music by popular composers like his cousin Héctor Bates, Agustín Bardi, Carlos Sánchez, Carlos Montbrún Ocampo, Hilda Rufino, Sebastián Lombardo, etc. or made on foreign songs by Mabel Wayne and Fred Lawrence, among which we have "Nelly [b]", "Ibis", "Clyde", "Por qué cierras los ojos cuando besas", "El ultimo vals", "Gris [b]", "La de ojos verde mar", "Rubita", "Las doce menos cinco", "Alas", "Una canción de cuna", "Vendrás a mí", "La farsa de la vida", "Noviecita", "Luna de Honolulú", "Azucena".

All of them were published in Buenos Aires where he lived from 1926 to 1936 and then he came back to his province where he worked as journalist in the La Acción newspaper and, later, Tribuna and Diario de Cuyo, in which he signed commentaries under his pen name. He founded or directed magazines like Industria y comercio, Mercurio and Oasis, and was president of the Circle of Journalists of San Juan.

For the theater he wrote the farce Jumeo y Rolieta; the lyrical poem Las manos de Carocito; the comedies Hoy tenemos visitas, El anillo, El deshollinador and some others.

He is author of the lyrics of several school anthems, awarded in San Luis at the Salón del Poema Ilustrado, professor in the Universidad de Cuyo and radio commentator, are other outstanding milestones of this tireless worker.

Co-author of the book Las Historias del Tango: sus autores, already mentioned in the previous biography, when he was asked about, he said the following about his waltz "Nelly [b]" and Carlos Gardel: «I couldn’t say I was Carlos Gardel’s friend, I simply met him. Our contact became closer when Fate joined us near a seat from where we were one evening watching Agusto Vergez, aka El Matungo, the greatest three-band billiards player in the country. That was the time when I talked with Carlitos for a long time. He was a billiards fan and admirer of El Matungo.

Then there was no special reason for him to record the waltz "Nelly [b]". He did it because it was convenient for him; it was a waltz in vogue, so much so that for a time it was a top hit in editions and recordings. The famous Zorzal must have been the 15th or the 16th in recording it, hence the explanation of his interest in recording smash hits and making some piece successful».

Luis Bates was born in San Juan on February 3, 1907 and there he died on September 3, 1979.