In 1943 Juan D’Arienzo recorded a new disc, which was sold in 17,000,000 copies. Even by today’s standards this number is insane… and, in the domain of tango music, the record has never been beaten. The disk contained immortal “La Cumparsita” on side A, and milonga milonga “La puñalada” on side B. Interestingly enough, both of them came not from Buenos Aires, but from Montevideo.
Only nine years ago, Francisco Canaro, in the middle of a live performance unleashed on unsuspecting dancing public “Milonga Sentimental”, thus giving birth to a new dance. Before that, milongas were only sung, but never danced. Even the first recording of “Milonga Sentimental”, which Canaro made with Ada Falcón in the end of 1932, was in a pure cancion fashion. But now, in 1933 milonga is a new dance, and it is quite a trending dance, indeed.
To Paul Bottomer, the creator and the driving force
behind “Today’s Tango Is…”, with appreciation.
Juan D’Arienzo and Rodofo Biagi met in the end of 1935, overnight turned upside down the whole tango world… and broke up only two and half years later, in the middle of 1938. The common legend about the break up tells us that one evening, when the orquesta was performing vals “Lágrimas and Sonrisas”, Biagi was on fire, and the crowd would not stop applauding, until Biagi rose from his sit, and produced a slightest bow. Maddened D’Arienzo jumped to Biagi, and whispered to his ear, “I am the only star in my orquesta! And you are fired!” While this incident indeed might have taken place, if we look at the history of their recordings, the story might look just a bit different…
The very first recording session occurred on the last day of 1935. At this day they recorded vals “Orillas del Plata” and tango “Nuevo de Julio” (9th of July). Now, 9th of July is the Independence Day, commemorating the signing of the Independence Act by the Congress de Tucuman in 1816. However, the events leading to this act started with the the May’s Revolution of 1810, followed by six years of the Independence War. Was D’Arienzo indeed making a statement of an upcoming tango revolution by choosing “Nuevo de Julio” for his first recording with Biagi? Was it “just” a foresight? Or was it a pure coincidence?