Ricardo García Blaya

The tango singer: His evolution along time - The consecrated soloist

nly as a result of an amazing boom, and not in all cases, an orchestra singer succeeded to become a "soloist" and leader of his own instrumental unit.

The famous teams were numerous, but by dismembering they showed us that there were orchestras which disbanded because of the singer´s departure or, that because of that, they noticeably declined and many vocalists were totally forgotted when leaving an orchestra, or fell to an inferior level when they tried a career as soloists.

Anyway, in the late 40s we saw how singers of the quality of Alberto Castillo, Alberto Marino, Ángel Vargas and Francisco Fiorentino, all of them famous and successful who carried on their careers as great soloists, took off and assembled their own musical groups.

It is true that connoisseurs prefer them in their previous character, but is also true that they left for our consideration, in this new stage, some remarkable renditions.

Alberto Castillo with his orchestra conducted by Emilio Balcarce in “Yo llevo un tango en el alma”, by Osvaldo Sosa Cordero in 1945.

Alberto Marino with his orchestra for his renditions of “Mariposita” by Anselmo Aieta and Francisco García Jiménez, recorded in 1954 and “Del suburbio” by Oscar Sabino and Víctor Lamanna in 1955.

Ángel Vargas with his orchestra conducted by Armando Lacava in “Ya no cantas chingolo (Chingolito)”, by Antonio Scatasso and Edmundo Bianchi in 1953.

Francisco Fiorentino with his orchestra conducted by Astor Piazzolla in “Viejo ciego” by Sebastián Piana and Homero Manzi in 1946.

For the first time in tango history, the singer subordinated the orchestra, his own or a hired unit, to the purpose of highlighting his performance and, in this way he put an end —it seems that forever— to the old predominance.

Other excellent orchestra singers became more important in their stage as soloists, such as Edmundo Rivero and Roberto Goyeneche, both ex vocalists, firstly with Horacio Salgán, and with Aníbal Troilo, later; Héctor Mauré, ex Juan D'Arienzo´s, or Miguel Montero and Jorge Vidal both coming from Osvaldo Pugliese's orchestra.

But there were many others, most them, who became soloists a little bit later, when tango was no longer of interest for young people and its decline inexorably hauled them too.

The case of Alberto Morán is peculiar. His most valuable and important stage was undoubtedly when he sang for Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra, but as soloist and accompanied by Armando Cupo's orchestra, he went on with his success, and at times he even surpassed it. In spite of his early vocal decline, his fans never let him down. Something similar happened with El Polaco Goyeneche of the late years.

Other greats who became important soloists were Julio Sosa —ex Francini-Pontier—, who had the merit of unearthing tango in the difficult 60s; Floreal Ruiz who was singer in very important orchestras and who became a star with his own light until the end of his lifetime; Roberto Rufino, regarded as a teacher for singers by his own peers, and Argentino Ledesma, former singer in Héctor Varela's orchestra, after the boom with “Fumando espero”, tango by Juan Viladomat and Félix Garzo, made a successful professional career, and sold a lot of records.