The chronicles of yesterday, always recall that farewell to Carlos Gardel on the night of November 5, 1933 at the house of his friend the horse keeper Francisco Maschio. Property located on Von Wernicke Street in the area of Boulogne, district of San Isidro, Gran Buenos Aires. This was an unforgettable event in the presence of more than 180 guests. The following day Gardel appeared on Radio Nacional where the singer recited some verses and recorded for the Nacional Odeon label. On November 7th for Europe on the ocean liner "Conte Biancamano" this would be his last farewell to his beloved Argentina.In commemoration of the 87th anniversary of the physical departure of tango's most prestigious singer-songwriter, we present important articles related to the life of Carlos Gardel, tango and turf.
“Gardel, San Isidro and el tango”
By Jorge Tirigall
It is worth to highlight the presentations of Gardel in San Isidro, but the most remarkable were his five shows during his last six months in Buenos Aires. Let’s see in a chronological order that time in 1933. On May 13 he showed up in the Acassuso Cinema, a place that today does not exist anymore, located at 500, 9 de Julio Street, there he was part of the celebrations of San Isidro Labrador, hired by the Mayor Mario Lambertini. One of the Mayor’s daughters, Aída Lambertini de Muñiz told that, that night the Mayor and the “Zorzal” discussed because Gardel wanted that the people who couldn't get in, were admitted to the show no matter what, but the mayor didn't want people to get in without paying the tickets. One month later, on June 13 the second show took place in the 1860 Santa Fe Avenue in Martinez. At the Astro cinema- the wich one doesn’t exist anymore today and a Bank is located there instead-The person who signed the contract where was established that Gardel was going to sing was José Razzano as his representative.
The cinema, a property of Ido Bentivogli, offered to its own staff like the ticket sellers and ushers the possibility of use the room in order to increase their personal incomes. At that time, Víctor Ruano, a neighbor of Martínez, was the director of Radio Callao and his wife was a regular at the Astro cinema.
Someone from the staff named Galindo, had the idea to propose to the lady that, through her husband's contacts with some famous artists, she could manage the presence of such a prestigious singer (Gardel). Fortunately, they could get it and that day, besides the couple were there two Gardel’s best friends, Irineo Leguisamo and Francisco Maschio, who already knowing of the inauguration of the San Isidro Racecourse he had named his stud “Yeruá”, the same name as that in Olleros street, in Lomas de San Isidro .
Some witnesses guarantee that Gardel opened his performance with el tango “Leguisamo” in tribute to his present friend. Enrique Leonardi, owner of the Select cinema, also located in Martínez, (a place destroyed by a fire) says that when Gardel knew where the money of the earnings of that show were going to be used, he did not want to charge a penny for his performance. We can also say that Gardel had promised to attend to the San Isidro Racecourse inauguration, but he couldn't keep his promise because of the Medellin tragedy on June 24, and the inauguration finally occurred on December 8. The following presentation was on September 22 at the Royal cinema, which one today is the Stella Maris cinema theater, owned by the Italian Society for Mutual Aid of Cultural “Dante Alighieri” of San Isidro, located in 399 Martín y Omar streets. This cinema changed its name several times, being call Las Flores, Mignon and San Isidro.
In the photo Gardel and Leguisamo are with their bandoneons.
One of the memories from that night was the part where one string from Riverol’s guitar cut off and him repaired it in a hurry before Gardel finished singing, and the fact that the show was almost empty. The witnesses of that show say that Gardel arrived and left with his car to the place, while the guitarists did it by train.
Once the performance was over, they returned to the Capital together, but they made a stop at “La Covacha café”, located on the corner of Belgrano and Acassuso streets, owned by the neighbor Mauricio Ramírez, there at the request of the present public, agreed to sing some songs.
This was the fourth Gardel's show in that 1933. The fifth and last one occurred on November 5 at the Yeruá stud on Von Wernicke Street near to Diego Carman. That property had different owners through the years, the first ones, Francisco Maschio's heirs, then they sold it and who bought it were the Moscón brothers, one of them was called Juanca Tavera, he was another amazing tanguero of this country.
After the Moscón brothers, a local businessman named Bianchi bought it, today that place is a company dedicated to real estate from Urruti and associates, Some of the people who attended the last show, which one it would be the Gardel farewell, due to, time after he would not return from his tour… were: the jockeys Irineo Leguisamo, Carlos Ferragut, Alfredo Peluffo, Genaro De Palma, Jorge Mernies and Julio Iberra, the horse keepers Francisco Maschio, Nicolás Berazategui, Wenceslao Borgonovo, Luis Saini, Emilio Ridella, Bartolomé Cardinali, Juan Mariotti, Ángel Penna,Germán Vichera, Ambrosio Elnen and José Bordón, the veterinarians Tubal Rodrigo, Humberto Caraciocciolo, the race horse owners Jorge Ravier, Roberto Coquet, Lauro Vericiarto y Eulogio Collado, plus some people from show business like the brothers César and Emilio Ratti, Raúl Rosales, the guitarists Julio vivas, Guillermo Barbieri, Horacio Pettorossi and Domingo Riverol, the chronicler of the horse races Arturo Gavasso, other important people from the horse races such as Alfredo Frigerio, José Pesce, Antonio De Luca, Atilio Balzano, “Chico” López, Francisco Bigliolia, Guillermo Liparelli and Gregorio Bidegai.
There were also there the traditionalist center Leales y Pampeanos from Avellaneda represented by Horacio Orquin, Roberto Roncayoli, Amadeo Desiderato and Santiago Rocca. Other attendees were Armando Defino, Adela Blasco Defino, Isabel del Valle, Emma Rodríguez, Juan Bocasso, Antonio Sumage and Ramón Maschio and after midnight, the Edgardo Donato orchestra was present too.
The Gardel photograph below is from that meeting where we can see him sitting with a bandoneon leaning on his knees, and on his left is Irineo Leguisamo and on his right Francisco Maschio in the same pose. The events related to Gardel in San Isidro are another thing that deserves to be mentioned. The first of them is a plaque placed by the Association “Hijos y Amigos de San Isidro”, which dates from June 24, in 1989 and where Jorge Tirigall was the speaker of the event, this happened in the same place where it was the Real Cinema, the Centro Cultural del Tango Zona Norte (an Academy that belongs to the National Academy of Tango) placed one too, on June 24 in 2004, there the speakers of the event were Rodolfo Omar Zatti and Rubén Fiorentino.
On december 12 in 2012, the Centro Cultural del Tango Zona Norte also placed a plaque in the Carlos Gardel Square, located in the Beccar neighborhood, that plaque was not the first there, it was added to those that had already been placed by another entities in the Square. During that event the speakers were Mr. Tirigall and Fiorentino, both of them were invited time after by the Centro Cultural del Tango Zona Norte on July in 2013, to another event in memory of the eightieth anniversary of Gardel’s show at the Astro Cinema in Matinéz, Cinema that today does not exist anymore.
Another plaque was placed by “Hijos y Amigos de San Isidro” and “San Isidro Tradicional” At the Acassuso Cinema, located in 525, 9 de julio street, where today it is the San Isidro Plaza Hotel.
“San Isidro is a town in the suburbs of Buenos Aires that has a history, a Gardelian history".