(Charles Romuald Gardés; Toulouse, France, 1890 - Medellín, Colombia, 1935) singer, songwriter and Argentine actor of French origin or perhaps Uruguayan; According to this second hypothesis, it would have been born in 1887 in Tacuarembo. At the end of the Decade of 1920, the identification of Gardel with tango was already a phenomenon of universal scope. Since it has never ceased to recognize their essential role in the development and diffusion of tango and its status as best performer in the history of the genre. As it is often the case with such a huge popular dimension figures, the biography of the "zorzal criollo" is tinged with legends, and his posthumous fame has hardly waned with the passing of the decades. For many years it was common to see how many people along to the tomb of Carlos Gardel to ask health and work; in Argentina, the expression "is Gardel" equals "is incomparable".
Carlos Gardel had this childhood punished by adversity that seems to characterize all arrabalero and triumphant hero. His mother, Bèrthe Gardès, never got to know accurately who was the father of the son born on December 11, 1890 at the hospital of La Grave (Toulouse) and baptized with the name of Charles Romualdo, although an important part of scholars argues that the above data are a fibbing to hide their status as illegitimate son of Carlos Escayola and María Lelia Oliva , and that was actually born on December 11, 1887 in Tacuarembó (Uruguay).
Later, in the suburbs of the city of Buenos Aires, where Bèrthe Gardès fled in search of a few crumbs of fortune when Gardel had still not complied with the three years, he resigned to see how its stem or his adopted son peddled between shacks of removal, Montserrat or Los Corrales, and sought life kicking dilapidated and dirty streets growing resentment, sadness and insecurity.
Charles will become soon an awake boy, Carlitos, inspiration and irascible whose only desire is to reach the luxury of the rich and win mountains of money. With eighteen plays all sorts of odd jobs and already leaves a velvety voice in corners, family reunions, and gambling dens. Hate hard work, cult makes courage, sanctifies the loyalty to friends and strives to imitate the wealthy preening with a dedication narcissistic and almost feminine.
At that time, that "sad thought that is danced" of uncertain origin, called tango, began to make all the rage in Paris. Its most prominent interpreters traveled to the continent and returned with pockets to overflowing. Carlos, singing who like almost as much as "Twine", changes the final s in his surname by a l and try fortune in some cafes of Buenos Aires peripheral neighbourhoods, which occurs with the nickname of "El Morocho"; to the surprise of friends and strangers, says an acute sensitivity and a completely original artistic temperament.
Their interest and their skills lean it to the tango song or tango with lyrics, sparsely cultivated so far. Indeed, the tango was then culminating their evolutionary process that had taken him from being a cheerful music (rhythm of two by four and possibly Cuban) which was danced in somewhat obscene way in the celebrations of the working classes in Buenos Aires, to become a lament Sung, a nostalgic and torn that wealthy locals had learned to admire and dance and music that Gardel was meant to publicize all over the world.
When in 1915 forms a pair with José Razzano, interpreter of tangos that already enjoys some fame, neither of them suspected that in a few years will become idols both connoisseurs and a large sector of public. It was in the wake of an apotheosis performance at Buenos Aires Emerald Theatre, in 1917, when the personal style of interpreting tango by Carlos Gardel deep calo in Buenos Aires public and gave to the Gardel-Razzano duo a fulminant celebrity.
The tandem will be maintained until 1925, year in which Gardel had only depart Europe. José Razzano, suffering from a disease of the throat, had decided to abandon singing. This misfortune of fellow will, however, mean international fame for Gardel. Three years after crossing the Atlantic, Razzano writes: "the sale of my records in Paris is fantastic; three months 70,000 have been sold". Bing Crosby, Charles Chaplin and Enrico Caruso revel with songs such as "Mi noche triste", "Back" or "No more penalties or oblivion".
If great had been the success of Gardel in Paris, it was not less in Spain. Gardel debuted solo in 1925 at the teatro Apolo in Madrid and at the teatro Goya in Barcelona on November 5 of that year. Such was the welcome and love the public provided in the Catalan capital the "zorzal criollo", as it is called, which made it its centre of operations for their European tours, but his long stays in Paris. In "Che, papusa, heard" Gardel sings: "Trajeada bacana, you dance with cut / and by rare snobbery tomás prisse", perhaps evoking the festivities to the Parisian aristocracy from Barcelona, with tuxedo, French champagne and cocaine or plis or plisse, offered at that time as he was called to this drug.
The voice, the stamp and the sympathy of Gardel arrollaban, especially among women. Revealing is the interview "a la sombra de Gardel", which was posted in Tango fashion, in 1929. The shadow was a beautiful French following Idol all over after having seen him act once in Florida from Paris cabaret. "When at night I retreat to my hotel room, I am very well paid my efforts if I have heard him sing three or four songs," confessed this unconditional admirer. His films, like peach blossom, shot in Argentina in 1917, Lights of Buenos Aires and downhill, in France in 1931 and 1934, and Tango Bar, in the United States in 1935, in addition to Melodía de arrabal, tango in Broadway, El día que me quieras and star hunters, among others, contributed to increase his fame, thanks to her magnificent voice and its fascinating personality.
His way of singing the small existential dramas of his tangos will mean a revolution. Nobody is able to imitate the phrasing of Gardel nor its ability to morph in the characters in his songs. In addition, his sympathetic figure, mixing rogue, punitive always dress well and repeinado, becomes a model for Buenos Aires. Now he is a born winner, model "which became", a rioplatense myth admired by men and adored by women.
Despite this image, Gardel was a tortuous, withdrawn and contemplative, man gripped by a dark sadness and dejection easy victim in privacy. As for her love life, she confessed that never is had fallen in love with any woman, "because all the worth of love and give exclusivity to one is to make it one offence to others".
In 1934, after having walked on scent of crowd on stages in Europe and the United States, Carlos Gardel began toured throughout Latin America causing delirium. The theatres were filled a public rendered the Argentine singer, who acclaimed him and continue cheering him until after his death.
On June 24, 1935, when he was at the peak of his fame, the singer died in a plane crash whose cause never been clarified, however not for the millions of fans of tango in the world who then mourned the death of his idol and still speak of him in the present tense. Gardel traveling from Bogota to Cali in a bag company F-31. Made scale in Medellín, the airplane toured the track to boost flight, but it had just taken off, he plunged into Earth, colliding with another German plane waiting at the top of the track.
A veil of mystery surrounded the event. Rumors about a shootout raced between Gardel and one of his companions, with the pilot of the unit as innocent victim and involuntary cause of the tragedy. However, and according to the testimony of the only two passengers who managed to escape from the twenty-first day, travelling on the flight, the true cause of the accident seems to have been the strong prevailing wind which made the pilot to lose control of the plane at the time of takeoff.
To the confusion of the accident would add after the legend of a hooded singer whose voice was surprising because of its similarity to the Gardel; many claimed that the idol had survived and was still singing, but I didn't want to show his face completely disfigured. If that is true, the body watched by crowds in the Luna Park stadium would not have been his. But it is his spirit that counts: a sea of melancholy cried him then and continued lamenting the loss of the most sad and warm voice that tango has never given.