Néstor Pinsón

Pacheco - Commentaries and an interview to the singer

peculiar case was his because we can certainly say that in the history of tango he was the only singer that artistically survived his last twenty five years by performing only one tango piece: “Vida mía”. Such a statement seems exaggerated but it isn't, there was no appearance of his which did not include that tune. His performances during that period took place at different tango venues and on television programs to which he was eventually invited.

He never possessed a strong voice and the passing of time was undermining it, so he had to turn to all the resources he had learned by experience to by a small margin perform a number or two, at the most. But he always kept that distinguished outward appearance by which he was known. That one that began to be taken into account in the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra. Even though he was not the best vocalist he was recognized by the refined blend of his personality with the maestro's elegance at the luxurious night club Rendez Vous (located on Maipú Street between Paraguay and Córdoba Avenue). Its owners were Fresedo himself in partnership with the violinist and jazz group leader Eduardo Armani.

«I was born in Marcos Juárez, province of Córdoba, but when I was one year old, so they say, I was already living in the province of Santa Fe, in Rufino. I was not a grown-up yet when I dared to sing with some boys in town and I even dared to play violin because I had learnt a bit. Always tango music, of course.

«At age twenty, not quite convinced, I appeared at a contest for singers and I won it. I then plainly copied Magaldi's style. The award was a gig on Radio Cerealista in Rosario. With the money they paid me, and persuaded by a relative of Juan D'Arienzo's who was an acquaintance of mine, I went to Buenos Aires. Juan listened to me but he already had Reynal and nothing happened then. Maybe he didn't like me because he told me that being an imitator was not good.

«The following year I already knew people in the milieu and caught several gigs. Two girls, the Silva Sisters, who formed the Las Palomitas duo, when they knew about a contest for singers on Radio Argentina they told me that I should contend with the nom de plume Héctor Pacheco. They persuaded me and I won, this time, without copying Magaldi. The contest was sponsored by the Braudo tailor's shop.

«Since then I began to alternate with first level artists. I was no longer a soloist but a member of the Alberto Pugliese's orchestra. As well I joined Pedro Maffia for some stints at the Tibidabo. I had a secondary role at a theater play in which the lead star was Alberto Vila. Its title was Yo soy Juan Tango. I joined the Alfredo Attadía Orchestra in 1947. We appeared on Radio El Mundo, at the Chantecler and made three recordings, but only one was commercially released: “Milonga para Gardel”. The other two appeared in a record with political numbers akin to General Perón's government. They were recorded in Buenos Aires but were released by the Uruguayan label M.A.D.A.N.: a tango, “Descamisado” and a march titled “Peronista”.

«When Attadía included another singer, Jorge Beiró, I preferred to embark on other adventures. I sang with a quartet formed by Armando Baliotti, Luis Addesso, Bernardo Sevilla and Anselmo Aieta. We just toured the interior of the country.

«One day, with no embarrassment, I visited Fresedo in his own house. I don't remember what I told him. He was very kind with me and pleasantly heard me sing. But that was all. But some years later, just by chance, we met in the city of Bariloche where he had to play and I was also hired. After our shows, we dropped at the same place, among other people, to have some drinks. They made a sort of coterie and asked me to sing. He didn't remember me and thought I was a local figure but he told me that if I went to Buenos Aires I would better see him. As we returned almost at the same time I called on him immediately. He auditioned me in Rendez Vous, I sang “Milonguita (Esthercita)” and he approved of me. By that time his vocalist was Armando Garrido, a very good singer for Fresedo's style but he was somewhat aloof. I don't know if I was the reason or if it was previously arranged, but anyway he quit. Later he joined the Lucio Demare Orchestra.

«My tenure with Fresedo lasted five years. We recorded “Discepolín” before Troilo with Berón did it. My first hit was a number I already had in my songbook, “Pero yo sé”. I dare not to suggest it, but a friend of the two of us, a jazzman, Rudy Ayala, so much insisted on it that it was finally accepted. Later came “Vida mía” and as from that piece I made myself secure in the orchestra.

«A curious thing. Fresedo never played at balls but there was one exception. There was a request made by a minister of President Perón in 1951. He accepted on several conditions: one, it had to be at the Club Comunicaciones, and the other, the decisive, that they helped him to get cement which at that time, because of some problem, was not supplied. I later came to know that he could not finish the building of a new local in Mar del Plata, on Constitución Street. Thereafter it was opened with the name Tajamar.

«In 1957 Radio El Mundo offered me a good contract to perform as soloist, then I split with Fresedo. I was backed by an orchestra led by Carlos García which featured Elvino Vardaro, Hugo Baralis, Horacio Malvicino, Leopoldo Federico...» Our chat ended here.

His next steps, in brief, were: His first record as soloist contained the numbers “Vida mía” and “Sueños de París”. The media named him again as «The Prince of Buenos Aires». Later he was announced as «A singer for intimate times». His voice, his gestures gradually become more delicate, even though he sings tangos he seems to be a romantic bolero singer. His musical accompaniments are direct heirs of Fresedo's, you'll never miss a celesta, or a wind instrument or an electric guitar in them. One of his ensembles was led by the bandoneon player Cayetano Cámara, a friend of Alfredo Gobbi's and member of the latter's orchestra in the past. He had acquainted him when they were members of the Manuel Buzón's aggregation.

He was author of “Sueños de París”, “Y total para qué”, “Por siempre mía” and some others more. In 1954 he appeared in the movie Soy del tiempo de Gardel which possibly was never premiered. That film starred Homero Cárpena, Maruja Gil Quesada, also Julio Jorge Nelson and a very young Juan Carlos Copes.

He held different offices in the Unión Argentina de Artistas de Variedades. His latter years were not good, health problems kept him away from gigs and even though the media launched callings for help they were scarcely answered.

Once he told us, confidentially: «Many times I heard people that do not belong to our milieu say that they thought I was a gay guy because of my way of singing and acting. If only they knew... had they said that I behaved like a "caralisa" (pimp) they would have been closer to the truth».

Death seized him when he was already 85.