If someone in the tango world deserves an army of idolaters, it’s Di Sarli with his treasure of beautiful dance recordings. From this picture we may conclude that he indeed had his admirers (and perhaps, Roberto Rufino too), and when we think of his many lyrical, atmospheric songs, this should be a surprise to no one.
The following picture shows us José Garcia (centre) with his main singer Alfredo Rojas and the lesser-known Nida Wilson, who also shows up in a few recordings, and who was already featured before here at Tango Archive. I bet this is the first picture you see of Alfredo Rojas, and I hope that although only a part of his head is shown, you might now associate his voice with a specific face.
Tango wasn’t just hard work and fierce competition, sometimes you also had to celebrate something. This picture shows us a crowded birthday party of Julio de Caro and a few well-known guests, mapped for you on a seperate picture below.
In the present, Firpo is a relatively forgotten orchestra and perhaps even more so in Buenos Aires, but like in several other cases, that doesn’t mean he was unsuccessful in the Buenos Aires tango world at its heyday.
Today’s picture shows us Roberto Firpo’s team of the early 40s in the studios of Radio Belgrano. The famous tango veteran Firpo can be recognized as the second man on the left in the upper row and his son Firpo jr., dark suit, is standing right next to him.
His main singers of that era, Alberto Diale and Ignacio Murillo, are more difficult to identify individually, due to the nearly entire lack of available pictures. However, it’s safe to say that as a duo, we can refer to the smiling young men above the two bandoneonists on the right on the first row. And as a very cautious conclusion, on the basis of just two available pictures, one very vague, I’d say that the big fellow with the biggest smile (left) is Murillo, and that the somewhat taller, thinner person next to him, looking in the same direction, would be Diale.
For musicians, a lot of (hidden) preparation goes into a single performance. This picture shows us the solitary side of a tango director like Troilo, who also had to spend a lot of time composing personal arrangements for existing music or simply authoring new songs. Here, we can see him writing something like that at home, accompanied by his famous bandoneon on the table.
This admittedly somewhat grainy picture is actually quite revealing in the sense, that we get a rare close-up of at least most members of Rodolfo Biagi’s orchestra in the very important years he worked together with Jorge Ortiz. Biagi is shown seated at the piano, and Ortiz (young face, with a moustache) is standing next to him, to the right. If you recognize anyone else, please let me know in the comments.
Today’s dance music is defined only by the recordings we have, and those recordings are only a part of what constituted tango music in the Golden Age. The picture below shows us a relatively important orchestra leader, Ciriaco Ortiz (left), who has no consistent output as far as recordings are concerned, perhaps apart from Orquesta Típica Los Provincianos in the early 1930s. Apparently, at some point in the early 40s he was working together with Alberto Amor, better known to modern-day dancers as one of Biagi’s singers. This combination may have led to interesting dance music, but like in many cases, no recordings mean we will most likely never know.