Tita Galatro

Real name: Galatro, Balbina Margarita
Singer and actress
(31 March 1914 - 27 August 1988)
Place of birth:
Bernal (Buenos Aires) Argentina
Guadalupe Aballe

he was born in Bernal, Province of Buenos Aires. «A charming soft voice, gifted with an original temper», so Tita Galatro was defined by an admirer, with accurate judgment, in the thirties. Blessed with warmth, and a temper and style of her own, this female singer, today unjustly forgotten, deserves to have a place in the history of the city song.

She attended grammar school at the María Auxiliadora school of that locality in the urban district of the province of Buenos Aires. As we can see in one of her photos she was a little girl with short hair, with a fringe on her forehead, with an easy look and peaceful appearance, with her hands crossed upon her lap.

Since an early age she evidenced an inclination towards singing. She admired Rosita Quiroga and Libertad Lamarque and used to sing along with records. Her family and her friends encouraged her to develop that ability. Tita was not convinced of her capabilities until fate decided for her. At a festival a singing number was needed and she was invited to sing when they identified her among the audience. She was unable to say no to what her friends were asking and sang accompanied by an ad lib pianist to such an acclaim that she had to reprise her rendition several times.

So this courageous young woman, that had musical knowledge and was fond of painting, found her way.

She started as actress with Olinda Bozán at the Teatro de la Comedia and had a four-year tenure in the theater company and sang in some of the plays.

As singer she appeared in 1930 on Radio Splendid, and bought perfumes with all the money of her first wage. This long awaited dream came true so luckily for Tita that a week later perfumes increased their prices twice their value.

In 1932, she appeared briefly on Radio América introduced by Pablo Valle. The following year she joined the well-remembered, Chispazos de Tradición, a group that staged gaucho soap operas led by Andrés González Pulido. She played the role of Almabruja at the play El matrero de la luz.

She began to be succesful and achieved public recognition. She strenghtened her fame, polished her capabilities and developed her talent as vocalist. When the cycle of Chispazos de Tradición was over her voice was regarded as quite suitable for microphone: «She does not try to imitate any style, she sings what comes out of her» (La Canción Moderna magazine).

In 1934, her return to the cast of Chispazos... was announced, this time in the play El puñal de los centauros in the role of Jimena. But in March, at the beginning of the soap opera, Tita did not appear in it and was replaced by Amelia Peña.

She continued her career on her own. 1934 was great for her, her success was amazing, favorable commentaries about her and her performances were published, and magazines told us about her activities. She stood out at the festival held at the Teatro Cervantes alongside other qualified players of our radio milieu. It was organized by the students of the Escuela Industrial de la Nación.

According to the magazine La Canción Moderna, Tita Galatro was among the choice of artists of that publication, together with Charlo, Tita Merello, Azucena Maizani, Andrés Falgás, Amanda Ledesma and Ricardo Ruiz. «It is evident the improvement that Tita Galatro has achieved, today she can be placed among he best female singers». The same publication comments that she was one of the radio stars that congratulated the soccer team that won the championship: Boca Juniors.

On February 4, 1935, the magazine honored its front cover with a beautiful portrait of Tita, highlighting below that there was «finesse and feeling in her songs».

Her repertory was varied, as examples we can cite: “Es tanto lo que te quiero” (tonada), “Temblando” (waltz), “El seguidor” (gato), “De pura cepa” (milonga), “Frente a tu rancho” (estilo) and the tangos: “La casita de mis viejos”, “Pordioseros”, “Flor del valle”, “Bajo Belgrano”, “Por qué llorás hermano” and her most representative rendition “Tango sin letra”.

The following year critics kept on being favorable to her. She appeared in April 1935 at a festival held at the Luna Park, where she was surrounded by fans that asked her photos and autographs. In July she was, again at the Luna Park, at the important homage for Carlos Gardel.

Tita made very few recordings for the Nacional-Odeon and the Victor company. Among them the abovementioned “Tango sin letra”, “Gota de lluvia” and “Por la vuelta” are standouts.

She appeared on different radio stations during her career.

In June 1936, she performed at the event to honor and to raise funds for Andrés González Pulido held at the Teatro Variedades and on July 9 she appeared at the special program on Radio Belgrano celebrating our national independence and the 12th anniversary of the radio station.

At the peak of her career she quit public performances and only in October 1942 she returned to the mikes of Radio Mitre.

Already in 1938, the singer herself was ironic about her situation when she said that if she were a foreigner she would «be luckier, would earn more and would not play the fool for broadcasters». She alluded to unfulfilled promises to appear at some program and «so weeks and months went by going from one radio station to another radio station to find a space in a poor program».

In an article, she comments that this unjustice was due to the simple reason that she belonged to the group of «criollo artists and folk artists that love their country».

Her career was vanishing, today she is a figure almost forgotten. This portrait intends to repair this unjustice and place Tita Galatro back among the outstanding women of tango.