Néstor Pinsón

Rivas - Adolfo Rivas, Osmar Maderna’s last singer

n March 29, 1951 Osmar Maderna and his orchestra arrived at a recording studio for the last time. He was going to cut his twentieth record. One of those 78 rpm discs with two numbers, one on each side. In this case, to amount to 56 numbers. On that day a boy from his own hometown Pehuajó was to debut. He already knew the boy despite the latter was some years his junior. He was Adolfo Rivas who later told us some details of his show business career.

«I had appeared on a radio station of my city before but I was drawn by Buenos Aires. I precisely came on March 12, 1949. I was lucky. As soon as I arrived I got a job as singer. It was thanks to Edmundo Baya, a musician with Maderna, who had two brothers in Juan Sánchez Gorio’s orchestra. His vocalist was then Luis Mendoza but they had need of a second singer. After I was introduced to him he asked me to sing. I was auditioned with “Mi noche triste” and “Remembranza”. It was enough, «Tomorrow you start with me», he told me. I nearly fainted. It was him who suggested a sobriquet, because there was a singer named Oscar Alonso.

«It was a one-year tenure and then I decided to split. I bitterly thought that I had been postponed. Among other things, they did not change my repertoire, possibly it was a problem of competition with Luis Mendoza.

«Later I made a tour throughout the interior of the country alongside a female singer called Morenita Rey who insisted in saying that she was Libertad Lamarque’s niece. One evening when I was walking back home along Corrientes Street I saw Luis Mendoza at the Marzotto’s door. Maybe moved by some remorse he soon told me that Edgardo Donato was looking for a singer. He said that I should see him on Radio El Mundo and that he would talk to him about me. And so it was. They accompanied me in “Tu piel de jazmín”, he listened to me and I was hired. It was a good job with many tours. It was an eighteen-month tenure.

«Thereafter my time with Maderna came. I succeeded in cutting two numbers and a month later the bandleader had that fatal accident.

«Then the idea of the Orquesta Símbolo sprang up. It was a partnership comprised by Baya, Aquiles Roggero, José Libertella and I. It was a nearly a ten-year tenure with the Símbolo. In between there were other performances, I remember a season as soloist on Radio Mitre backed by the guitar group led by Enrique Maciel (Jr.).

«After that a chance with Eduardo Del Piano appeared. Héctor De Rosas was leaving and so I joined them. The other singer was Rubén Grillo. The songbook included: “Melenita de oro”, “Remembranza”, “La madrugada”, “Vuelve la serenata” (we used to play it as a duo with Grillo). That was also an eighteen-month tenure. We appeared on Radio Splendid, El Palermo Palace and at many dancehalls.

«Later on I joined several outfits: with Carlos Demaría at the Cabaret Casanova; with Juan Polito at the Sans Souci; with Héctor de la Fuente on Radio Belgrano and also there I sang with Justo Castillo —Julián Plaza was the arranger—, I keep some radio air takes singing “Mientras viva”, and “Un remordimiento”, among other pieces.

«Ah!, I have to tell you about a curious anecdote and a nice memory also. The first one: We were walking down the street with Roggero, also born in Pehuajó, and he told me: «Why don’t we record something?». At the beginning I did not understand him, but he was meaning recording in a non-commercial recording studio that would allow anyone to record as long as he pays them. So we went; Roggero on piano accompanied me in “Uno” and in “Ríe payaso”.

«The memory: in 1949, as soon as I arrived, I went to Tucumán on tour with the quintet led by Ariel Pedernera. We used to go to sugar mills, we opened a cabaret and appeared on the radio. I used to write to my parents daily and in one of the letters Mom, moved, told me that in Pehuajó she heard her son sing on Radio Aconquija of Tucumán. It was a long distance.

«Later, I was gradually quitting until I devoted myself to sales. I was a traveling salesman of car supplies and other things. Maybe I sold a water filter to you, didn’t I?»