Abel Palermo

e was born in Bahía Blanca, province of Buenos Aires, 600 km far from the city of Buenos Aires. His style was different to the tango singer or estribillista (refrain singer), his voice had a criollo accent, with a great quality of interpretation which was splendidly showcased when singing waltzes.

He made his debut on January 1, 1936 with the orchestra led by Florindo Sassone at the Café El Nacional located on Corrientes Street and on Radio Belgrano. The following year he appeared as actor and singer in the theater company led by César Ratti at the Teatro Apolo and, furthermore he appeared in the movie Viento norte directed by Mario Soffici, singing the songs “Vidalita” and “Boyera”, both written by Alberto Vaccarezza and Andrés Domenech, with the musical accompaniment by Francisco Canaro. In 1938 he also was starred in the movie Pampa y cielo, along with Oscar Alonso, Domingo Conte and the siblings Lidia, Eva and Edmundo Rivero.

The great Pirincho, always innovating in tango, had the idea of introducing two vocalists in his orchestra. He removed the estribillista (refrain singer) and allowed the singer a greater participation in the tunes with lyrics so that they were able to sing the first and second section of the lyrics. They were: Roberto Maida, the one that was already consecrated in the orchestra and Francisco Amor who made his debut on record on June 15, 1938 with the piece “Salud, salud.”

By the end of that year Maida, annoyed because another colleague had joined them, decided to split with Canaro. This event caused the return of the most successful singer in the leader's ranks who had quit in 1934. I'm talking of Ernesto Famá. On February 27, 1939 they recorded the tango, “Por vos yo me rompo todo”, with Famá on vocals and; on the other side, the estilo “El brocal”. Both numbers composed by the leader.

Since that line-up, both singers would achieve a very important repercussion, either in the live performances or in the record sales. The hits of Amor began with his number “Mulita” and continued with two premieres that would last in the history of tango: “Cuartito azul”, September 14, 1939 and “En esta tarde gris”, August 9, 1941. Both written by the young composer and pianist of the group, Mariano Mores. The former with lyrics by Mario Battistella, the latter with verses by José María Contursi.

Due to disagreements with Canaro about their contracts and with an new important contract in their hands, the two singers said goodbye to the orchestra with two recordings cut on October 22, 1941: “Mañana juega” written by Vaccarezza, with Famá on vocals and Enrique Cadícamo's “El cuarteador”, with Amor. Also the virtuoso bandoneonist Federico Scorticati quit and they offered to him the leadership of the aggregation that would accompany the new team Famá-Amor.

They made their debut in the late 1941 on Radio Splendid. In January 1942 they went on a tour of the Republic of Uruguay performing on different radio stations and at the most important venues. They returned in August and they decided, in friendly terms, to disband the team. Amor continued as soloist and was an important figure for many years on Radio Belgrano.

In 1947 he appeared in the documentary directed by Antonio Solana, Buenos Aires Canta, alongside Hugo Del Carril, Azucena Maizani and Niní Marshall. The following year he went on an extensive tour of Chile and, after a brief stay in Buenos Aires, he decided to settle in the city of Montevideo, and was gradually moving away from the musical activity.

In 1956 Canaro had a long tenure in the successful program Glostora Tango Club aired by Radio El Mundo and he invited some of his main former vocalists: Ernesto Famá, Carlos Roldán, Eduardo Adrián and, also, Francisco Amor. The one who writes this portrayal had the luck to witness this unforgettable parade of idols.

Amor cut his last recording in 1957, when he was hired in Montevideo by the record company of German origin: Antar-Telefunken. It was a series of recordings alongside musicians and singers of high level: Astor Piazzolla, Edmundo Rivero, Horacio Salgán, Eduardo Adrián, Enrique Lucero, among others.

In Uruguay he would develop his other passion: painting and drawing. He exhibited his works in many countries of America.

We cannot end this brief journey, without mentioning his work as composer. Among his most known works: the native songs "Mulita", "Malambo" and "Canción de junio", as homage to the eminent oriental hero José Gervasio Artigas and his tangos "El estrellero", "A mí dejame en mi barrio" and "Frente a una copa". He died at age 66 in the Hospital Pasteur of Montevideo.