CARLOS GARDEL’S PERFORMANCE IN ZAMORA
(c) Manuel Guerrero Cabrera
In February 1926, Carlos Gardel was being successful in Spain. On Sunday February 7th that year, he said goodbye to the stage of the Romea Theatre in Madrid in order to perform in Príncipe Theatre in Vitoria (Álava) on the 13th. Alava press doesn´t clarify how many days Gardel was there; what´s more, on Wednesday 17th it is already announced the entertainment offer for the next day.
However, the same day it is written in the Heraldo de Zamora that Carlos Gardel will perform on February 20th in the Principal Theatre of this city. The newspaper published a photo with this text:
Remarkable Argentinian stylist, soul of popular songs and unrivalled performer of Buenos Aires tangos, will be soon in the Principal Theatre, accompanied by his black guitarist José Ricardo.
Mr Tomé and Mr Gutiérrez, the ones in charge of the Principal Theatre, hired him for the local Fair of Botijeros (1). The next day, the 18th, further information is found: Pilar Calvo, who had accompanied him in Vitoria, will also participate. Moreover, there will be shown the movies “Introduce me” and “The promised Land”, which Raquel Meller starred in this second one; in addition, the payment of three functions is reported (2). The same day, the 20th, the advert appears again, identical to the one we have previously commented on, and in a separated note Gardel is referred as the “only artist who has filled the Romea Theatre in Madrid every day during the month of January”.(3)
When Carlitos comes back to Buenos Aires, he is interviewed by Crítica (4). In this interview he indicates that he had performed in Barcelona, Madrid and Vitoria, but he suspended the tour and he was decided to continue in Zaragoza and Valencia; because of this fact, we wonder why he didn´t mention Zamora, since there are documentary evidences of his permomance announcement. It is possible that, if not the singer, the journalist confused Zamora and Zaragoza.
When these lines were written, no data on the Zorzal´s perfomance was found in the press from Zamora; that´s why it is possible Gardel cancelled it if he didn´t feel good(5) and Jose Ricardo had to take care of him. (6). Finally, he decided to go back to Argentina (7), so he went to Barcelona as he wanted to embark on the 4th March on the steamboat Queen Victoria Eugenia with destination to Buenos Aires (8).
This article has information already published in “Carlos Gardel en España”, by Manuel Guerrero Cabrera (Cuadernos del Laberinto, 2020).
(1) Heraldo de Zamora, nº 9714 (17-2-1926), p. 6.
(2) Heraldo de Zamora, nº 9717 (20-2-1926), p. 2.
(3) Heraldo de Zamora, nº 9715 (18-2-1926), p. 2.
(4) Heraldo de Zamora, nº 9717 (20-2-1926), p. 2.
(5) Crítica (25-3-1926). This interview was taken from PELUSO, H., y VISCONTI, E. (1998): Carlos Gardel y la prensa mundial, p. 55.
(6) El alma que canta (6-4-1926): «Reportaje relámpago al “as” del canto nacional. Carlos Gardel», en PELUSO, H., y VISCONTI, E. (1998), p. 57: «después de una breve temporada en el Vitoria, terminé mi gira».
(7) COLLIER, Simon (2003): Carlos Gardel. Su vida, su música, su obra, p. 116: «En la gira española de 1925-26 estuvo, al parecer, indispuesto unos días; José Ricardo lo cuidó en esa ocasión. Debemos presumir que Gardel a veces tuvo resfríos u otros problemas menores».
(8) Thanks to Jose Moreno in this translation.