Carlos Waiss

Real name: Waiss, Carlos
Nicknames: Sos Taita
(2 October 1909 - 27 August 1966)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
José Gobello

aiss was born to a family of Russian immigrants in the city of Buenos Aires.

He cultivated popular poetry since his adolescence, based on the models of Dante A. Linyera, Celedonio Flores and Carlos de la Púa.

He deeply admired Julián Centeya, to whom he dedicated an enthusiastic panegyric.

Tus versos tienen frescura,
sabor de barrio, dulzura sentimental,
van diciendo, van moliendo en el recuerdo,
van entrando en cada pecho como púas
con la lírica ganzúa de su sentir de arrabal.

(Your lyrics possess freshness,/ a taste of neighborhood, sentimental sweetness,/ they are saying, they are grinding in the memory,/ they are entering each chest as thorns/ with the lyrical picklock of its feeling of the outskirts)

A tango lover at last, he switched to lyrics writing.

He said of himself:

Llevo el tango en el alma porque es muy mío,
por bravo, por compadre y sentimental,
porque dice de amores, de hambre y de frío,
porque muerde recuerdos y desafíos
como la flor shusheta muerde un ojal.

(I bear tango in my soul because it belongs to me/ 'cause it's brave, conceited and sentimental,/ 'cause it talks about love, hunger and cold,/ 'cause it bites memories and challenges/ like the fancy flower bites a buttonhole)

After writing standard lyrics he found a more personal vein in provocative lunfardesque lines generously allowed by Juan D'Arienzo and Héctor Varela. To this trend belong “Cartón junao”, “Chichipía”, “Bandera baja”, “El raje” (milonga) and “Bien pulenta”.

He released a large output of his works, that in many cases reflected his experiences as a man with a heavy nightlife. According to his friends he was noted for his pleasant affable personality, always boasting a smile in his nights of cabaret and gambling.

Among his friends we stand out, besides Juan D'Arienzo and Héctor Varela, the bandoneonist Alberto San Miguel, Antonio Arcieri, Julián Centeya and the former boxing champion Oscar Sostaita. The latter was generous when he had to say compliments about the poet: «An individual of excellent physical countenance, tall, with the look of an intellectual».

Waiss as well held an office in SADAIC, during César Vedani's chairmanship. He was announcer and writer of liner notes for the Rodolfo Biagi's Orchestra at the well-known Dancing Ocean, a venue of Buenos Aires near the waterfront.

Finally, during a talk Néstor Pinsón asked the singer Armando Laborde who Sos Taita had been, a knickname that appeared in the tango “Yuyo brujo” and that the abovementioned fighter attributed to himself as a collaboration with Waiss.

«D'you want me to be a squealer? All right, but it has to be cleared out, the thing was like this. Benjamín García and Sos Taita appear as authors. García was a bandoneon player, a close friend of Héctor Varela's, whose wife worked at the Chantecler cabaret and was in need of money. Because of that, Varela told him: «We're going to write a tango piece for you so as you can get some money. We're going to file it in SADAIC. You know that if D'Arienzo plays and records it you're going to collect a good money».

«The music was not written by García, but by Varela, and the lyrics belong to Carlos Waiss, who used a pseudonym not to involve the team comprised by D'Arienzo, Varela and Waiss.

«As the boxer was a fan of the orchestra and a very good friend, Waiss had the idea of the pun on words and split his family name: Sostaita».

Besides the abovementioned, these tangos stand out among his works: “A mí me llaman Juan Tango”, “A suerte y verdad”, “Con alma de tango”, “Qué tarde que has venido”, “Soy del noventa”, “Un tango y nada más” and “Yo te canto Buenos Aires”.