Néstor Pinsón

on Chicho, a textile worker, had assembled a weaving machine at home and was looking for the help of some young guy that knew the craft well enough so as to teach his nephew, a 14-year-old kid. He found him and later there were days when he used to leave the boys by themselves for several hours. Then despite the noise of the machines, the older boy used to sing tangos and to his surprise, the younger one, while he was learning the craft, immediately began to follow the tango devotion of his companion. Since then they were friends forever. The older one became known as Jorge Casal and the other as Roberto Florio. Time saw them grow artistically, but each one followed his own road.

When Roberto was twenty his family encouraged him to appear at a contest for singers organized by Raúl Outeda and Roberto Casinelli at the Federal Argentino club of the neighborhood of Saavedra. He was the winner. Roberto Goyeneche was among the contestants (this information is but an anecdote).

“Chocho” Florio was a touching, passionate singer who used to dramatize the numbers of his repertory with precision.

After the award, he had several minor proposals which evidenced he had attracted the audience´s attention. It was then when he accepted to temporarily replace Alberto Marino at the Café Los Andes of the neighborhood of Chacarita.

He then sang as an amateur kid, without musical instruction. But he wisely understood somebody else’s advise and studied with some young guitarists and later with a female music teacher.

He started to appear at La Armonía on 1400 Corrientes Street and Lorenzo Barbero who belonged to the staff made him join his “de la Argentinidad” orchestra. It was a three-year tenure and he recorded for the Pampa label in 1951. He recorded “Tomá mate, tomá mate”, in duo with Carlos Del Monte. In the early 1952 he cut two numbers as soloist: “Serranita” and “La virgen del perdón”.

Time later he joined the group led by Oscar Castagnaro. He appeared at several stints and cut a recording for the TK label: “Madre hay una sola”. He came back to Barbero to record a chamamé: “El recluta”.

Jorge Casal recommended him to Francini-Pontier. He was accepted and besides his many performances he committed to disc for RCA in 1954: “Los cosos de al lao” and, in 1955, “Por una muñeca”, “Cuartito azul”, “Por unos ojos negros”. When the leaders split he continued with Armando Pontier. With him he recorded “Lágrimas de sangre” and “Quemá esas cartas”. His fellow vocalist was the still not consecrated, Julio Sosa.

Then his best period comes when maestro Carlos Di Sarli pays attention to him. His songbook comprised numbers today still in vogue and which were hits between 1956 and the early 1958: “Fogón de huella”, “Por qué regresas tú”, “Buenos Aires”, “Derrotado”, “Y todavía te quiero”, “Cantemos corazón”, “Pobre buzón”, “Quién sino tú” (duo with Jorge Durán), “Calla”, “Soñemos”, “Nuestra noche”, “Destino de flor”, “Cuanta angustia”, “Por un te quiero”, “Serenata mía” (duo with Jorge Durán) and “Adiós corazón”.

His career continued with Alfredo De Angelis teaming up with the vocalist Juan Carlos Godoy. During 1958 he recorded six pieces, all them for the Odeon label.

With Jorge Durán they put together their own orchestra which was led by the pianist Orlando Tripodi. They had the chance to record for the RCA recording company, but it was 1959 when the pitiless order of virtually «putting an end” to tango came from the headquarters in the United States. They had recorded nearly half of a long-playing record which finally was not released but time later the recorded material was rescued and many fans were able to treasure it. Its numbers were: “Dame mi libertad”, “Yo no quise hacerte mal”, “Un amor imposible”, “Estrella” and, in duo with Jorge Durán, “Regresa a mí”, “Amor de resero” and “Ojos de canela”.

His wife was a sister of the dancer Eber Lobato. The latter helped him to reach the possibility of singing in the United States. Presumably he cut a record with two numbers with the accompaniment of a group led by Héctor Garrido. He came back, this time summoned by a tango dancer, Juan Carlos Copes.

For a short time he joined José Basso in whose orchestra Jorge Durán and Floreal Ruiz were already his vocalists. It was 1962 then and he cut “Mano cruel” and “Un amor imposible” for Music Hall and made a unexpected hit with his rendition of “Por qué la quise tanto”.

Since then he continued as soloist appearing at all the venues in Buenos Aires, on television, in the interior of the country. He recorded with José Libertella in 1967 backed by Carlos García in 1969 and, that same year as well with Roberto Pansera.

In 1974 the Magenta label released a cassette in which he was accompanied by the Trío Yumba. There are two more numbers with the accompaniment of the oufit led by Dante Smurra: “Estrella” and “Tu angustia y mi dolor”. Finally Armando Lacava accompanied him in 1980 for “El último escalón”.

Little by little he was withdrawing from his musical activity because of health problems. He was operated and a few years later the same problems reappeared until they caused his death.

Together with his wife Gladys Lobato he run a local located a few meters from the station Primera Junta where shoes were sold, «El buscapié» on 108 Centenera Street: «Where tango fans buy» , according to the advertisements.

He was author of several numbers. One of them, “Tabaco rubio”, was committed to record by Roberto Rufino, who precisely was an enemy of his because the latter affirmed he imitated him.

He was a singer of intimate moods, warm and delicate, with a very good intonation and distinct personality, despite he is reminiscent, at times, of Pibe Rufino, who furthermore influenced not only Florio but many other singers that would later be consecrated.