Imperio Argentina falleció a los 92 años de edad. 20 de agosto de 2003.
Actuó con Gardel en las peliculas: 'La casa es seria' (1930) y 'Melodía de arrabal' (1932).
Imperio Argentina, who starred with Gardel in two movies, passed away at age 92.

Carlos Gardel - The King of Tango
(1890-1935)
Cada día canta mejor - He sings better every day


The material on this site is available in both, English and Spanish.

El material en este 
sitio esta disponible 
en Inglés y Español.

Guitars that belonged to Gardel and Razzano

These guitars belonged to Carlos Gardel and José Razzano.
The one on the right is Gardel's.

S.A.D.A.I.C. 
Museum Collection


- December 11 -
- Gardel's birthday -
has been declared
the National Day
of Tango in
Argentina.

"The tango is like a 
lullaby that gets in 
your ear and never 
goes away."
(Reporter's comment when interviewing Gardel for 
Noticias Gráficas,
Sept. 21, 1933)

Known as El Zorzal Criollo, the songbird of Buenos Aires, Carlos Gardel is a legendary figure in Argentina. The charismatic French-born singer's career coincided with the development of that intrinsically Argentine cultural icon, the Tango, the music, song and dance of Buenos Aires' tenements - arrabales. 

Gardel began his career singing in bars and parties and in 1913 formed a duet with José Razzano (which would last until 1925), singing a wide variety of folk songs. Gardel made Carlos Gardel - Photo Studio Silva, Montevideo - Oct. 1933 the music his own by inventing the tango-song, with his 1917 hit Mi Noche Triste, (which sold a 100.000 copies) and was an instant popular hit in Latin American countries. Gardel toured Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brasil, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia and cities like BarcelonaParis and New York. He sold 70.000 records in the first three months of a 1928 visit to Paris. During his short life, he recorded a total of 770 themes, including 514 tangos. Gardel's huge popularity as an interpreter of the melancholy ballads of the tango was confirmed in the 1920s and 30s in nightclubs and motion pictures. The Argentine elite overcame their aversion to the tango's humble origins and open sensuality only when the man and his music were already widely accepted in France and Spain. Radio performances and a film career extended this appeal.

Carlos Gardel was born on Dec. 11, 1890 in Toulouse, France (as Charles Romuald Gardès to Paul Lasserre (1866-1921) and Berthe Gardes (1865-1943) who brought him to Argentina at 27 months of age). Gardel's sky-rocketing career was cut short in 1935, when he lost his life in a plane crash in Medellin, Colombia on June 24, 1935. Hordes of people thronged to pay their respects as the singer's body made the journey traveling via Colombia, New York and Rio de Janeiro to its final resting place in La Chacarita cemetery, Buenos Aires with the multitude listening to his tango Silencio. Instantly immortal and preserved forever young, his enduring fame is measured by the oft-heard Argentine expression "Gardel sings better every day". Sixty eight after his death, a devoted following keeps the legend blazing, playing Gardel's music daily and placing a lit cigarette in the hand of the life-sized statue which graces his tomb and keeping his few films in circulation.


It is not enough to have the most melodious voice to intone a tango. No. In addition, it is necessary to feel it. One has to live in its spirit.

"I live it, I feel it in the sweet glance of a beautiful and well-endowed woman who sees me drive by in my fast "voiturette"; I know that I am the tango when after leaving the racetrack the group of men follow me with their glances; I am not deceived when the tailor takes pains to make me his best suit or the saleswoman looks for the prettiest necktie for me. I know that the tribute is to the tango. I am for them the tango. And I like it, because I feel more like I belong here. Even though I intone a sweet French song, even though people listen to my beautiful notes of "Parlez moi D'Amour", I know that I am the singer of tangos who lends himself for other songs."
(Noticias Gráficas, Buenos Aires, Sept. 21, 1933).

"People do not understand what I do, they think that I make the money without doing anything. And I do make it, it is certain; I make a lot, but work many hours of the day. So that they realize, this figure is enough: I get to record twenty songs each month. In addition to the recording, which in that form has to be almost daily, taking into account the instrumentation, the harmonization of guitars, the modifications that should always be introduced, so that the song and the instruments work well, and it will be visible what is my life; very pleasant, I cannot complain, only about the continuous work.
(La Nación, Buenos Aires, June 30, 1929).


According to his lawyer, Armando Defino, during 20 years, from 1915-1935, Gardel earned about 2.000.000 pesos. This is equivalent to $US 500.000, a fortune in those days.


Lunfardo dictionary, Tangoshow.com
In many of his songs, Gardel added a good deal of native prose by mixing in the Buenos Aires "Lunfardo" slang. The only way you will fully understand what he sings is by looking up the Lunfardo dictionary at the above site.


Some of his best friends were:
Charlie Chaplin, the Spanish soccer star Josep Samitier, Argentinean singer Azucena Maizani, Uruguayan jockey Irineo Leguizamo, Argentinean movie star Tito Lusiardo and reporter Edmundo Guibourg. On Dec. 3, 1999, famous Argentine composer and poet Enrique Cadicamo, the last of Gardel's living friends, passed away at age 99.


The singers of his time which he respected the most were:
Ignacio Corsini and Azucena Maizani


In August 1924, in Buenos Aires, Gardel sings for the visiting Prince of Wales (who later became Edward VIII). On February 5, 1929, Gardel sings at the Paris Opera.


"Except for Gardel, no-one has possessed the city. CARLOS GARDEL is the only authentic persistence in the sentimentality of Buenos Aires."
(Florencio Escardó - Buenos Aires - 1945)


The New York Times, June 25, 1935: "His tangos and his songs captivated the masses."


"To govern Argentina, you have to put on a Gardel smile". (General Juan Domingo Perón).
Or, as Borges would, by reversing history, jokingly say: "Gardel smiles like Perón".


Gardel was once asked as to which of his interpretations he liked the best. 
He responded "El carretero". This folk song was his greatest hit in France.


The great Carlos Gardel interpreted "Mano a Mano" with the customary mastery. The attending public in the Theater San Martín awarded Gardel's performance with true ovations... 
...The speaker Cánepa,  knew how to correctly present all the artists, distinguishing himself when introducing Carlitos by saying: "When the history of the Tango is written, on a separate page and with gold letters, it will embolden the name of Carlos Gardel".
(The Critica newspaper, July 4, 1933)


On his tour of Spain in 1927, a reporter asked him as to his true nationality. Gardel responded:
"My country is the Tango and its capital is the Corrientes street".

Carlos Gardel signature - July 31, 1934 - New York

Un llamado a los colecciónistas de Gardel
¿
Si fuesen tan amables de contactarnos si poseen canciones no públicadas del Zorzal? 
Nuestro objétivo es únicamente de confirmar su exístencia sin el compromiso de compartir la música.

Antonio Ganem, saw Gardel sing in Cartagena in June 1935.
He has 200 Gardel 33rpm records for sale.
(Antonio Ganem: Vió a Carlos Gardel cantar, vende 200 discos 33rpm de Gardel.)

Concurso Por siempre Gardel: LOS TRABAJOS PREMIADOS, 21 de mayo de 2003

Congreso Quien es Gardel: Buenos Aires, del 22 al 28 de septiembre de 2003

For Sale: Gardel's Gold Cigarette Case by Horacio Galli, Argentina

More on Gardel (in English and Spanish)
Biography, discography, collecting Gardel, photos, books, where to buy, links...

Un llamado a los colecciónistas de Gardel
¿
Si fuesen tan amables de contactarnos si poseen canciones no públicadas del Zorzal? 
Nuestro objétivo es únicamente de confirmar su exístencia sin el compromiso de compartir la música.

  • His collaborators:

  • Photos of Gardel:

  • Women in Gardel's Life:

  • Where to buy Gardel's songs, sheet music, books and movies:

  • Homage to Gardel by other singers:

  • Gardel and Tango Museums:

  • Gardel Forums:

  • Links to sites dedicated to Gardel:

  • Radio Tango live:

  • Miscellanea:

  • One of the last photo of Gardel - in the air near Medellin airport
    One of the last photos of Gardel:
    In the SACO
    (Servicio Aéreo Colombiano) Ford F-31 trimotor en route to and near Medellin on that fatal afternoon of June 24, 1935

    According to Gardel's guitarist, José María Aguilar, the photo was taken on June 24, just before arriving in Medellin, by Gardel's secretary, Corpas Moreno. The camera miraculously survived. Gardel is in the foreground on the right. Second on the left is his guitarist, Angel Domingo Riverol.

    Of Gardel's entourage, José Plaja, Gardel's English tutor and his guitarist, José María Aguilar (1891-1951), were the only survivors of the Medellin tragedy. His guitarists, Guillermo Desiderio Barbieri and Angel Domingo Riverol, his good friend, co-author of memorable songs, the poet Alfredo Le Pera and his secretary, Corpas Moreno, all perished.

    The real reason for the accident has never been fully explained. Some of the more acceptable theories are that, either, the plane was overloaded, there was a strong cross-wind or that the plane's pilot, Samper, misjudged the distance. You can read more about it by clicking here and here.

    See also: La última carta de Carlos Gardel
    Gardel's last letter, June 21, 1935


    On the evening of June 23, 1935, after singing the Tango "Silencio", Gardel spoke the following farewell words to the radio listeners in Bogotá:

    "Before singing my last song I want to tell you that I have been deeply touched in Colombia. Thanks for so much kindness. I find in the children's smiles, the women's eyes and the goodness of the Colombians a tender feeling towards me. My emotion does not allow me to speak. Thank you and goodbye".

    After that, Gardel sung the last Tango of his life "Tomo y obligo".


    To his friend, Francisco Maschio, Gardel confined that he would like to retire with a fishing rod, a pipe and a girl like his then girlfriend, Isabel del Valle near him. He would return to sing in the theaters and on the radio.


    Search our Gardel Site:

    Terms for which to search (separated by spaces):

    Find: Case: Display:  


    Search for Tango Title at Gardel Server:

    Gardel Web - Home of Carlos Gardel - The King of Tango
    Use this baner to link to us.


    visitors

    Since July 26, 2002

    Last update: August 25, 2003

    For your comments, click here.
    Copyright © MMIII Jack Lupic // Todos derechos reservados

    NO PART OF THIS SITE (IMAGES AND
    CONTENT) MAY BE USED (COPIED,
    RETRANSMITTED, ETC.) WITHOUT A PRIOR
    APPROVAL BY THE AUTHOR.