It’s one of the most painful aspects of tango music history: only a limited part of even the most popular orchestras’ repertoire was actually recorded. These bands played in mass venues or on radio stations in an age of tango as mass ”pop music”, but unlike nowadays, getting everything recorded wasn’t all that easy. Sure, I guess the top orchestras most likely had their biggest hits recorded anyway, but we still miss out on a lot of interesting material, like different versions of popular hits by other orchestras. Let’s take a look at some proof for that statement.
This advert below shows that Pugliese was actually playing a number of typical mid-Golden Age songs we wouldn’t directly associate him with nowadays. Percal is well-known as a recording of Caló with Alberto Podestá, and there’s also a magnificent version by Troilo with Fiorentino. Likewise, the two other songs were both recorded by Caló and others, but not by Pugliese. Just imagine listening to Radio El Mundo, hearing the beautiful song Percal as played by the talented Pugliese, and with its exquisite lyrics sung by, probably, Roberto Chanel. But we can only imagine what that was like – the sad fate of music lost forever.