1st March 1926: Electrical recording arrives in Argentina

Victor 79632-A - Rosita Quiroga - La Musa Mistonga

It’s an electrical recording – but can you tell?

In March 1926 the Victor company were the first to bring electrical recording to Argentina. Although their rivals Odeon were not able to follow suit until November this did not give Victor a competitive advantage: both parties had an interest in not advertising the new technology because – if it was really so much better than acoustic recording – who would buy the stocks of old acoustic discs? Victor and Odeon came to a gentleman’s agreement, and no announcements were made. Accordingly, Victor made no changes to their numbering system, continuing with the same matrix numbers, and there was no way of telling if the disc had been recorded acoustically or electrically. Once Odeon went electric in November, Victor’s discs would bear the monogram VE: Victor Electrical.

The first electrical recording was matrix BAVE (Buenos Aires Victor Electrical) 753 and this was given to Rosita Quiroga. It sold over 14,000 copies. By way of contrast, Agustín Magaldi would sell between 5,000 and 16,000 copies, Carabelli’s Jazz Band 7000 copies, and De Caro 1,500. Quiroga’s third disc, Mocosita c/w Horas tristes, sold 26,000 copies.

date matrix artist title genre disc
1st March BAVE 753-2 Rosita Quiroga La musa mistonga tango 79632-B
1st March BAVE 754-2 Rosita Quiroga Beba tango 79632-A
BAVE 755-1 Ramón Franco Todo por la raza monólogo 79633
BAVE 756-1 Salutación del Mayor Zanni al Comandante Franco monólogo 79633
BAVE 757-2 Carabelli Jazz Band Ingenuamente fox trot 79634-A
BAVE 758-1 Carabelli Jazz Band Gitana de ojos moros paso doble 79635-A
BAVE 759-2 Carabelli Jazz Band Comandante Franco paso doble 79634-B
7th April BAVE 760-1 Rosita Quiroga Como luces de bengala tango 79638-B
7th April BAVE 761-1 Rosita Quiroga Son grupos tango 79638-A
BAVE 762-2 Rosita Quiroga / Juan Velich El amor a golpes escena cómica 79639-A
BAVE 763-2 Compañía Victor de Comedias Pum… Garibaldi escena cómica 79639-B
8th April BAVE 764-2 Rosita Quiroga Mocosita tango 79641-A
8th April BAVE 765-2 Rosita Quiroga Horas tristes tango 79641-B
BAVE 766-3 Carabelli Jazz Band Voronoff fox trot 79635-B
BAVE 767-1 Trío Los Nativos El crucifijo tango 79640-B
BAVE 768-1 Trío Los Nativos La china Hilaria ranchera 79640-A
12th April BAVE 769-2 Julio De Caro Mary tango 79636-A
12th April BAVE 769-2 Julio De Caro Feliz viaje tango 79636-B
12th April BAVE 771-2 Julio De Caro Mis desvelos Tango 79637-A
12th April BAVE 772-1 Julio De Caro Quince abriles vals 79637-B
14th April BAVE 773-1 Agustín Magaldi ¿Dónde estás? shimmy 79642-B
14th April BAVE 774-2 Agustín Magaldi Hilos de plata tango 79643-A
BAVE 775-2 dúo Magaldi-Noda Lirio azul vals 79642-A
BAVE 776-1 dúo Magaldi-Noda Sauces del Chorrillo tango 79643-B

And who is this Comandante Franco guy? If you think he sounds like a military type, you would be right: this is General Franco’s younger brother Ramón Franco. He made history in January 1926 by flying a Dornier flying-boat named Plus Ultra (!) from Spain to Buenos Aires, a distance of just over 10,000km. The flying time was nearly 60 hours.