José Gobello

e was born in Ancona, Italy, but he lived in Buenos Aires since he was three-months old.

Around 1920 he wrote his early lines of poetry, and soon thereafter, some songs with Antonio Sureda, which remained unpublished. In 1945 he wrote his first tango under the title “Ya lo sabe todo el barrio”, which was neither published nor premiered.

Like Dante A. Linyera and other young workers not able to get the comforts and necessaries of life, since he was a child, he had a passion for books and poetry, which he directed towards popular poetry, mainly that of tango.

As Horacio Ferrer tells us in his Libro del tango: «admirer of the poets of the Boedo school in the thirties, he frequented later the «Pachacamac» circle run by José González Castillo in the neighborhood of Boedo. A polished author, he uses a direct literary style that does not disdain the use of heartfelt metaphoric language of genuine Buenos Aires sensitivity».

His friendship -favored by the night life in Buenos Aires- with the violinist Antonio Blanco, member of the Alfredo Gobbi orchestra, gave him the chance to venture in the world of song writing, by then maybe overcrowded.

Blanco added music to his early lyrics -those of “Amanecía” and “Amigo Sol”- and soon later, Alfredo Gobbi, “el violín romántico del tango”(the romantic tango violin), composed the music for the tango “Tu angustia y mi dolor” and the milonga “A mis manos”, that he recorded with his orchestra and the singer Tito Landó on December 14, 1954 and with the vocalist Alfredo del Río on March 28, 1955, respectively.

The indefatigable and always well-informed Gaspar Astarita has compiled a list of sixty-eight compositions by Camilloni, in which there were musical collaborators so remarkable like Osvaldo Pugliese, Argentino Galván, José Dames, Arturo Gallucci, Julio Ahumada and others. The same researcher has pointed out that «in the late 40s and from then on his works evidenced a full mastery of rhyme making to match the musical phrase keeping an unmistakable trademark throughout his work: polished language, neatness and simplicity and the suitable and efficient metaphor.»

Camilloni was a very much loved and respected man. He made popular the expression «hermano Grillo» (brother Cricket) to name those who shared his vocation for poetry. Héctor Negro recognizes the influence that Camilloni had on his work and has praised «the humanism and a conception of love and women that places him among the best in the genre».

In 1976 his friends gathered his poems in a volume titled Camilloni con y sin música.

His most outstanding and popular numbers are, no doubt, the tango “La última” with music by Blanco, with an excellent rendition by Aníbal Troilo with the singer Ángel Cárdenas (September 25, 1957) and the above mentioned milonga “A mis manos”.

His tango “Hasta el último tren” was awarded the first prize at the Festival del Tango y la Canción organized by the Buenos Aires Town Hall in 1969 (the second award was for “Balada para un loco”, by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer). It was sung then by Jorge Sobral, who later recorded it with an orchestra conducted by Juan José Paz in 1969.

Other numbers of which he was author: “Tengo un amigo”, “Tenía que suceder”, “Cuando muere una esperanza” (with music by Arturo Gallucci); “Las cuentas de mi madre” and “Mujeres son mujeres” (with Alfredo Gobbi); “Estás en mi corazón”, “Predestinada”, “Mi vieja mesa”, “Canción de piano y balcón”, “Pichuco está tocando”, “Mi hermana y yo” (all them with Antonio Blanco); “Aquella deuda”, “Mi tango y su duente” (with Mario Demarco); “Vamos tropilla” (with Emilio Balcarce); “Amigo camionero” and “Che colectivero” (both with Osvaldo Pugliese).