Oscar Del Priore

Gardel on radio

arlos Gardel was before the radio microphones on September 30, 1924 for the first time. That took place on Radio Gran Splendid, identified with the acronym LOW and which would later be Radio Splendid. This radio station was located on 1876 Santa Fe Ave., in the same building of the Gran Splendid cinema-theater. It was the time when El Morocho was member of the popular Gardel-Razzano duo. So he, with his partner, appeared on the above mentioned day at ten p.m.

A few days later he would sing on that radio station accompanied by the orchestra led by Francisco Canaro, invited to a radio show of the latter. In his regular performances he appeared along with José Razzano and with his guitarists José Ricardo and Guillermo Barbieri.

Three years later he would sing for a short time on Radio Brussa, to soon switch to Radio Prieto. A period that Gardel remembers as glorious, surely his most successful radio cycle. From then on his appearances would be with pauses, because his travels around the world became never-ending.

Gardel would sing on radio stations abroad and in our country. In 1933 he appeared on Radio Carve of Montevideo to an extraordinary acclaim, and was praised by the critics and the press.

His appearance in the United States on the NBC of New York on December 31, 1933 was consecrating. But from those radio shows there is one we have to single out because it meant a period of innovation on radio. For that the Splendid and Rivadavia radio stations of Argentina and the New Yorker NBC united their efforts. It was on March 5, 1934. The guitarists Barbieri, Riverol and Vivas, from Radio Rivadavia, accompanied with their guitars in Buenos Aires on Radio Splendid. Then, amazing the audience, Gardel sang with his guitarists despite the existing distance between them.

Furthermore, as if this was not enough, the orchestras led by Edgardo Donato —in Buenos Aires— and the one led by Hugo Mariani —in New York— are reunited to play the tango “La cumparsita”. One orchestra begins, the other follows, the first comes again, and so it went for several times.

On a radio station El Zorzal sang for the last time. It was in Bogotá, Colombia, on the broadcasting known as La Voz de la Victor (The Victor’s Voice) on June 23, 1935. Such was the attraction drawn by Gardel that the studio was crowded, and it was necessary to place loudspeakers on the square located in front of the radio station so that those who had been unable to enter would also listen to Gardel.

It was his last performance since death was waiting for him in Medellín the day after. In that final radio show El Morocho sang: “Cuesta abajo”, “Insomnio”, “El carretero”, “Melodía de arrabal”, “No te engañes corazón” and “Tomo y obligo”.