Ricardo García Blaya

correct singer with good intonation, possessing a style that sometimes indulged in the use of showy resources, is a typical exponent of the orchestra singer in the forties.

His tenure in the Alfredo Gobbi Orchestra was his highest peak, even though the chosen repertory was not too transcendental. However, he always had his audience that followed him throughout his long career.

He is not in the hall of my preferred singers, but I have to admit that he had a beautiful voice, a clear diction and a striking expressive volume.

He was born in La Boca and started professionally in 1940 singing in a group of his neighborhood. He later continued with the groups led by Juan Carlos Caviello, Miguel Zabala Zabalita, Félix Guillán and Roberto Caló.

In 1947 he joined the Alfredo Gobbi Orchestra and began his stage of consecration. He recorded the following year and achieved his first great hit: the tango “Remembranza” by Melfi and Battistella. An RCA-Victor disc that on the other side had the Agustín Bardi’s tango “Independiente Club”.

With Gobbi he cut 18 recordings, among these, one in duo with Ángel Díaz and three with Héctor Coral. His outstanding recordings are: “La intriga”, by Héctor Stamponi and Héctor Marcó, which has a beautiful melody and of which I don’t know any other rendition; “El pollero” with music and lyrics by Marcó; and his greatest hit “Canzoneta” written by Erma Suárez and Enrique Lary.

In 1954 he switched to the Osvaldo Pugliese Orchestra in which he shared the role of vocalist with Miguel Montero.

His first recording was his very popular signature tune, the tango “Canzoneta”, this time for the Odeon label. On the other side of the record, Montero sang “Por una muñeca” composed by Emilio Balcarce, lead violin of the orchestra, with lyrics by Manuel Barros.

In August 1959 the orchestra traveled to the Soviet Union and to China with Maciel, the singer Carlos Guido and the reciter Luis Mela.

He recorded 66 numbers with Pugliese, among which three were in duo with Miguel Montero, two with Carlos Guido, six with Alfredo Belusi and three with Abel Córdoba.

He was as well in the tour of Japan in 1965, this time his partner vocalist was Abel Córdoba.

In August 1966 he recorded an interesting rendering of the tango “Recuerdo” composed by maestro Pugliese with lyrics by Eduardo Moreno. It is regarded as one of his greatest renditions. About it Jorge Palacio Faruk says: «... a work of anthology, a tango quite difficult to sing, which seemed tailored for Maciel, whose interpretation gave us the impression that it was so easy for him».

In 1968 he comprised the line-up of the Sexteto Tango with six of his partners in the orchestra. They were: Julián Plaza (piano), Osvaldo Ruggiero and Víctor Lavallén (bandoneons), Emilio Balcarce and Oscar Herrero (violins) and Alcides Rossi (double bass).

With this sextet he cut twenty-four recordings, among which some classic tangos stand out: “Sentimiento gaucho”, “Mi dolor”, mezclados con otros temas modernos: “Mi ciudad y mi gente”, “Chiquilín de Bachín”, etc.

His voice was no longer the one of his early years, but it still had its dramatic strength and its unique style.

In February 1975 he underwent a surgical operation for a hernia and died because he did not resist anesthesia.