Oscar Zucchi

Luis Petrucelli’s lineups

etrucelli was always accompanied by the best musicians of his time. He made his debut at age fifteen with Samuel Castriota and passed through the ranks of a large number of orchestras until he joined the one led by Juan Carlos Cobián, and later switched to the one fronted by Julio De Caro. He split with the latter ensemble when, without previous agreement, De Caro put his name to the group, which was something they had not agreed upon.

1922. He was nineteen years old when the impresarios of the cabaret Casino Pigalle, on 340 Maipú Street, asked him to put together an orchestra. He called his former bandmate, Pedro Maffia, to join the bandoneon section, José María Rizzuti (piano), Bernardo Germino, either José Rosito or José De Grandis (violins) and either Hugo Ricardo Baralis or Humberto Costanzo (double bass). This was his first music group, with which he premiered his tango “Rico [b]”, which was the name of a racing horse.

1923. At the Abdulla Club, for a short time, he presented a lineup that featured Pedro Maffia (bandoneon), Vicente Gorrese (piano), Bernardo Germino and Fernando Franco (violins), among others.

He continued working, now again as one of the guys of the orchestra. He joined again De Caro, on the leader’s request, and later he joined José Martínez and Juan Carlos (Fats) Bazán. He was one of the founders of the Orquesta Típica Victor, as person in charge, because the label did not present a specified leader for the orchestra but an art director, Adolfo Carabelli.

1926. Still keeping his relationship with the Típica Víctor, he put together an orchestra to appear at the cabaret Follies Bergère, on Cerrito Street. His sidemen were: Salvador Grupillo (bandoneon), José Tinelli (piano), Marcos Larrosa and Nicolás Di Masi (violins) and Hugo Ricardo Baralis (double bass).

Thereafter he accepted Francisco Canaro’s proposal for traveling to New York.

1927. On his comeback he appeared at the American Palace movie theater on Córdoba and Callao. Alfonso Lacueva, later replaced by Rafael Giovinazzi (piano), Germino and Di Masi, (violins), the leader with Vicente Romeo (bandoneons), Ausonio Pisani or Ángel Corletto (double bass).

Later they went to the Cine Moderno, on 939 Boedo Street, and in the afternoons at the tearoom of the shop A la Ciudad de Méjico, on Florida and Sarmiento. There were some changes: Gorrese (piano), Germino and Adolfo Muzzi (violins), Luis Petrucelli with Ciriaco Ortiz (bandoneons) and Baralis (double bass).

1928. He began to cut recordings as independent leader when he split with the Victor label. They were 54 tracks in twenty-seven 78 rpm discs. The possible initial lineup was: Carlos Alsina (piano), Germino and Arturo Abruzzese (violins), Petrucelli and Enrique Pollet (bandoneons) and Humberto Costanzo (double bass). But the customary personnel, the most regular was: Gorrese (piano), Elvino Vardaro, Manlio Francia and Bernardo Germino (violins), the same bandoneon players and Baralis (double bass). The refrain singer (estribillista) Roberto Díaz made his debut in the orchestra.

His career on record ended in January 1931. And eventually also other players like Federico Scorticati, Nicolás Primiani (bandoneons), Antonio Buglione and Fausto Frontera (violins), Francisco De Lorenzo (double bass) and José María Rizzuti (piano) appeared.

His outstanding tango “Negro el veinte”, October 1929, was recorded by the following musicians: Rizzuti, Vardaro, Francia and Buglione (violins), Petruccelli and Scorticati (bandoneons), Francisco De Lorenzo (double bass).

1933. He joined the Osvaldo Fresedo orchestra. His tenure there was until the time of his death.

As composer, 23 pieces were found, all of them were committed to record. As estribillistas (refrain singers) he had Roberto Díaz, the adaptable Antonio Buglione, Carlos Viván, Juan Lauga and Pedro Lauga. In some songs, there are duos by Roberto Díaz and Manlio Francia, singing the second voice

Excerpts from the note of his book El tango, el bandoneón y sus intérpretes, Volume IV, third part.