Abel Palermo

e was born in the locality of Teodelina, province of Santa Fe. At age 12 he began to sing in the popular band of his town which was led by Eduardo Soto.

When he was a teen-ager, his parents, Ramón and Ana, moved to Córdoba. Soon thereafter he came to know Félix Dardo Palorma and, for two years, they formed a successful folk duo that appeared in venues of the province of Córdoba and in the neighboring provinces. Regrettably, Tito was summoned for military service and the duo disbanded.

After having complied with the army for one year he settled in Buenos Aires (1942) and put together a guitar group that was headed by Antonio Bassi. He was already defined as a tango singer.

He used to appear in different shows until 1944, when Agustín Irusta heard him and introduced him to his lifelong friend, Lucio Demare, who immediately included him in his orchestra to replace Raúl Berón, one of the greatest vocalists of tango.

Since then and after a suggestion of the orchestra leader, Tito Gutiérrez changed his name to Horacio Quintana. He made his debut on Radio El Mundo and at the Casanova cabaret.

On July 27, 1944 he succeeded in recording for the Odeon label and cut the tango “Solamente ella” and, on the other side of the disc, “Me están sobrando las penas”. Later other numbers would come: “Corazón no le digas a nadie”, written by Luis Castiñeiras and Enrique Munné; “Se va una tarde más”, by Luis Caruso and Enrique Cantore; the waltzes “Dos corazones” and “Alhucema”; “Torrente”, “Oriente”, “El aguacero” and the milonga “Señores yo soy del centro”.

We already are in 1945. On January 3 Demare recorded his only instrumental: “Florcita”, by Agustín Bardi and on the other side, with Quintana on vocals, “Igual que un bandoneón”, by Raúl Iglesias and Juan Gatti. That same year they cut: “Me quedé mirándola”; “Lo mismo que un tango”, by Julio Albano and Santiago Coppola; and on June 11, the last recording together, “Nos encontramos al pasar”, composed by the lead violinist of the orchestra, Raúl Kaplún with lyrics by José María Suñé. Then Demare dismembered his orchestra to leave for Cuba, hired to reprise the once famous Trío Argentino, with his friends Roberto Fugazot and Agustín Irusta.

During his tenure with the orchestra, Quintana cut 14 recordings and was able to demonstrate all his hierarchy as singer. He displays the interesting color of his voice, his great quality of interpretation, without exaggerations or unjustified over-dramatizations, with an easy-to-sing phrasing, that is to say, with all that is necessary to sing tango well.

Soon later he teamed with Raúl Kaplún and made their debut on Radio Belgrano and the Café El Nacional, but it did not last long. By the end of the year Quintana was summoned by Florindo Sassone to share the role of vocalist with Jorge Casal. In March 1947 he switched to the Francisco Rotundo’s aggregation replacing Mario Corrales (later renamed Mario Pomar). The other singer was the consecrated Enrique Campos. With none of those two orchestras he succeeded in recording.

In 1948 he started his new stage as soloist, appearing on Radio Belgrano and making important tours throughout the country and abroad. In 1951 he joined the orchestra led by his friend Oscar Castagniaro to sing along with Héctor Inzúa.

In his new category as soloist, he recorded in 1957 for Odeon a single disc with the tango “Inspiración”, and on the other side, the milonga “Taquito militar”. He would later go to Uruguay, Chile and Peru.

He was in activity until 1962. Later he devoted, taking advantage of the experience he had achieved in show business for so many years, to the organization of shows, festivals and was agent for many artists.

He was manager of figures of the level of Hugo Del Carril, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Rosita Quintana and Edmundo Rivero.

In the late 60s his activities took place in three cities: Buenos Aires, Córdoba and his beloved Teodelina. In the latter, an event that may mean the renaissance of our declining tango would take place. In his own milieu he saw his friend, the guitarist Héctor Arbelo, accompanying a young singer who also played bandoneon. It was a young man from Córdoba in his early stints: Rubén Juárez.

Immediately he traveled to Buenos Aires with the singer and made him debut at Caño 14. He was accompanied on the billboard with true myths of tango, among them: Aníbal Troilo. Later came television and the first long-playing record. Guided by Quintana, after 1970, Rubén Juárez would become one of the most important stars of our city music.

Lastly, I want to highlight his oeuvre as composer: "Para vos canilla", his most important hit, recorded by Juárez in July 1969; "Volver a Chaplin", "Milonga de corralón", "Carta a Rosaura", "Es tuyo mi corazón", among other numbers.