Carlos Olmedo

Real name: Velázquez Childe, Delmar
Singer and composer
(26 October 1921 - 12 March 1976)
Place of birth:
Tranqueras (Rivera) Uruguay
Abel Palermo

is sober Uruguayan singer belonged to the dynasty of virile voices of tango. Without the need of using false clichés of tough man, not possessing an outstanding strong voice, he had the virtue of creating an intimate and even delicate mood with his baritone range and his ashy voice which was quite melodious. Regrettably, he left a small number of recordings.

He was born in the Department of Rivera, but he was a child when his family moved to Barrio Sur in Montevideo.

At age 19 he won a talent contest for singers organized by the historic Café El Ateneo located on Avenida 18 de Julio and Plaza Cagancha. After that event his career as singer began and he appeared at the most important venues, tearooms, and theaters where tango and candombe were popular.

In 1947 he decided to travel to Buenos Aires along with other young fellow countrymen that would also be successful in the capital of tango. I’m talking about Julio Sosa and Pablo Moreno: a triad of beloved friends.

His career was carried out in important venues located on Corrientes Street and on Radio Mitre, a popular radio station. I remember his performances in those unforgettable nights of Tango Bar and La Armonía where he was recognized by the applause of an audience who knew and demanded the best of the genre. He, as well, used to cross the river from time to time to appear in Montevideo.

Between 1952 and 1953 he joined the orchestra fronted by Ricardo Pedevilla until 1954 when Osvaldo Pugliese summoned him to join his orchestra to replace the vocalist Juan Carlos Cobos who had split with the maestro. Unfortunately, his tenure with the composer of “La yumba” was too short.

In the early months of 1955 something similar happened with Aníbal Troilo. The latter required him to replace Jorge Casal who had begun his career as soloist. He made his debut on March 1, 1955, together with a de luxe fellow singer: the exceptional Raúl Berón. Thereafter he had another partner: Pablo Lozano.

He stayed with Troilo until April 30, 1956 and cut two numbers for the TK label, the tangos “Recordándote” and “El cantor de Buenos Aires”.

After Pichuco, in 1957, he teamed up with the singers Ruth Durante and Enrique Castel at the show Dos astros y una estrella. They were backed by an orchestra led by the bandoneon player Ángel Baya. They remained together until 1959. That year, when he split with that show, he joined La Típica Buenos Aires. I have no information about the latter.

In 1966, he joined a quartet of notable musicians: Julio Ahumada (bandoneon), Aquiles Aguilar (violin), Carlos Parodi (piano) and Hamlet Grecco (double bass) who were reunited for recording by the Tini label. By that time he also made a number of recordings in Uruguay with the outfit that Alberto Mastra headed.

Lastly, I want to highlight his compositions, true gems of our tango music. As examples, let us mention: “Y no le erré” and “De puro curda”, unforgettable hits sung by Alfredo Belusi, “Lo que vos te merecés” and “Mi luna”, that Roberto Goyeneche committed to record in two excellent renditions, “Por quererla así” and “No tengo la culpa”.

He died young, at age 54, because of a heart attack in the city of Mar del Plata.

We have no doubt that it is an act of justice to bring back the memory of this stubborn bohemian due to his virtues as singer, his inspired music oeuvre and because of so many nights with drinks and tango in the magical Buenos Aires of that period.