Singer, actor, composer and lyricist
(7 December 1914 – 23 July 2002)
The very peculiar style of Alberto Castillo maybe has something to do with the mocking (humorous) grace of outskirts origin of Rosita Quiroga, Sofía Bozán or Tita Merello. But in no way these are influences; neither have they similarity among them nor Castillo resembles them. Simply, we could group them —and add them to the subsequent Elba Berón— because they are united by a common air, the same unpolished cadence.
However, when Castillo faces deep themes, the tenderness he conveys is striking. Definitively, he is a «voice that does not sound like any other’s voice», as the unforgettable Julián Centeya wisely said. Nor his style is like anyone’s; when he himself said that his peculiar phrasing was what the dancers needed —«people moved according to the nuances of my voice»—, He said to himself: «Here’s the thing!» (something that was needed, that is eagerly awaited), and he never deviated from that way of singing, of that natural style of tango, to which a detail of great importance must be added: his perfect intonation. Continue reading.
Among the artists of a very long career in our popular music he had stood out by the hierarchy and the sustained inventiveness of his oeuvre as composer of amazing classics: it will suffice mentioning “Sobre el pucho”, “El pescante”, “Arco iris”, “Tinta roja” and “Milonga triste” to immediately appraise his talent, his heart of Buenos Aires man and the noble guarantee of his inspiration.
A figure of the Boedo school which tended to renew and improve the popular aesthetics around 1930, he shared with José González Castillo, Pedro Maffia, Homero Manzi and Cátulo Castillo the commitment to a movement that forced all the authors to selection and refinement. With Manzi, especially, he achieved what till then seemed to be impossible: finding a new path for an old genre known as milonga.
His output, as a whole, places him at the level of the major creators of our music. Continue reading.