Abel Palermo

e was born in the city of Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Villa del Parque. He had a strong voice, a noticeable vibrato, a typical Buenos Aires way of saying and he was the creator of a style of interpretation that later on would be adopted by many singers after the fifties. We can mention, for example, Julio Sosa and Luis Correa, among others.

For many years he studied with maestro Eduardo Bonessi. At age twelve he appeared at a show on Avenida de Mayo. It was organized by the Town Hall and then he sang the tango “Serpentina de esperanza”.

In 1932 he was summoned by the violinist Oscar de la Fuente to join his sextet as vocalist. They appeared at the Café El Nacional on Corrientes Street. Later he passed through the ranks of the orchestras led by Hugo Calasi, Alberto Pugliese, Osvaldo’s brother, and the aggregation headed by Alejandro Scarpino. In 1944 he joined the orchestra conducted by Víctor D'Amario, alongside the singer Adolfo Rivas.

In 1946 he was called by maestro Lucio Demare to replace the vocalist Horacio Quintana who had split with the former, together with the violinist Raúl Kaplún, to form the team: Kaplún–Quintana. Almada’s tenure in this orchestra was quite important for his own professional development. With this aggregation he appeared on radio shows, sang at the Confitería Rucca and made an important tour abroad, of which his appearance in Cuba is noteworthy.

The mere presence of Demare on the island was a certainty of success. Let us remember his triumphant tenure with the Trío Irusta-Fugazot-Demare. Regrettably there are no recordings of that stage.

When they returned to Buenos Aires he joined the Edgardo Donato’s orchestra, sharing the stage with the young singer Oscar Ferrari who had been recently released from military service. They used to appear on Radio El Mundo, at the tearoom La Armonía on 1443 Corrientes Street, at Tango bar, 1239 Corrientes St. and at the dancehall Marabú, on Maipú 365. The duet of vocalists remained successfully until 1949. Later Ferrari joined José Basso to replace Ricardo Ruiz.

Only after 1950 Almada recorded with Donato for the brand-new Pampa label. His recordings were: “Che bandoneón”, “Mamboretá”, “A media luz”, “Pituca”, “Se va la vida”, “Qué fenómeno”, “Cómo se pianta la vida”, “El patio de la Morocha”, “El vinacho”, “Por quién doblan las campanas”, “El camión”, “Muchacho” and “El huracán”, in a renditon by Donato that was a smash hit. The other singers of the orchestra were Adolfo Rivas, who cut two numbers, and Hugo Roca that waxed only one. His last recording was the tango “Mi serenata”, in June 1952, as duo with Alberto Podestá.

He quit Donato’s orchestra and switched to the one led by Alfredo Gobbi to replace Héctor Coral. With El violín romántico del tango he recorded “As de cartón”, in April 1953, and later two numbers more: “Aunque seas mujer” and “Por qué canto así”. Despite the success achieved with Gobbi, after one-year tenure, and due to economic reasons, he joined the Víctor D'Amario’s aggregation. Gobbi hired Tito Landó as a substitute.

Almada was two years with this latter orchestra and, in 1956, joined Lucio Demare again and appeared in an important cycle on Radio Belgrano.

In 1959 he joined the orchestra headed by Donato for a second time. This time he was along with the vocalist Artemio Rolando.

In the sixties he only appeared from time to time. His bohemian life was increasing, his health was declining until one day when he was sixty-four he passed away because of a heart attack.

He was, undoubtedly, a nice character of the night of Buenos Aires and a great interpreter of our city music.