Rafael Flores Montenegro

CARLOS GARDEL occupies a unique place in the popular culture of Latin America. From humble beginnings, he rose to become the superstar of that world. His sudden, unexpected death in an airplane crash in 1935 was front page news in the press all over the world.
The tango was at the peak of its popularity during those years and Gardel recorded one classic tango after another that reinforced his status as a musical idol in Argentina and Uruguay. From 1923 on, he performed on successful tours in Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris, where he filmed the movies that quickly earned him widespread international acclaim and fame. One interesting anecdote we discovered was that the Spanish-speaking audience on both sides of the Atlantic forced the projectionist to rewind the film to repeat the scenes that featured Gardel singing. At the time of his death, Hollywood was already planning to launch him to stardom in the English language film world.
Of the hundreds of books written about him, very few can properly be called biographies. A biography not only has to encompass the intensity of his life but also the importance of his songs in modern times. One man who takes on the challenge is Rafael Flores Montenegro, a native of Argentina who has lived most of his life in Spain. After many years devoted to Spanish language poetry and literature, he threw himself into the world of tango in books, conferences, seminars, and radio programs. ‘Carlos Gardel, the Voice of Tango’ was his third work to include an essay on the singer’s life and career. The result of many years of research and random encounters with Gardel’s hit anthem “Por Una Cabeza”, this edition was published several times in Spain and Argentina.
The book you hold in your hand is the first English translation to appear following the noteworthy biography by Simon Collier in 1985. This book adds well-documented facts about Gardel’s life, including new information unearthed by various investigators since 1985. It is illustrated with images provided by “Mundo Gardeliano” of Los Angeles, probably the single most complete database about the singer in the world.
We are confident this book will be of great value for all those readers outside the Spanish-speaking world who are interested in Carlos Gardel.

César Fratantoni

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