There are different versions
about the place of origin and the year where he was born. Some
state that he born in Uruguay and others that he was French. There are also
doubts on who hiss parents were and when was he born. It is assumed that his
date of birth was on December 11, 1887. Nevertheless, some friends of him
assured that privately he recognized to have been born on 1883.
1912 Gardel formed his own duet with Francisco Martino; and one year later
the duet turned into a quartet when Saúl Salinas and Jose Razzano were
added, lasting only a few months. In 1915, Gardel joined the group Jose
Ricardo as a guitarist and they toured around Argentina and Uruguay. On
December 11 of that year, due to a fight after a performance at the San
Martin theater, Gardel received a shotgun that lodged a bullet in his left
lung for the rest of his life. After this tour and a well-deserved rest,
Gardel continued appearing with the duett Gardel-Razzano, and continued
after innumerable nights of tango, until its dissolution in 1925
The same year he traveled to Spain, where his
popularity grew, and steadied himself as singer. Then he traveled to Paris
and in a benefit presentation in the "Fémina" theater, sang together with
Josephine Baker, a big star at that time. He appeared for three months at
the Florida's cabaret, and recorded several records. Between 1925 and 1933
he continued touring around Argentina and Europe, as well as recording
albums in Buenos Aires, Paris and Barcelona. 1933 was the last year that Gardel spent in Argentina; performing in cinemas,
theaters, radio programs;
and doing recordings, movies and tours in Argentina and Uruguay. At the end
of the year he began his presentations in New York's NBC network with great
success and acceptance.
1934 he wrote with Alfredo Lepera, "Mi Buenos Aires Querido" (My
Beloved Buenos Aires), a tango that
survived generations. This tango was, and still is, well known around the
world and brings deep nostalgia to Argentineans (specially porteños) that
are far away from home.
As for the movies, he acted in: "Flor de durazno" and "La Loba", filmed in Buenos Aires, "Espérame" and "La casa es seria" in Paris, "El Tango en Broadway", "El Día Que Me Quieras", " Tango Bar" and "Melodía de Arrabal" filmed in New York.
extended his reputation in Latin Americawith his movies and his tours. On
June 24, 1935 during a tour in Latin America, while flying out of Medellin,
Colombia, the plane that transported Carlos Gardel and his band, crashed at
the Olaya Herrera airport, creating a terrible fire and the consequent death
of the idol. Carlos Gardel's body was repatriated, and a multitude showed up
at his wake held at the Luna Park Stadium, as well as to his funeral in the
Chacarita cemetery, where he is remembered with a statue.
In April, 2003 the museum house of Carlos Gardel was inaugurated in the Abasto neighborhood, Buenos Aires, where there is a bronze statue in his honor.
local people (Porteños) identify Gardel with the following nicknames:
Carlitos, El Zorzal, Cada Día Canta Mejor, El Morocho del Abasto, El Mago,
El Imbatible, El Inmortal, El Troesma, El Inigualable, El Inolvidable, El
Más Grande, El Rey del Tango, El Number One, El Cantor de los Tres Siglos,
El Cantor de la Sonrisa Eterna, El Mito Viviente, Don Carlos y 20 Años No Es
Nada, among others.
Carlos Gardel's voice still is heard in every corner of Buenos Aires