Odeon’s OT series

Tango artists such as Alfredo Eusebio Gobbi and his wife Flora (the parents of Alfredo Gobbi) travelled to Paris to record in 1909, when the possibilities to make recordings in Argentina were very limited, but the export of tango music from Buenos Aires to Europe seems to have begun only in the 1920s. Recordings of Canaro’s típica began to be released in Paris in (we think) 1925, presumably to capitalise on his arrival in the City of Light. Odeon France released, for example, Francesita (matrix 1721, DNO 6958-A) c/w (coupled with) Griseta (mx: 2365/1, DNO 4026-A) on the disc 49.110 / 49.111 (the two sides had different numbers in those days).

Odéon 49 110 Francesita (6958-A) c/w 49 111 Griseta (4036-A). Images courtesy ‘gone fishing with friends’.

In 1926, Parlophone (a sister company of Odeon) released three discs in their premium ‘R’ (‘Royalty’) series. The first two featured Roberto Firpo, whilst the third was shared by Canaro and Maglio. These were acoustic recordings. The advertisement below appeared in the “Ladies’ Mirror” magazine in New Zealand in June 1926:

Ladies Mirror (New Zealand) June 1926, p48. Photo © National Libary of New Zealand



R3202 contained Humberto Canaro’s Alfredo, recorded in Bs As in 1924 and released there on DNO 4009-B.

The £ sign on the label represents the letter ‘L’ and thus the name of the parent company, Lindstrom – not so strange when one considers that the pound sign itself comes from the latin ‘L’ for libra pondo, the basic unit of weight in the Roman Empire, which in turn was derived from the Latin word libra, meaning scales.


With the success of Canaro’s trip to Europe (1925-26) Odeon embarked on a series they called ‘Odeon Tango’ – OT for short – in 1927. This series was the tango version of their Odeon Dance recordings (‘OD’); the fact that OT also stands for ‘Orquesta Típica’ is probably a happy coincidence (although not all the releases are tangos). These discs were printed in London, in the Netherlands, and even in Switzerland, and issued on the Parlophone and Odeon labels. All the discs present electrical recordings. Parlophone included either the matrix number or the Argentine disc number on the records, sometimes both. As far as we can tell, 191 records were issued and many remained in the catalogue for many years.

OT 117 (Dutch pressing) La cumparsita – photo courtesy Serjan Pruis. The Argentine disc number (4262) appears on the label, whilst the matrix number is scratched into the wax in the run-off area.


At the same time, Odeon made their own issues on the continent (France, Spain, Germany and Italy) with their own couplings. In France for example 238 084 presented Zaraza c/w Margaritas, neither of which appears in the OT series. Particularly interesting on this disc is evidence of an Odeon Europe internal reference number with the prefix ‘Bao’: Zaraza is Bao 1209, and Margaritas is Bao 1198. These numbers never appeared on OT series discs but we know that e.g. Alma del bandoneón (OT 133) was Bao 1678. Another example is a Spanish release, 182.152 which presented Retintin c/w Derecho viejo (the same coupling as DNO 4282 in Argentina). Retintin is listed as B.A.621, and Derecho viejo as B.A.620.

Finally, not all the Odeon Tango recordings were Tangos. (OT 141) presented a pair of pasodobles by Roberto Firpo. At least one of these was released by Columbia in Japan.

Cat# Artist Title Matrix Cross reference Date Composer
OT 101 Francisco Canaro Angustia 293-1 4251-A 10/1/1927 Horacio Pettorossi
OT 101 Francisco Canaro Milonga con variación 747 4303-A 13/5/1927 Francisco Canaro
OT 102 Francisco Canaro Canaro en Paris 799 4299-B 23/5/1927 Juan Caldarella – Alejandro Scarpino
OT 102 Francisco Canaro Río de oro 1107-1 4353-A 16/8/1927 Lucio Demare
OT 103 Francisco Canaro Arrabalero 712 4301-A 5/5/1927 Osvaldo Fresedo
OT 103 Francisco Canaro Rezongos 713 4301-B 5/5/1927 José María Rizzutti
OT 104 Francisco Canaro Barrio reo 519 4285-A 23/3/1927 Roberto Fugazot – Alfredo Navarrine
OT 104 Francisco Canaro Araca, corazón 489 4268-A 17/3/1927 Enrique Delfino
OT 105 Francisco Canaro Caído del cielo 1269 4352-A 3/9/1927 Pedro Polito – Antonio Polito
OT 105 Francisco Canaro Queja Indiana 1303 4352-B 13/9/1927 Juan Rodriguez – Juan Miguel Velich
OT 106 Francisco Canaro Noche de Reyes 1289 4355-A 07/09/1927 Pedro Maffia – Jorge Curri
OT 106 Francisco Canaro Un tropezón 674 4289-A 27/4/1927 Raúl Joaquin de los Hoyos
OT 107 Francisco Canaro Federación 469-1 4266-A 12/3/1927 Francisco Canaro & Luis Riccardi – Juan Andrés Caruso
OT 107 Francisco Canaro Tiempos viejos 833 4311-A 30/5/1927 Francisco Canaro
OT 108 Francisco Canaro Marcelo 538 4275-A 30/3/1927 Edgardo Donato – Carlos Warren
OT 108 Francisco Canaro Sangre azul 1153-1 [*] 4351-A 20/9/1927 [*] Fioravanti Di Cicco
OT 109 Francisco Canaro Saturnia 1284 4344-A 7/9/1927 Juan de Dios Filiberto
OT 109 Francisco Canaro Copetin, vos sos mi hermano 1271 4373-B 3/9/1927 Andrés Domenech – Diego Flores
OT 110 Francisco Canaro En Silencio 1286 4354-B 7/9/1927 Raúl Courau
OT 110 Francisco Canaro Se acabaron los otarios 468/? 4267-A 11/3/1927 Francisco Canaro – Juan Caruso
OT 111 Francisco Canaro Puentecito del Plata * 844/1 [*] 4319-A 15/6/1927 [*] Francisco Canaro – Pascual Contursi
OT 111 Francisco Canaro Retirao 971 4326-A 23/6/1927 Carlos Posadas
OT 112 Francisco Canaro Bells of Hawaii 4843 4610-A
(Bao 1263)
11/8/1929 William Heagney
OT 112 Francisco Canaro Nelly 3135 4463-A
(Bao 1113)
10-09-1928 Héctor Bates – Luis Bates
OT 113 Francisco Canaro Don Juan 4431-1 4569 8/1/1929 Ernesto Ponzio
OT 113 Francisco Canaro La morocha 4403 4569-B 24/7/1929 Enrique Saborido – Angel Villoldo
OT 114 Francisco Canaro Chanta cuatro 2620 4436-B 12/5/1928 Enrique Domingo Cadícamo
OT 114 Francisco Canaro Yira, yira 6007 [*] 4674-A 9/4/1930 Enrique Santos Discépolo
OT 115 Francisco Canaro La brisa 4255-1 4552-B 19/6/1929 Francisco Canaro & Juan Canaro – Juan Caruso
OT 115 Francisco Canaro Llevatelo todo 2221 4436-A 12/5//1928 Rodolfo Pascual Sciammarella
OT 116 Francisco Canaro Adiós muchachos 1967 4400-B 3/1/1928 Julio Sanders
OT 116 Francisco Canaro Prisionero 4570/1 [*] Odeon 4578-A 11/9/1929 Anselmo Aieta – Francisco García Jiménez
OT 117 Francisco Canaro La cumparsita 379/2 4262-B 17/4/1929 Gerardo Matos Rodríguez
OT 117 Francisco Canaro Esta noche me emborracho 2350 4420-A 4/3/1928 Enrique Santos Discépolo
OT 118 Francisco Canaro Pensalo bien 4740 4590-A 23/10/1929 Alberto Calvera – Enrique Lopez
OT 118 Francisco Canaro Rancho embrujao 4797 [*] 4594-A 2/11/1929 Raúl Courau
OT 119 Francisco Lomuto Como los nardos en flor 5424 7844-B 15/04/1930 Mario & Teófilo Léspes
OT 119 Francisco Lomuto En la tranquera 5220 7842 3/10/1930 Francisco Lomuto – Pancho Laguna
OT 120 Francisco Canaro Comadre 4337-2 [*] 4560-A 14/8/1929 Juan de Dios Filiberto – Celedonio Esteban Flores
OT 120 Francisco Canaro Te amo y seras mia 5441 4639-A 21/4/1930 Alfredo Marengo – José Zatzkin
OT 121 Francisco Canaro I Don´t Know Why I Love You (Yo no se porque te quiero) 7693 4892-A 4/5/1934 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 121 Francisco Canaro My Little Black-Haired Baby (Negrita de mi alma) 7684 4895-A 28/4/1934 César De Pardo/José Francisco García
OT 122 Francisco Canaro Milonga 7610 4883-B 11/12/1933 José María Rizzuti – Santiago Giordano
OT 122 Francisco Canaro Puerto Nuevo 7611 4882-B 11/12/1929 Teófilo Lespés – Carlos Pesce
OT 123 Francisco Canaro No quiero verlo mas 7624 4885-B 29/01/1934 Rodolfo Sciammarella
OT 123 Francisco Canaro Que haces, Que haces ? 7592 4878-B 13/11/1929 José di Clemente – Jesús Fernandéz Blanco
OT 124 Francisco Canaro Si soy así 7494/1 [*] 4864-A 17/8/1933 Francisco Lomuto – Antonio Botta
OT 124 Francisco Canaro Sufro 7514 4880-B 10/9/1933 Luis Canaro – Jesús Fernandéz Blanco
OT 125 Francisco Canaro Amigaso 993 4327-A 7/7/1927 Juan de Dios Filiberto
OT 125 Francisco Canaro Clavelito 453 4267-B 10/3/1927 Juan Canaro
OT 126 Francisco Canaro Tango Of The "Mula" (El tango de la mula) 7692 4894-A 4/5/1934 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 126 Francisco Canaro A Garden of Illusion (Un jardín de ilusión) 7695 4893-A 4/5/1934 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 127 Francisco Canaro Churrasca 7734 4899-A 7/6/1934 Francisco Lomuto – Pancho Laguna
OT 127 Francisco Canaro Mi Buenos Aires querido 7822 4909-A 19/9/1930 Carlos Gardel – Alfredo La Pera
OT 128 Francisco Canaro Mi musa campera 7879 4911-B 31/10//1930 Irusta – Fugazot – Demare
OT 128 Francisco Canaro Madrecita de Pompeya 7864 4916-A 20/10/1930 José Martinéz – Francisco Laino
OT 129 Francisco Canaro Aparcero 7738 4901-A 12/6/1934 Anselmo Aieta – Antonio Radicci
OT 129 Francisco Canaro Cuesta abajo 7821 4908-A 19/9/1934 Carlos Gardel – Alfredo La Pera
OT 130 Roberto Firpo El adiós del boyero 7964 3084-B 11/12/1934 Jaime Vila – José Perrusine Fernández
OT 130 Roberto Firpo Buscando millonaria 8006 3075-A 17/12/1934 José Riestra
OT 131 Francisco Canaro Charamusca 7930 4923-A 21/11/1934 Francisco Canaro
OT 131 Francisco Canaro Soy cantor 7935 4926-A 23/11/1934 Francisco Pracánico – Alfonso Ferrari Amores
OT 132 Francisco Canaro Poncho de dolor 7937 4927-A 23/11/1934 Rafael Rossi – Francisco Gorindo
OT 132 Francisco Canaro Sibidos de un vago 7948 4924-A 30/11/1934 Héctor Gerard Cruz – Arsenio Mármol
OT 133 Francisco Canaro No hay que hacerse mala sangre 8028-1 [*] 4931-A 20/3/1935 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 133 Francisco Canaro Alma del bandoneón 8029 4933-A (Bao 1678) 20/3/1935 Enrique Santos Discépolo – Luis César Amadori
OT 134 Roberto Firpo La bordadora 8032 3080-A 22/3/1935 Roberto Firpo – Venancio Clauso
OT 134 Roberto Firpo La tortuguita 8034 3080 22/3/1935 Roberto Firpo – Fernandez
OT 135 Francisco Canaro El pescante 7735 4900-A 7/6/1934 Sebastián Piana – Homero Manzi
OT 135 Francisco Canaro La canción de la ribera 7788 4907-B 1/8/1934 Miguel Bonano – Alfredo Bigeschi
OT 136 Francisco Canaro Tangón (Nueva Danza) 8289/? 4954-A 21/8/1934 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 136 Francisco Canaro La copla porteña 8292 4955-B 21/8/1934 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 137 Francisco Canaro Aunque no lo crean 8285 4953-A 16/8/1934 Francisco Canaro
OT 137 Francisco Canaro Casas viejas 8286 4952-A 16/8/1934 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 138 Juan de Dios Filiberto y su Orquesta Porteña Re-Fa-Si 8380 6452
(Bao 1879)
1935 Enrique Delfino
OT 138 Juan de Dios Filiberto y su Orquesta Porteña Responso malevo 8225 6452 10/07/1935 Juan Polito
OT 139 Juan de Dios Filiberto y su Orquesta Porteña Clavel del aire 8228 Juan de Dios Filiberto
OT 139 Juan de Dios Filiberto y su Orquesta Porteña Estampa 8382 Ramón Gutiérrez del Barrio
OT 140 Roberto Firpo La carcajada 8354 3097 04/10/1935 Roberto Firpo
OT 140 Roberto Firpo Bella española 8356 3097 04/10/1935
OT 141 Roberto Firpo Por mi morena (pasodoble) 8244 3086 24/07/1935 Herrera
OT 141 Roberto Firpo Curro en el oro (pasodoble) 8258 3089 31/07/1935 Herrera
OT 142 Roberto Firpo La cucaracha 7858 3067-A 10/10/1934 Juan y D’Lorah
OT 142 Roberto Firpo A media Luz 7859 3067-B 19-10-1934 Donato – Lenzi
OT 143 Francisco Canaro Canaro 8209 4980-B 18/06/1935 José Martínez
OT 143 Francisco Canaro Horizontes 8398 4966-A 22/10/1935 Charlo – Homero Manzi
OT 144 Francisco Canaro El internado 8419 4964-B 8/11/1935 Francisco Canaro
OT 144 Francisco Canaro Juntando amores 8447 4971-A 3/12/1935 María Isolina Godard
OT 145 Francisco Canaro Donde ? 8449 4968-A 3/12/1935 Irusta – Fugazot – Demare
OT 145 Francisco Canaro Yo también soñé 8475/? 4975-A Francisco Canaro – Luis César Amadori
OT 146 Francisco Canaro Canillita 8512 4979-B 31/3/1936 Francisco Canaro
OT 146 Francisco Canaro Las doce menos cinco 8530 4982-B 3/4/1936 Agustín Bardi – Luis Bates
OT 147 Juan de Dios Filiberto y su Orquesta Porteña Botines viejos 7293 5300-A (OD 102) 1932 Juan de Dios Filiberto – Alberto Vaccarezza
OT 147 Juan de Dios Filiberto y su Orquesta Porteña El pañuelito 7923 5300-A (OD 102) 1934 Juan de Dios Filiberto
OT 148 Francisco Canaro El caburé 8538 4983-B 13/4/1936 Arturo de Bassi
OT 148 Francisco Canaro Envidia 8720 4999-A 26/8/1936 Francisco Canaro – José Gonzalez Castillo – Luis Amadori
OT 149 Francisco Canaro Qué le importa al mundo 8722 5002-A 26/8/1936 Francisco Canaro – José González Castillo – Antonio Botta – Luis Amadori
OT 149 Francisco Canaro Como te quiero 8732 5000-A 1/9/1936 Francisco Canaro – J. Castillo – A. Botta – L. Amadori
OT 150 Francisco Canaro El porteño 8733 4998-A 1/9/1936 Francisco Canaro – J. Castillo – A. Botta – L. Amadori
OT 150 Francisco Canaro Como las flores 8573 4984-B 12/5/1936 Mario Canaro – Luis Amadori
OT 151 Roberto Firpo Loco lindo 8645 3112-A 18/7/1936 Carlos Di Sarli – Conrado Nalé Roxlo
OT 151 Roberto Firpo Arrepentido 8750 3114-B 18/9/1936 Rodolfo Sciammarella
OT 152 Francisco Canaro El que a hierro mata 8341 4956-A 30/9/1935 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 152 Francisco Canaro Siempre unidos 8783 5005-B 6/10/1936 Alberto Soifer – Manuel Romero
OT 153 Francisco Canaro Todo es cuestion de suerte 8813 5011-A 25/10/1936 Enrique Delfino – Tabanillo
OT 153 Francisco Canaro Que nadie se entere 8910 5020-A 23/2/1937 Alberto Goméz
OT 154 Francisco Canaro Novia 8985 5023-B 26/4/1936 Francisco Rofrano – Francisco Gorrindo
OT 154 Francisco Canaro Desconfiale 8967 5024-B 19/4/1937 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 155 Francisco Canaro Desencanto 8908 5017-A 23/2/1937 Enrique Santos Discépolo – Luis Amadori
OT 155 Francisco Canaro Milagro 8900 5019 19/2/1937 Luis Rubistein
OT 156 Francisco Canaro Resentimiento 8942 5026-A 10/4/1937 Francisco Canaro
OT 156 Francisco Canaro El buey solo 8335 4957-B 27/9/1935 Agustin Bardi
OT 157 Francisco Canaro Se lo llevaron 9114 5035-A 20/7/1933 Agustin Bardi
OT 157 Francisco Canaro La puñalada 9106 5038-A 12/07/1937 Pintín Castellanos
OT 158 Roberto Firpo El llorón 8863 3500-A 19/12/1936 Juan Maglio
OT 158 Roberto Firpo La trilla 8865 3501 19/12/1936 Eduardo Arolas
OT 159 Francisco Canaro Cariño gaucho 8822 5014 18/11/1936 Francisco Canaro – Lucio Demaré – Claudio Martinez Payvo
OT 159 Francisco Canaro Milonguita 8828 5013-B 20/11/1936 Enrique Pedro Delfino – Samuel Linnig
OT 160 Francisco Canaro Pura milonga 9138 5041-A 10/8/1937 José Pécora
OT 160 Francisco Canaro Mal de ausencia 8943 5025-B 10/4/1937 Francisco Canaro – Ivo Pelay
OT 161 Francisco Canaro Condena 9204 5056-A 8/11/1937 Enrique Santos Discépolo – Francisco Pracánico
OT 161 Francisco Canaro Viejos tiempos 9169 5050-A 28/09/1937 Carlos Gardel – Alfredo le Pera
OT 162 Don Pancho y su Quinteto Argentino Los tiempos cambian 9214 4102-B 15/11/1937 Pascual Biafore
OT 162 Don Pancho y su Quinteto Argentino El choclo 9216 4103-A 15/11/1937 Angel Villoldo
OT 163 Francisco Canaro Recuerdos de París 9218 5055-B 16/11/1937 Mario Canaro – Carmelo Santiago
OT 163 Francisco Canaro Rincón florido 9206 5057-B 8/11/1938 Zaira Canicoba – Óscar Lomuto
OT 164 Roberto Firpo El apronte 8935 3503-B 27/03/1937 Roberto Firpo
OT 164 Roberto Firpo Homero 8801 3115-B 1/12/1936 Roberto Firpo
OT 165 Francisco Canaro Paciencia 9316 5059-A 3/3/1938 Juan D’Arienzo – Francisco Gorrindo
OT 165 Francisco Canaro El adiós 9317 5059-B 3/3/1938 Maruja Pacheco Huergo – Virgilio San Clemente
OT 166 Francisco Canaro Cuando el corazón 9318 5060-A 3/3/1938 Francisco Canaro – Carmelo Santiago
OT 166 Francisco Canaro La melodia de nuestro adiós 9319 5060-B 3/3/1938 Fioravanti di Cicco
OT 167 Francisco Canaro Indiferencia 9373 5066-A 21/4/1938 Rodolfo Biagi – Juan Carlos Thorry
OT 167 Francisco Canaro Pampa 9348 5064-A 24/3/1938 Francisco Prácanico
OT 168 Francisco Canaro Lorenzo 9346 5063-A 24/3/1938 Agustin Bardi
OT 168 Francisco Canaro Retintín 9347 5063-B 24/3/1938 Eduardo Arolas
OT 169 Francisco Canaro Adiós muchachos 9461 5065 6/20/6/1938 Julio César Sanders – César Vedani
OT 169 Francisco Canaro Pura parada 9460 5073-B 20/6/1938 Juan Francisco Noli
OT 170 Francisco Canaro La maleva 9511 5075-A 14/7/1938 Antonio Buglione
OT 170 Francisco Canaro Vieja amiga 9647 5080-A 7/10/1938 Pedro Blanco Laurenz
OT 171 Francisco Canaro Frio 9534-? 5076-A 26/7/1938 Joaquín Mora – José María Contursi
OT 171 Francisco Canaro Nada más 9596 5078-A 22/8/1938 Juan D’Arienzo – Luis Rubistein
OT 172 Francisco Canaro Ciertos amores 9650-? 5089-B 7/10/1938 Rafael Canaro
OT 172 Francisco Canaro Desprecio 9649 5083 7/10/1938 Ricardo Tanturi – Francisco García Jiménez
OT 173 Francisco Canaro Olvidame 9718 5085-B 18/11/1938 Miguel Bucino
OT 173 Francisco Canaro Callecita de mi novia 9717 5090 18/11/1938 Francisco Lomuto – Antonio Botta
OT 174 Francisco Canaro Sangre de suburbio 9719 5092-A 18/11/1938 Héctor Palacios – Iván Diéz
OT 174 Francisco Canaro Quebranto 9720 5086-B 18/11/1938 Ateo Dapiaggi – Francisco Antonio Lío
OT 175 Francisco Canaro Yo sere como tú quieras 9726 5087-A 25/11/1938 Héctor Lomuto
OT 175 Francisco Canaro Suplicio 9747 5091-A 3/12/1938 Carlos Viván – Francisco Bohigas
OT 176 Francisco Canaro Mano a mano 9756 5088-A 13/12/1938 Carlos Gardel – José Razzano – Celedonio Flores
OT 176 Francisco Canaro Por vos yo me rompo todo 9814 5093-A 27-02-1939 Francisco Canaro
OT 177 Francisco Canaro Mala suerte 9815 5094-A 27/02/1939 Francisco Lomuto – Francisco Gorrindo
OT 177 Francisco Canaro Donde andará 9816 5094-B 27/02/1939 Juan Canaro – Carlos Pesce
OT 178 Francisco Canaro Tormenta 9838 5096-A 28/03/1939 Enrique Santos Discépolo
OT 178 Francisco Canaro Vanidad 9840 5097 28/03/1939 Gerardo Matos Rodríguez
OT 179 Francisco Canaro Lo pasao pasa 9851 5099-B 29/03/1939 Miguel Bucino
OT 179 Francisco Canaro Qué importa! 9841 5102-B 28/03/1939 Ricardo Tanturi – Juan Carlos Thorry
OT 180 Francisco Canaro Quiero verte una vez más 9890 5098-B 13/04/1939 Mario Canaro
OT 180 Francisco Canaro Mas allá 9918 5104-A 04/05/1939 Joaquín Mora – José María Contursi
OT 181 Francisco Canaro Te quiero todavía 9919 5100-A 04/05/1939 José Ranieri – Mario Gomila
OT 181 Francisco Canaro Atardecer 9921 5105-A 04/05/1939 Luis & Germán Teisseire
OT 182 Francisco Canaro Al subir al bajar 9943 5106-B 19/05/1939 Alberto Suaréz Villanueva – Enrique Cadícamo
OT 182 Francisco Canaro Y no puede ser 9852 5108-A 30/05/1939 Aníbal Troilo – José María Contursi
OT 183 Francisco Canaro Mosterio ! 10073 5111-A 11/09/1939 Alberto Gambino – Alí Salem de Baraja
OT 183 Francisco Canaro Que es lo que tiene la Bahiana 10071 5114-B 10/09/1939 Dorival Caymmi
OT 184 Francisco Canaro Abandonada 10070 5110-A 11/09/1939 Francisco Canaro – Manuel Romero
OT 184 Francisco Canaro Amor, salud y dinero (Salud dinero y amor) [2] 10074 5111-A 11/09/1939 Rodolfo Sciammarella
OT 185 Francisco Canaro Noches de Buenos Aires 8083 4937-A 23/04/1935 Alberto Soifer – Manuel Romero
OT 185 Francisco Canaro Ojos negros que fascinan 8090 4939 25/04/1935 Manuel Salína – Florián Rey
OT 186 Francisco Canaro Llanto 10484 5135-B 20/05/1940 Pedro Maffia – Homero Manzi
OT 186 Francisco Canaro Milonga clasica 10416 5135-A 18/04/1940 Luis Riccardi
OT 187 Francisco Canaro Pájaro ciego 10493 5139-A 22/05/1940 Antonio Bonavena – Lito Bayardo
OT 187 Francisco Canaro Bandoneon de mis amores 10486 5138-A 20/05/1940 Federico Agustín Scorticati
OT 188 Orquesta Argentina Ricurita de mi alma 8859 1936 Julio Rosenberg – Alex
OT 188 Orquesta Argentina Alma de Bohemio 8860 1936 Roberto Firpo
OT 189 Francisco Canaro Sinfonía de arrabal 10181 5126-A 23/11/1939 Maruja Pacheco Huergo
OT 189 Francisco Canaro A quién le puede importar 10307 5127-A 26/1/1940 Mariano Mores – Enrique Cadícamo
OT 190 Francisco Canaro Un amor 10770 5141-A 14/10/1940 Mario Maurano – Alfredo Malerba – Luis Rubistein
OT 190 Francisco Canaro En un beso… la vida…! 10716/3 5141-B [*] 30/09/1940 Carlos Di Sarli – Héctor Marcó
OT 191 Francisco Canaro Martirio 10456 5133-A 9/5/1940 Enrique Santos Discépolo
OT 191 Francisco Canaro Melodía oriental 10477 5136-A 16/5/1940 Robert Zerrillo – Juan Carlos Howard – Enrique Cadícamo

[*] Regarding OT 176 Por vos… yo me rompo todo, the ‘dry’ matrix Take 1 was sent to England, whilst Take 2 (9814/1) was printed in Bs As on DNO 1.5093-A
[2] On OT-184, Salud, dinero y amor is the correct title, but the order of these three felicities was changed to accord better with European sensibilities.
[*] Regarding OT 190: alternate takes were sent to Europe for printing. For En un beso… la vida…! the ‘dry’ matrix 10716 was printed in Argentina, whilst take 4 (matrix 10716/3) was sent.
For Un amor, the ‘dry’ matrix 10770 was printed in Argentina, whilst take 3 (matrix 10716/2) was sent.

Back in the day, many record companies used to publish catalogues. Here is the Canaro listing from the Parlophone-Odeon catalogue of 1937-1938. You’ll observe that at this time the highest number released is OT-155.

This page was inspired by the page of Tyrone Settlemier and Robert Lachowitz. As that page seems to no longer be maintained I have produced a corrected table here. Thanks to Serjan Pruis for additional information. Matrix and disc numbers were checked against Christoph Lanner’s discography.

It’s easy to make mistakes in a big table like this. Seen any mistakes or omissions? Let us know.

The Hawaiian guitar in tango

On some early tango recordings we can hear the sound of a steel guitar being played with a slide, much like a blues guitar. It was used in more than a dozen recordings by Francisco Canaro in the years 1928-1930, for example his tango Mimosa (27-11-1929), in which the guitar starts it’s work at 1’08”:

Tango aficionados often refer to this as a Hawaiian guitar (and one of Canaro’s recordings featuring the instrument is a slow vals entitled Bells of Hawaii). If one only knows the Hawaiian guitar of today, which is an electric guitar played with a lot of vibrato, this might be a bit mysterious. Slide guitar is played all over America and is an essential part of blues music – why should we call this Hawaiian guitar?

It turns out that the Hawaiian guitar was a massive and important musical phenomenom in the 1910s and beyond, influencing music from the United States to India.

The guitar first arrived in Hawaii in 1832 with the Mexican and Spanish vaqueros (cowboys) hired by the King of Hawaii to work in the cattle ranches that had been set up by the Americans. When they left, the guitar remained, with its playing adapted to local tastes. As far as we know, the guitars brought at this time were tuned not in the modern tuning of a classical guitar, but in an open tuning. If you don’t play guitar, this means that it’s not necessary to finger any of the frets to produced a chord. This would greatly facilitate the later development of the Hawaiian style.

In the 1880s a young Hawaiian schoolboy named Joseph Kekuku discovered, supposedly accidentally, that if he slid a railroad spike along the strings, he got an interesting new sound. Placing the guitar in his lap and exchanging the spike for a steel bar, he developed a new style which was so successful that he would later tour first the USA and then Europe, where he played for royalty. The use of a steel bar gave rise to the terms “steel guitar” and later (perhaps to differentiate it from American blues styles) “lap steel”. It’s quite possible that the use of slides by American blues players was influenced by Hawaiian guitarsts such as Kekuku.

Hawaii and its music became fashionable in 1912 thanks to the Broadway production of The Bird of Paradise, a melodrama set on the island. The show was a smash, running for twelve years. Following on from the impact this created, the world’s fair held in 1915 in San Francisco brought in lots of Hawaiian musicians in order to promote tourism (Hawaii having been annexed by the USA in 1898). The presence of Hawaiian musicians created a craze for their music that lasted for years, and in 1919 the show (incorportaing Kekuku on Hawaiian guitar) began touring Europe. This was not the first contact of Hawaiian culture with Europe, however: the dance troupe featuring Jennie Wilson (Kini Kapahu) had toured Europe in 1894. These groups were successful with audiences of all social classes, but especially with the upper class and royalty. Groups penetrated as far as Russia and India, where it not only infiltrated Bollywood but also generated the guitar style of Indian Classical Music – if you want to hear that, check out the 1992 collaboration between American guitar guru Ry Cooder and the Indian guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, A Meeting by the River.

In 1931, the Ro-Pat-In Company (later renamed Rickenbacker) in the United States invented an electric version of the Hawaiian guitar, and the sound that the modern listener thinks of as Hawaiian guitar was born. Because the guitar was now electric, it no longer needed a large, resonating body. You can tell what the shape of the new guitar reminded its inventors of from the name they gave it: the frying pan guitar! This was the first successful electrified instrument of any kind, fully two decades before the advent of solid body electric guitars such as Gibson’s iconic Les Paul.

The new electric Hawaiian guitar was a big hit and propelled Hawaiian music back into the mainstream. The breakthrough song was the big hit of 1933, My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Hawaii here being played with an acoustic lap steel guitar by Sol Hoʻopiʻi (who only switched to an electric guitar two years later):


This song was a massive hit; the 1934 recording by Ted Fio Rito and His Orchestra reached Number 1 in the United States. My favourite US version, however, is that of Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. An intriguing detail on the linked video is the subtitle: Mi casita en Hawaii, implying that the song was widely performed in South America.

1935 saw the inception of a radio programme in Waikiki (a beachfront neigbourhood of Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu) called Hawaii Calls. The show became so successful that it ran for 40 years; at its height, it was relayed to more than 750 stations around the world. The house band was initially conducted by the American musician Harry Owens, musical director of The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki. One of his compositions was Sweet Leilani, which he wrote for the birth of his daughter in October 1934. The song was included in the 1937 Hawaiian themed Bing Crosby film Waikiki Wedding, winning the Oscar for Best Song:

As the Hawaiian bands toured, the music took root. Local groups sprang up such as the English band Felix Mendelssohn and His Hawaiian Serenaders. In the video below, from 1939, one can see an electric Hawaiian steel guitar with 8 strings instead of the usual 6. (Mendelsohn isn’t playing: like Juan D’Arienzo, much as he loved music, he had little musical talent himself). All pretence of the instrument resembling a guitar has now been lost:

So, what sort of instrument were Argentine guitarists playing when they played Hawaiian guitar – and how did they play it? To answer this, let’s turn back to the recordings made on the Victor label in 1927-1928 by the guitar duo Les Loups, whose players were the Brazilian Gastão Bueno Lobo – the man who introduced both the banjo and the Hawaiian guitar to Brazil – and the Argentine Oscar Alemán. (The Victor company also used them in eight recordings to back the violin of Elvino Vardaro, calling the resulting aggregation the Trío Victor).

The publicity photo below shows Bueno Lobo playing the guitar in his lap. In the caption below the photograph, Victor promote the duo as “extraordinary players of the Hawaiian guitar”. As you can see, it’s Bueno Lobo (R) who actually plays Hawaiian guitar, whilst Oscar Alemán (L) accompanies him.
Here they are playing their own composition Hawayanita (Little Hawaiian girl), which according to the sheet music was a hit for songstress Mercedes Simone:

Investigating this topic was a surprise for me. Hawaiian music has had a big influence on music worldwide, far out of proportion to the tiny size of this island nation. Its effects stretched from the United States to England, Greece, Egypt, Russia, India and our beloved Argentina.

References:

  • “Rethinking Race in Modern Argentina” ed. Paulina Alberto & Eduardo Elena, ISBN 1316477843, p76.
  • “The Hawaiian Steel Guitar and Its Great Hawaiian Musicians” ed. Lorene Ruymar
  • Oscar Aleman weblog: oscar-aleman.blogspot.co.uk