This word evolved from the West African Bantu language, in which “malonga” means “word”, and “milonga” is the plural of “malonga”: “words”
It is hypothesized by historians that the African population of Rio de La Plata used this term in relation to the “payada”, a musical genre in which two individuals compete by playing guitar and improvising verses, asking each other questions. The rhythm of this genre evolved to the rhythm we now know as milonga.
When the dance of Tango appeared, it was a technique of partner’s dance used to dance any danceable rhythm. Waltz was the most popular at the time, but soon the milonga rhythm was identified as a better fit for that particular dance technique.
As this rhythm, and the way of dancing to it, grew in popularity, “milonga” also became the name of the gathering and the place where this dance was practiced. The word “Tango” was initially a synonym of the word “milonga”, and they later became the name of two differentiated rhythms. Tango dance parties and the location where it is danced kept the name of “milonga”, as well as its crowd of participants, “milongueros”.
Milongas, meaning “Tango dance parties”, have been happening for more than 130 years. During this time, milongas developed a set of codes that cultivate efficiency, maximizing the possibility of great dancers appearing, and allowing the continuity of its existence as a precious cultural gem.
The singer himself tells us: «I always got along very well with Pugliese in spite of his political ideas.»
The researcher Nélida Rouchetto described him this way: «With his nasal sound, his canyengue and his common man’s diction he kept alive the popular roots that gave rise to the city music. It was Chanel who identified himself like an orchestra instrument, in the manner of a viola, as can be verified since his first recording». Continue reading.
Lyricist, journalist and theater author
(17 March 1887 – 30 December 1957)
He wrote a hundred lyrics. Gardel committed to record twelve of them: the tangos “Callecita de mi barrio”, “Cicatrices”, “Compañero”, “Chola”, “La borrachera del tango”, “Micifuz”, “Virgencita de Pompeya (Medallita de los pobres)”, “La cumparsita (Si supieras)”, the foxtrot “La hija de japonesita”, the zambas “La salteñita”, “Machaza mi suerte”, the waltz “Rosal de amor” and the milonga “Tortazos”. Continue reading.
Violinist, leader and composer
(14 May 1912 – 21 May 1965)
Unequalled name, with more than six decades of unaltered force throughout two generations, is Alfredo Gobbi’s. When that indefatigable pioneer of the difficult beginnings of the tango conquest, called D. Alfredo Eusebio Gobbi, culminated his prolonged artistic performing career, his son, Alfredo Gobbi as well, was sticking out towards consecration, as the proper continuer of an illustrious popular artistic tradition of ours. He dedicated this tango to his father. Continue reading.
He was Italian, he was born in Strevi, a city near Milano. He arrived in Argentina at four, finally settling in Buenos Aires.
He began to sing in a neighborhood group, and soon entered a second line orchestra which had some success. It was led by the bandoneon player Cristóbal Herreros, and with him he performed at the café El Nacional.
The young singer attracted the attention of the maestro Osvaldo Pugliese who asked some of his musicians to go to listen to this singer in order to have their opinion.
Finally Pugliese took him to Radio El Mundo for an audition after which he hired him while at the same time he advised him to use more his mezza voce.
Morán, as many other singers, never studied neither music nor singing, what added to his impassioned style and his unconventional way of life, made him risk his voice to such an extreme that his voice declined very early. Continue reading.