DISCOS PERDIDOS o FANTASMAS ?
A repertorium of tango recordings
that may not exist... Or do they ?
|For a long time, I have been
of tango music score covers wherever I could find them on the
internet. Just because they were charming (especially the older
or because they could supply additional information about some
compositions. But can they also be a source of misinformation?
noticed that some covers announced recordings which could not be found
in discographies of the orchestras involved. And we are not talking
about some obscure orquesta olvidada,
no, these are really the big ones: Carlos
Di Sarli, Osvaldo Pugliese,
Juan D'Arienzo, Miguel Caló and others.
Initially, I thought this could be worth a small note with some of
cases, but after looking for them systematically, I ended up with no
less than 70
cases, and there is no reason to think that the list is complete.
This is a small and a large number at the same time. When compared to
the thousands and thousands of recordings that do exist it is certainly
small. But when considering the quality of the orchestras involved it
seems large to me: with - give or take - 50 to 60 bailables this is half a salón of "previously
unreleased material". It makes every tango DJ dream, doesn't it ?
|Only explicit references to
recordings have been considered. Frases like "Del repertorio de...", "Estupenda interpretación de...",
are not considered as pointing to recordings. Especially on the older
scores (thirties and earlier) references to live performances (cine,
theatre, radio, cafés...) are abundant. When absent from known
discographical sources (Lefcovich, R.G. Miglio, Buenos Aires Tango
Club, Todotango, lists circulating among coleccionistas...) they were
considered to be undocumented,
a more neutral term than a severe "it does not exist" (your
friend-philosopher will tell you that is very difficult to demonstrate
the non-existence of something - unless physically impossible,
something which does not apply to recordings)
Most of the time, the exact date of the edition is not known, but reasonable guesses can be made using the titles and artists that are mentioned, the style of the cover (e.g. editor Julio Korn had typical designs in the fourties and fifties) or other elements (e.g. the word nacional, as in Nacional Odeon, Discos Nacional...., a term that, by law, became reserved for matters of state in the early thirties). Of the ones listed here, it is my estimate that about 30% belong to the thirties or earlier, over 65% to the forties, and the remainder (just 3 cases) to the fifties or later.
In the category of the forties (the most fascinating part to me) over 80% of the covers announce both Victor and Odeon recordings (was this a required balance of powers ?) and also among the undocumented recordings, Victor and Odeon are nearly equally represented, so it doesn't seem to be a company issue.
The most encountered orchestras are those of Miguel Caló and Alfredo De Angelis, both 8 cases (an index by performer is included at the end)
|Why ? oh why ?
Given the abundance and quality of the discographical data that have emerged during the last years, it is my opinion that many of the undocumented recordings effectively do NOT exist (alas...) but the explanation that follows is pure speculation and may not apply to all listed cases.
The cover of the Mañana zarpa un barco music sheet carries the inscription
which I interpret as an edition date. It also mentions the recordings made by Lucio Demare and Carlos Di Sarli. According to available discographical data, these recordings were made on 20-07-1942 (Demare) and 12-08-1942 (Di Sarli). If we continue speculating, the music sheet was edited BEFORE Di Sarli made his recording, and possibly - in those long-before-Photoshop times - even designed BEFORE Demare made his. Note that this cover points to the very first recordings of the title and this is a feature of most of the covers shown below.
Can it be that these first edition covers were designed based on plans and promises of orchestras and that in some cases these plans never got realized? Or, more fascinating, that the recording took place but - for some reason - was never edited ?
In at least 3 cases (Adiós Marinero, Puente Alsina, Toda Mi Vida) alternate editions were found on which the undocumented recording is omitted and/or replaced by another. As the relative edition dates are often unknown, it is again a matter of speculation to consider them as corrected editions.
It almost goes without saying, but if you know about one of the recordings listed here, I would appreciate it to hear from you...
- Found: 0
|A Engrupir A Los Giles
Composer: Edgardo Donato
Lyrics: Dante A. Linyera
Grabado en discos doble NACIONAL por la orquesta de Francisco Canaro
The Canaro recording remains undocumented.
Las 7 En El Café (tango)
Composer: Armando Baliotti
Lyrics: Santiago Adamini
En magnificas grabaciones por las orquestas de Miguel Calo en disco "Odeon" y en disco "Victor" por Carlos Di Sarli
Well-known first recording by Miguel Caló (1943) but the Di Sarli recording remains undocumented.
|Adiós Milonguera (tango)
Composer: Carlos A. Sanchez
Pídalo en discos Nacional cantado por Carlos Gardel y ejecutado por la orquesta Firpo
The Firpo recording exists (1928) but the Gardel recording remains undocumented (read more - in Spanish).
|Así Se Canta (tango)
Composer: Elias Randal
Grabado en Discos "Victor" por la Orquesta de RICARDO TANTURI con su cantor E. CAMPOS y en Discos "Odeon" por la Orquesta de MIGUEL CALO con su cantor RAUL IRIARTE.
The recording by Tanturi (1943) is well known but the Caló recording remains undocumented.
Bailongo de los Domingos - Bajo el Cono Azul - Bajo La Lluvia - Baldosas Flojas - Borrá... y Apunta de Nuevo - Bruja - Buena Yunta
|Bailongo de los Domingos
Composer: Oscar Arona
Lyrics: F. Garcia Jiménez
Un Nuevo Suceso de la Popular Orquesta "LOS INDIOS" que dirije RICARDO TANTURI con su Vocalista ALBERTO CASTILLO. Solicite su grabación en Disco "Victor".
Otro gran Exito de la Orquesta Tipica de MIGUEL CALO con su Vocalista JORGE ORTIZ. Solicite su grabación en Disco "Odeon".
Well known recording by Tanturi-Castillo (1943) but the Calo recording remains undocumented, even with the alternate title "El Baile de los Domingos"
|Bajo el Cono Azul (tango)
Composer: Alfredo De Angelis
Lyrics: Carmelo Volpe
Grabado para el disco Victor por la gran orquesta típica del maestro ANGEL D'AGOSTINO y su vocalista ANGEL VARGAS.
Grabado para el disco Odeon por la gran orquesta típica del maestro ALFREDO DE ANGELIS (su autor), cantando Florial Ruiz.
Alfredo De Angelis - Floreal Ruiz: recorded 1944
Angel D'Agostino - Angel Vargas: undocumented.
|Bajo La Lluvia (tango)
Composer: Jose Maria Bagnati
Lyrics: Alejandro Flores
Grabado en discos Nacional. Cantado por Carmen Moreno acompañada por la orquesta "FIRPO".
This recording seems to be missing in the extensive Firpo discography by Nicolas Lefcovich. It is known that Roberto Firpo made several recordings with Carmen Moreno in 1926. Unlike for the many undocumented recordings from the forties on this page, it is more likely that this recording was effectively made.
|Baldosas Flojas (milonga)
Composer: Antonio Bonavena
Lyrics: F. Garcia Jiménez
Grabado en disco Victor por la gran orquesta típica de ANIBAL TROILO (Pichuco) con Alberto Marino en la parte vocal y en discos Odeon por ALFREDO DE ANGELIS con su gran orquesta y Carlos Dante.
Although the discographies of all four concerned artists are well documented this title is absent in all cases.
Note that the title should not be confused with the better known milonga Baldosa Floja (by Florindo Sassone, Julio Bocazzi and Dante Gilardoni).
|Borrá... y Apunta de Nuevo
Composer: Juan D'Arienzo
Lyrics: Luis Caruso (Carusito)
En una magnifica grabación en Disco "Victor" por la Orquesta de su autor [Juan D'Arienzo]
Undocumented. In another part of the score cover we find: "Otra gran Suceso del Maestro Juan D'Arienzo con sus vocalistas Héctor Mauré y Juan Carlos Lamas". Héctor Mauré was part of the D'Arienzo orchestra between 1940 and 1944, and Juan Carlos Lamas from 1942 to 1943. There are no known duo recordings of the two.
Composer: M. Pracanico
Lyrics: C.E. Flores
Grabado en discos BRUNSWICK por Julio De Caro y Azucena Maizani.
"And" or "with" ? There are no documented recordings of the two together. According to the record label (2102-B), Maizani recorded Bruja "con orquesta" (unspecified) but according to her discography the accompaniment consisted of a piano and violín duo.
On the Brunswick label, separate record number ranges were assigned to each artist. In the case of Julio De Caro, all records carrying numbers from 1201 to 1281 have been fully described, leaving little room for a previously unknown recording.
|Buena Yunta (tango)
Composer: N. Ferrazzano
Lyrics: L. Rubistein
Cantado en discos Nacional y Electra por el celebrado cantor criollo "El Principe Azul"
Also known as "Buena Junta" but absent in the discography of Principe Azul (who is not known to have recorded for Electra)
Cerremos los ojos - Color Cielo - Con Tu Voz, Querida - Copa de Fuego - Corazón Que Me Maltratas - Cuatro Recuerdos
|Cerremos los Ojos
Composer: Elias Randal
Lyrics: Julian Centeya
Grabado en Discos "ODEON" por la orquesta de MIGUEL CALO y su cantor RAUL IRIARTE
The Caló recording remains undocumented.
|Color Cielo (tango)
Composer: Antonio Bonavena
Realizadas en notables grabaciones por las populares Orquestas:
ENRIQUE RODRIGUEZ cantando ARMANDO MORENO (discos Odeon)
JUAN D'ARIENZO cantando HECTOR MAURE (discos Victor).
While the (first) recording was made by D'Arienzo with Walter Laborde in 1944 (the year indicates an error in the interpreter rather than a pointer to a completely different recording), the recording by Enrique Rodriguez remains undocumented.
|Con Tu Voz, Querida (tango)
Composer: Francisco de Caro
Lyrics: José M. Suñé
Grabado en disco Victor por JULIO DE CARO y su Orquesta Típica
Undocumented. The record numbering system of Víctor does not allow the same conclusion as for another missing De Caro recording.
|Copa de Fuego (tango)
Composer: Antonio Polito
Grabado en disco Víctor por Domingo Federico.
|Corazón Que Me Maltratas
Composer: Alberto Nery
Lyrics: Carlos Bahr
Grabado en disco VICTOR por la orquesta típica de JUAN D'ARIENZO
Grabado en disco ODEON por la orquesta típica de PEDRO LAURENZ
The Laurenz recording is well known, 1944 - with Carlos Bermudez, but the D'Arienzo version remains undocumented.
|Cuatro Recuerdos (tango)
Composer J. Raúl Iglesias
Lyrics: Juan B.A. Gatti
Grabado en disco Víctor por la gran orquesta de Ricardo Tanturi y en disco Odeon por la gran orquesta de Osvaldo Pugliese.
The Tanturi recording is well known, 1945 - with Enrique Campos, but the Pugliese version remains undocumented.
De Vuelta - Dos
Composer: A.E. Donato
Lyrics: J. Romero
Grabado en discos por las formidables orquestas de Edgardo Donato, Francisco Canaro y Francisco Lomuto.
Not a single one of these recordings is documented.
|Dos Minutos (tango)
Composer: Miguel Bucino
Lyrics: Evaristo Fratantoni
Grabado en disco Víctor por la orquesta de Ricardo Tanturi
Grabado en disco Odeon por la orquesta de Francisco Canaro
The Canaro recording exists (1944, with Carlos Roldán) but the Tanturi recording remains undocumented