Néstor Pinsón

The tango men of Peronism and their works

t was not necessary to wait for October 17, 1945. One year before, when the figure of then Colonel Perón was surfacing as the people’s candidate to lead the nation, songs with words and titles that paid homage to his persona were appearing. They also included words of praise for the expectations of a social improvement and for the things done and the accomplishments to be carried out. Later songs for his wife, Eva Perón, will be released.

The number of pieces was large but now we are only intested in mentioning those whose songwriters or singers were tango people. Maybe there is some exception. The following listing does not pretend to be complete.

Many phonopostal discs, among letters and telegrams, were daily sent to Perón’s office in the Labor Secretary (Secretaría de Trabajo). The former were recorded in the Central Post Office itself and their grooves were cut on a shiny piece of cardboard where also a space for dedication and names was available. Out of them, our friend, the collector Héctor Lucci, showed and made us listen to “Renovación”, a march written by Ugarte —according to what we were able to read— dedicated to the vice-president of the Nation, Colonel Perón which was sung by the young starlet of our movies Perla Mux in a prententious, opera-like way which resulted in a incomprehensible lyric. The introductory words and the piano accompaniment were by a brother of hers named Bruno Mux. The postcard is dated on August 12, 1944. By that time the president of the Republic was the General Edelmiro J. Farrell who also that day received a similar gift by the same interpreters: “Marcha de la Victoria” with music and words by Bruno Mux. Even though here we don’t have tango people we mention it as a curiosity and because they did not reach the goal aimed at. The number of letters with greetings was so big that every afternoon a clerk had to discard them into the garbage.

Probably the first manifestation by tango people was the march “4 de Junio” by the brothers Francisco and Blas Lomuto, recorded by the Francisco Lomuto Orchestra with Alberto Rivera and Carlos Galarce on vocals, on June 6, 1944.

On September 18, 1944 the Odeon company (disc nº 7121) released the Enrique Lomuto’s milonga: “Argentino cien por cien”. The composer signed with the nom de plume Julio Duval. The lyrics belongs to Rubén Fernández de Olivera, aka Tabanillo, but whose true name was Rubén Nicolás Fernández Barbieri. It was recorded by the Enrique’s orchestra and his singer Roberto Torres on vocals. The published sheet music is noted for a front cover with a photograph of Perón’s face superimposed by the colors of an Argentine flag.

Below and without a chronological order in the recordings there are the following numbers: “Marcha Peronista” which has nothing to do with “Los muchachos peronistas”. It was written by Rodolfo Sciammarella and recorded by Héctor Palacios backed by the orchestra led by Miguel Zepeda. A great number of the pieces here mentioned were cut in the studios of the Victor label, privately and without a commercial purpose. They were meant to be given as gifts and heard in the party meetings. They all wear as identification a letter P (meaning particular or private) and the matrix number is, in this case, 137 A. On the other side of the record, with the letter B, is “Slogans Peronistas”, short simple texts written and said by Rodolfo Sciammarella.

As for the emblematic song that still today is the anthem of the justicialist movement, the march “Los muchachos peronistas”, we have already spoken about it in Todo Tango. Look for its chronicle.

As a curiosity, I have a short comment: an excerpt of this march was included in a small music box which was placed inside an alarm clock of which there were made only three copies. Its manufacturer, the Swiss company Jaegger, gave one to Eva Perón when she traveled to Europe. Another was given to a director of the automobile company Alfa Romeo when Juan Manuel Fangio was running for that trademark. The destiny of the third is unknown. When Evita returned after her tour she gave it to Ángel D'Agostino. When the latter died it was owned by some nieces of his who sold it to our friend Héctor Lucci. When the clock strikes the indicated hour the music notes of the immortal march are heard.

On the other side of Héctor Mauré’s rendition is “La única solución”, march by Ramon Oscar Lanas

“Oda a Perón” was made with the melody of the Marino García’s waltz, “Mis harapos”, and an ocasional lyric by an unknown wordsmith. It was recorded in 1947 by Alberto Marino with guitar accompaniment and also by Antonio Tormo.

“Evita Capitana”. Here the music of “Los muchachos Peronistas” was used and the lyric is by Rodolfo Sciammarella. Juanita Larrauri sang it accompanied by the APO’s orchestra conducted by Domingo Marafiotti and a choir led by Héctor María Artola. A similar version was recorded as an instrumental. It was also recorded by the Orquesta y Coro del Teatro Colón, disc Victor P.1535 B, matrix 4477. Another rendering is by Emilio Ríos and his band with Susy Diéguez on vocals, Avefón label.

Antonio Helú and Enrique Pedro Maroni composed several pieces: “Descamisado”, tango sung by Héctor Pacheco with the Alfredo Attadía Orchestra, a non comercial disc P.138A, of 1947; on the B side: “Peronista”, by the same performers; “La Descamisada”, milonga by Nelly Omar with Marafiotti’s orchestra, disc Victor P.1457A, 1951 and on the other side, “Es el pueblo”, also with Nelly and the Fanny Day’s choir.

“Marcha de la construcción”, music and words by Sciammarella, sung by Hugo Marcel.

“Madrecita de los pobres”, by Félix Scolati Almeyda and Alfonso Tagle Lara. Irene de la Cruz on vocals. Private recording made in the “Ayacucho” studios on August 1, 1951.

“Canto al trabajo”, march by Cátulo Castillo and Oscar Ivanissevich. Sung by Hugo Del Carril accompanied by the Teatro Colón orchestra conducted by Alejandro Gutiérrez del Barrio on November 25, 1948,. There is an instrumental version by the same orchestra by conducted by Luis I. Ochoa with the mixed choir of the Colegio Militar and the Conservatorio Municipal, Victor P.810.

Versos de un payador al General Juan Perón” and “Versos de un payador a la señora Eva Perón”. Both offerings sung by Hugo Del Carril who set the lines written by Homero Manzi to a mionga beat in 1949. Time later they were recorded by Oscar Alonso.

“Marcha del Plan Quinquenal”, written by Sciammarella, sung by Héctor Mauré with the orchestra conducted by Silvio Vernazza and the Fanny Day choir. Victor P.1550, year 1953.

“Caballero Juan Perón”, by Samuel Aguayo, sung by the songwriter accompanying himself on guitar.

“Perón-Ibáñez”, with words by P. Santillán set to the melody of “Los muchachos peronistas”, sung by Alberto Marino with orchestra in 1953.

“Marcha de Luz y Fuerza”, written by Domingo Marafiotti and Cátulo Castillo, recorded by Hugo Del Carril with the orchestra conducted by Marafiotti in 1949.

“Se acabó la mishiadura”, tango by Enrique Rodríguez and José Paradiso recorded by the Rodríguez’s orchestra with Ricardo Herrera on vocals on December 15, 1950.

Una carta para Italia”, tango by Santos Lipesker and Reinaldo Yiso recorded by the Francini-Pontier Orchestra with Roberto Rufino on vocals, on March 24, 1948.

To close the listing, there is a march that was engraved in the memory of all those who at that time were kids and soccer fans: “Marcha del Primer Campeonato de Fútbol Infantil Evita”, as homage to the games opened on August 20, 1950. It was written by Sciammarella and Carlos Artagnan Petit and recorded by the Silvio Vernazza’s orchestra. There is something to be singled out: it was sung by the Santa Cecilia Children Choir in which a soloist was highlighted. He was a twelve-year old boy who later would be the renowned popular singer: Luis Aguilé.

Lastly, an explanation is needed: all the recorded material here mantioned belongs to the Héctor Lucci’s collection which was especially lent for this work.