Carlos Gardel: 87 years are nothing

For José Valle, For José Valle, tango historian, writer and cultural producer.

For the professorship, Carlos Gardel was born in the Hospital of Saint Joseph de la Grave Toulouse, a beautiful city in the south of France, on December 11, 1890. The son of an unknown father and Berta Gardes -who gave him her last name- he was baptized Charles Romuald Gardes.

In 1893 he arrived at the port of Buenos Aires, settling in the popular Abasto neighborhood.

Since he was a boy he was inclined towards music, it was the payador José Betinotti, who baptized him “El Zorzal Criollo”.

In 1917 he starred in “Flor de durazno”, a silent feature film, directed by Francisco Defilippis Novoa.

He formed a duo with José Razzano until 1925, when the Oriental had to stop singing due to a condition in his vocal cords and became Gardel’s representative.

In 1927 his resounding consecration in Europe took place, harvesting enormous success in cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Paris.

Between October 23 and November 3, 1930, Carlos Gardel filmed fifteen short musicals, precursors of the current “video clips”, directed by Don Eduardo Morera and premiered on May 3, 1931 at the Astral cinema, located in Corrientes. 1641 of Buenos Aires, under the heading of “Musical variety”, accompanying the exhibition of the film “Lights of the city” by Charles Chaplin. These films were the first made in the “Valle Studios”, at 832 Mexico Street, owned by the film entrepreneur Federico Valle.

Carlos Gardel performed in Bahía Blanca five times. The first in 1913, integrating the duo with José Razzano, he did so in 1918 and 1924 at the Municipal Theater and at the Palace Theater (Brown 162); and as a soloist in 1930 and 1933, in the Palacio del Cine (Chiclana 174), when he stayed at the Muñiz hotel and went to the Miravalles Bar, on the occasion of his last presentations in our city.

His last recording in Buenos Aires was on November 6, 1933, when he recorded “Madame Ivonne”, by Eduardo Pereyra and Enrique Cadícamo. The next day she leaves, not knowing that she would never set foot on gaucho land again.

He made a brief tour of Barcelona and Paris and traveled to the United States to make his debut on the most important radio network in the world, NBC in New York, on December 31 of the same year.

In 1934, with the collaboration of Alfredo Le Pera in the plots, Gardel films “Cuesta Down”, “My beloved Buenos Aires” and “Tango on Broadway”, for the Paramount of New York.

After a brief trip to France, at the end of 1934 he returned to acting on NBC and filming, participating in the Paramount musical “Star Hunters”, along with Bing Crosby, Richard Tauber and Ray Noble, among other greats.

Between January and February 1935 he filmed “El día que me tú” and “Tango Bar”, where he performed his greatest hits.

Death was waiting for him in beautiful Medellin; a plane crash ended his life on June 24, 1935.

Gardel’s funeral, in February 1936, was a moving tribute. A crowd attended the wake at Luna Park and accompanied the funeral procession to the Chacarita cemetery.

The person who best described Gardel’s death, in my opinion, was the poet Raúl González Tuñón: “The people cried for him, and when the people cry, let no one say anything, because everything has been said.”

13th Gardelian Days

They will take place from Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25, starting at 7:30 p.m., in different spaces of the city.

Within the framework of a new anniversary of the death of Carlos Gardel, these days will be carried out with musical shows, delivery of distinctions to trajectories, talks, presentations of musical comedies. Full schedule at:

Book tickets according to show. Organizes the Bahía Blanca Don’t Forget Cultural Cycle with the support of the Municipality of Bahía Blanca.

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