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He Sings Better Every Day (by Pablo M.

1. Gaucho Meets Gringo

Good evening, and thank you for coming. My name is Julio Sosa. You’ve probably never heard of me, but where I
am from they know me as “El Baron del Tango.” I am the last of the great tango singers. Unfortunately, I had a
taste for fast cars so in 1964 I hit a post and bought the farm.

In any event, I’m not here to talk about me, but about the first and greatest of all tango singers. But before I start, let
me bring you yanks up to speed.

It is the end of the 19th century in the Republica Argentina. Just a few decades earlier, these vast and rich territories
were but a corner of the Spanish empire.

After a civil war that follows the birth of many a new nation, Argentina now forms part of a world undergoing not a
political revolution, but an industrial one. However, instead of leading the revolution, the country becomes a source
of food to industrialized powers that replace their factory workers with machines.

Ironically, Argentina is eager to take in the unemployed of Europe. Buenos Aires explodes from a town of 230,000
in 1875, to a city of 1.5 million in 1900. From the boats come the gringos. The locals assign them new names in
Lunfardo, the local slang. Italians become “tanos,” the Spanish are now “gallegos,” the French are known as
“franchutes,” and so on.

So they settle in the “conventillos” – old homes that once belonged to rich city dwellers. These old mansions are
now inhabited by several families forced to share a roof and courtyard. Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, German
and middle eastern must now coexist in close quarters.

At the same time, the government wants to conquer the wild Pampas. This wilderness, once the domain of indians
and the lonely gaucho, is now governed by settlement and the rule of law. The industrialists take over the cattle and
drive the cowboy of the Pampas into the big city.

And so it is that gaucho and gringo are foisted onto one another. Both strangers in a new home – both longing for a
life they lost. This clash will change the culture of their city forever. A culture rooted in nostalgia, sadness, and
melancholy. A culture that would give birth to what today we know as the tango.
2. “La Ville Rose” (1890-1901)


It is now 1890 in Toulouse, a small city in the Southwest of France. A couple of weeks before Christmas day, at the
hospital of Saint Joseph de la Grave, a laundress by the name of Berthe Gardes gives birth to a healthy boy. She
names him Charles Romuald Gardes. The boy’s father is married to another woman and refuses to recognize him as
his own.

Berthe is now a single mother rejected by a French society that is fallen in hard economic times. So, she decides to
take her infant son away from her family, to a more promising future. On March 11, 1893, Berthe and Charles
arrive in Buenos Aires on board the Portuguese ship
Don Pedro.

Berthe registers with the authorities as a widow and takes a job at a local laundry. A neighbor watches over “little
Carlos” as “Berta” goes to work everyday.
3. The “Morocho of the Abasto” (1902-1905)

(At the harbor)

CG: Matches, get your matches! Matches, best darn matches in the city! Maaaatches!

Officer Cartelli:
Hey kid, I told you three times already to beat it. You cannot sell your stuff here at the
harbor. Why don’t you take it to the Once like everyone else?

CG: C’mon officer, cut me a break. There’s too much competition there. Besides, my mother works nearby and
she wouldn’t approve.

OC: Look kid, it’s not personal. But if the boss sees you here, I’m the one in trouble. [Looks at CG more
attentively] Say, haven’t I seen you somewhere else.

CG: Not unless you hang out near the Abasto Market.

OC: Wait ... I know, aren’t you that kid I heard sing at the political committee ... Yeah, you’re ... you’re ... the
Little Frenchman!

CG: I prefer “Morocho of the Abasto”

OC: Well – Morocho – you can take your chances if you like, but I’m sure you know that under Presidential
decree we’re under state of siege. Besides, convicted immigrants may be deported. So if I were you, I
would watch my step.

CG: Thank you officer. Will do. Say, officer, what’s the score on that Notthingham Forest game?

OC: Do you really want to know? They’re up 6-nill against Alumni. It should come as no surprise after
schalocking Argentinos and Belgrano by about the same. Them Brits can sure kick it around.

4. Gardes to Gardel (1906-1912)

Scene 1 with Mr. Traverso (at the Café O’Rondemman)

Mr. Traverso:
Come on Carlitos! It’s almost 5 in the morning. You better get out of here. I gotta close some

CG: Sorry Mr. Traverso. Is just that I had a few gigs tonight and I got hungry.

MT: I know, I know. You keep singing at my joint and you can have whatever you want on the house. What
gigs did you have anyway?

CG: You know -- the usual. A couple of serenades on behalf of guys who can’t sing to their girlfriends. Then I
did a long set at the Gutierrez house near the Abasto. They’re celebrating their 40th anniversary.

MT: I understand. [Pause]. Say, Francesito!

CG: Morocho! Or Carlos.

MT: Sorry. “Morocho,” do you think you can start singing some of those new tangos I keep hearing about?

CG: What do you mean?

MT: Well, I hear in Europe they’re going crazy over the stuff. They’re suffering from “tangomania” or
something. The other clubs seem to have picked up on it and they’re going after our clientele.

CG: You mean the Chanta Cuatro?

MT: . . . and La Cueva, and Cinco al Plato, and the Universal.

CG: I don’t know Mr. Traverso. I like tango, and I’d sure love to help you. But it’s not what I do.

MT: Ahh. Don’t worry about it kid. I’m sure it’s a passing thing.

Scene with Razzano (at Café del Pelado singing contest)

CG: Pardon me, is this seat taken?

Jose Razzano:
Nope. Go right ahead.

CG: Thanks. I’m Carlos, by the way. Carlos Gardes.

JR: So ... you’re the one .... I’ve heard quite a bit about you. Very nice to meet you.
I’m Jose Razzano.

CG: THE Jose Razzano?

JR: The only one I know of.

CG: The pleasure is all mine. I’ve been told you’re quite the crooner.

JR: I fend for myself. But I hear you’re the one with the great pipes.

CG: You flatter me.

JR: You know. You and I have something else in common.

CG: Oh yeah? And what’s that?

JR: I have it from good source that they used to call you “Francesito”

CG: [Sternly] Emphasis on “used to”

JR: Understood. They used to call me “Orientalito” because I was born in the Oriental Republic of
Uruguay. So we both sing Argentine music and we’re both born in another country.

CG: Well, that may be. But I’ve lived here practically all my life. There’s very little French blood running in
my veins anymore. In fact, I’ve decided to change my last name from “Gardes” to “Gardel.”

JR: Sounds like you’re a man with a plan.

CG: I am. In fact, I’m very close to getting a recording deal with Columbia. Very soon I will be going on tour
all over the province.

JR: Sounds exciting.

CG: You know, if you’re as good as they say I may have room for you in my tour.

JR: How generous of you.

CG: I’m serious. Come see me next week at O’Rondemann and we can discuss it.

JR: Sure thing. See you then (in a soft voice) “Francesito”

CG: Until then “Orientalito”

5. The Duet (1913-1916)

Scene with Enrico Caruso (on board a ship in Brazil)

CG: Pardon me, Signore Caruso? I really don’t mean to bother you, but the purser told me you where here and
it has always been a dream of mine to meet you in person.

EC: Yes, of course. You and everyone else on this bucket. Let me guess, you’re an aspiring opera singer too?

CG: Oh, no sir. I don’t sing opera. Although Signore Nicola taught me a few canzonettas back in his restaurant
in Buenos Aires. But I mostly sing Argentine folkolore – the music of the gaucho. In fact, me and my
partner – Mr. Razzano – are touring in Brazil right now.

EC: Well, that’s nice. So, you want me to sign an autograph or what?

CG: Oh, no please. I just wanted to meet you and to tell you that I love your voice -- that when you sing ... you
fill my mother’s heart with joy.

EC: Well, thank you. I hear that all the time, but it’s nice of you to say. ...
And this mama of yours, you take good care of her with this singing career of yours?

CG: Yes, sir. My partner and I had a big debut at the National Theater and even got to tour the country together.

EC: And this music you sing, does it include this “tango”?

CG: No, sir.

EC: That’s good. I just come from Paris, or “tangoville” as they call it these days. Everybody go crazy for this
“tango” music. You know the Pope declared it an immoral dance?

CG: Yes, I heard.

EC: Well, it’s getting cold. Listen, I’m sorry, what’s your name young man?

CG: Carlos Gardel, sir.

EC: Well, listen Signore Gardel. My advice to you is to not let yourself be seduced by easy success, and
whatever you do, reject all suggestion or desire to obtain one or two higher notes in your voice. Buona

CG: Buona Sera, Signore Caruso.

6. Meet the Tango (1917-1921)

[Narrator]: And so it was destiny that the two would collide. Though born in different parts of the world, both
grew at about the same time from humble origins in the tough streets of the barrio. Despite growing out of poverty
both project the confidence of a winner. Neither had a father and both worshiped their mother. It maybe why
neither ever had a steady love interest.

In 1917, in the city of Montevideo, Gardel meets writer Pascual Contursi who through his poetic genius turns the
tango from just a dance into a song. It is on that occasion that Gardel and the tango finally fuse into a perfect
partnership that endures to this day.

Scene with Pascual Contursi (in Montevideo)

CG: Hey Pascual, why don’t you run that one by me again.

PC: Which one?

CG: You know, that ditty about the woman that leaves him, and ... he thinks she’s coming back so he keeps
buying mate but ... the guitar sits in the closet ...

PC: You mean “Lita”

CG: I guess ...

PC: Let me see ... Okay.

Woman, you dumped me

at the prime of my life
leaving my soul wounded
and dullness in my heart,
knowing that I loved you,
that you were my joy
and my burning dream...
There is no solace for me,
that is why Im getting drunk
to forget about you love.

CG: Not bad. I don’t care for the title, though. Not dramatic enough.

PC: I see. Any ideas?

CG: How about ... “My sad night”

PC: Look, if you sing it and make it famous, you can call it “My sappy night” for all I care.

CG: Fair enough. Why don’t we give it a go?

Mi Noche Triste

7. Passion for Ponies (1922)

Scene with Jose Razzano (at the racetrack)

JR: Hurry up Carlos, or we’re gonna miss the race!

CG: I’m coming, I’m coming. Hold your horses!

JR: Funny. Very funny. I think we are ... right over here.

CG: How did you get these seats?

JR: Don’t ask.

CG: ... So, did you hear about the South Africans?

JR: Yeah, I know. They beat Universitarios 14 to zip.

CG: No, I meant the fact that Alumni actually beat them 1 to nothing!

JR: That’s supposed to make me happy?

CG: It’s something! I think we finally figured out how to beat those gringos at their own game!

JR: I’m not so sure. I don’t really think football has much of a future in this country.

CG: But in any event, THIS is my favorite sport. . . .

Now let me get this straight. Gray Fox – a complete unknown – beat Botafogo – the most legendary horse of
our time?

JR: That’s right.

CG: And we got front row tickets for the rematch!

JR: You got it.

CG: If only Leguisamo were racing either horse. THEN, I could die in peace.

JR: I think he’s a bit overrated.

CG: Are you kidding? Have you ever seen him race? Besides, he’s a personal friend. You better watch what you
say about him.

JR: I guess you kinda worship the guy.

CG: You ain’t kidding, listen,

Leguisamo Solo

Scene with Jose Razzano (at the cafe)

JR: There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you.

CG: I know. My mother told me you called.

JR: How’s she doing?

CG: Alright I guess. She had an unexpected visitor yesterday.

JR: Who’s that.

CG: My father.

JR: What?!

CG: You heard right.

JR: I didn’t even know he was around.

CG: He wasn’t. He just came all the way from France to ask my mother to marry him, and to give me his name.

JR: What did she say?

CG: Well, first she asked me if I needed a father, and I told her that we’re doing just find without him. So she sent
him packing.

JR: That’s pretty heavy stuff.

CG: Ah. Water under the bridge. On top of that the military’s been sending me notices to report to duty.

JR: Which military?

CG: Funny you should ask. I am being recruited by the Argentine and the French.

JR: So what are you going to do?

CG: It’s all been arranged. Next week I pick up my Uruguayan passport. Problem solved.

JR: Wait a minute. I’m the Uruguayan here remember?

CG: Well, it looks like we’re going to be fellow countrymen.

JR: As you wish. . . . By the way, did you get to hear Parsifal last night?

CG: Do you think I can afford tickets to the Opera at the Colon?

JR: No, I mean on the radio! It was the most amazing thing I ever heard. There must have been 50 of us at the
café. Imagine Beethoven coming out of a something no bigger than a box. I’m telling you Carlos, this is
going to change how people listen to music forever.

CG: That maybe so. But in the meantime, I need to borrow some money. I had this sure thing at Palermo. It was
money in the bank until the final stretch. Then he chokes and loses by a head.
Por Una Cabeza

8. Return to Europe (1923-1924)

Gardel is dressed in silly gaucho attire. He comes forward to address a Madrid audience at the Teatro Apolo.

CG: Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Teatro Apolo and thank you for your warm reception. It is truly a
pleasure to be performing in Madrid.

Although I was born next door – in France – this is my first trip back to Europe since I was a little baby. In
fact, after my shows here in Madrid, I intend to visit my relatives in Toulouse.

In any event, allow me please to end tonight’s show with a song about love lost. . .

Mano a Mano

9. Flying solo (1925-1927)

Razzano is sitting at home and gets a phone call. It is Gardel calling from Paris on the new Paris-BA phone line:

JR: Oigo!

CG: Jose? Jose?! It’s me, Carlitos!

JR: Carlos? But I thought you were in Paris! When did you get back?

CG: I didn’t! I am in Paris right now! And I’m talking to you on the telephone!

JR: Don’t mess with me Carlos. I got enough problems as it is.

CG: I’m NOT messing with you Jose. I’m serious – it’s a new telephone connection between Paris and Buenos

JR: Well, you sound like you’re calling from the moon!

CG: Never mind that. When are you coming?

JR: I told you already Carlos, I can’t sing anymore. My throat just can’t take the beating. . . . Just be content to
have me as your manager. Anyway, how was Barcelona?

CG: Great, as usual! Guess what, I got to record some tracks on an electric system!

JR: I thought you might. How was it?

CG: You wouldn’t believe it. Those records sound just like a live performance.

JR: Sounds great. Hey, before I forget, your mom stopped by and said she found a nice little house on Jean Jaures
street. What do you want me to do?

CG: I told you already Jose, give mom whatever she wants. Thanks for taking care of things.

JR: Alright. Take care of yourself.

CG: You too. See you soon.

10. French embrace (1928)

A dock in the Buenos Aires harbor. Gardel prepares to board on his way to France. The press bombards him with

Reporter: Mr. Gardel, where are you headed next?

CG: This boat takes me to the village were Chevalier reigns. As a criollo, I depart to conquer such a fancy nation.

Reporter: Where will you be performing?

CG: I’ll be debuting at the Femina Theatre, and will be featuring at the Florida cabaret. I will also be performing
at a concert to benefit the victims of the Guadaloupe Islands disaster. I hear I will be sharing the stage with a
young lady by the name of Josephine Baker – you may have heard of her.

Reporter: Is it true you will be signing a radio contract here in Buenos Aires?

CG: That you’ll have to ask Mr. Razzano.

Reporter: Is it true that while most singers do radio for free, you will be getting $500 a month?

CG: $500 a month? You’ve been misinformed. It’s $500 per show.

Reporter: One last question, If I may Mr. Gardel. Since you’re headed for France I thought you’d want to
clarify. What is your true nationality?

CG: If you must know, my country is the tango and its capital is Corrientes Avenue!

Reporter: Any chance you could give us a sample of what you will sing for the French?

CG: If you insist,

Siga el Corso

11. An international star (1929-1930)

The scene takes place at a studio just before the filming of a live tango performance. Gardel is talking with the
tango’s composer, Don Enrique Santos Discepolo, one of the greatest poets and tango writers of his generation.

ESD: So Carlos, Italy, Spain, Paris – at the Opera no less. You’ve become quite the international sensation.

CG: I can’t complain. Life’s been good to me.

ESD: But is it true that you’ve parted ways with Jose after all these years?

CG: I’m afraid so. I love Jose like a brother and I always will. But my finances seem to have gotten a bit out of
control during my absence. Besides, I just don’t think he’s cut to handle all my international engagements.

ESD: I understand. I’m sure is for the better. (Gets a cue from the director)
I think we’re ready to start!

[Director] And ... action!

CG: Tell me Enrique, what were you trying to say with this song, Yira Yira?

ESD: Carlos, this is a song about solitude and hopelessness.

CG: I figured as much.

ESD: That’s why you sing it so well.

CG: Thank you. But the main character, he’s a good guy , right?

ESD: Sure, he’s a man that has lived the beautiful hope of fraternity for forty years. But all of a sudden, he
realizes that man are nothing but beasts.

CG: On that note, maestro?

Yira Yira

12. I oughta be in pictures (1931)

Scene after a concert in Nice, France, where Gardel performs for among others Charles Chaplin. Gardel and
Chaplin meet at a balcony outside a dinner party.

CG: Pardon me, Mr. Chaplin?

CC: Oh yes! Monsieur Gardel, right?

CG: Mr. Chaplin, I don’t want to disturb you. I just want to tell you how much I admire you and your movies.

CC: Why, thank you young man. You know, you’re very talented yourself. I really enjoyed your “tango” singing
during dinner.

CG: That’s very kind of you to say, sir.

CC: Please -- call me Charlie.

CG: Thank you . . . (with difficulty) Charlie. You know, Mr. Chaplin, soon I will be in moving pictures.

CC: Is that so? How do you figure?

CG: Well, Paramount has great studios in right here in France and they’re making a lot of Spanish-language films.
In fact, we are in negotiations over my cinematic debut. It will be called “Lights of Buenos Aires.”

CC: That’s very nice young man. Say, I usually fall and hurt myself to make people laugh in movies. What will
you be doing?

CG: Why, sing of course. And some serious acting too.

CC: And do you think that the public will take to these “talking movies”?

CG: I really do, sir. And don’t forget the music. We are working on some really great songs. Songs that mean
something to real people.

CC: What do you mean?

CG: Well, for instance, there’s one called “Tomo y Obligo” about a man who loses the love of his life and then
sees her with another. He’s so blinded by jealousy that it takes all he’s got not to kill her right there and then.

CC: And you think people want to listen to these stories?

CG: Maybe if I sang it for you, you’d understand?

CC: Let’s hear it . . .

Tomo y Obligo

13. The second duet (1932)

Meets Alfredo Le Pera at Paramount Studios in France. He would become producer and scriptwriter for his future
films. Le Pera arrives at Gardel’s apartment in Paris.

LP: Carlos, it’s me, Alfredo. May I come in?

CG: Yes, please come in! I was just plucking away at the keyboard. Did you make the changes we discussed.

LP: Sure did. I got’em right here. I think you’ll be very happy.

CG: I’m sure I will be. Why don’t we start with the movie’s title track, “Melodia de Arrabal.”

LP: Fine with me. Okay (looks for the music in his bag). . . here it is. Now – I worked on it so it’s a bit more
balanced. It’s supposed to convey that no matter how bad you may have had it, you’ll always have a special
place in your heart for the old barrio.

CG: Shall we try it?

Melodia de Arrabal

CG: Well done, Alfredo. Well done.

LP: I think the credit should go to both of us.

CG: What about the one about the five brothers who die in the war?

LP: Now that one was a bit trickier – but you had some good suggestions. It’s a pretty sad story, but I think it
will be perfect for the scene where you make your theatrical debut.

CG: Sounds good. Let’s do it.


14. If I can make it there ... (1933)

Following a show on Radio Nacional, Gardel is visited by Hugo Mariani from NBC Radio in New York.

HM: [Knock] May I come in?

CG: Hugo! What a nice surprise!

HM: If you need to rest your voice I can come back later ...

CG: Nonsense, please come in, take a load off! So how’s New York treating you?

HM: Very well, thanks for asking. It may not be Buenos Aires, but it’s quite the little town you know.

CG: So I’ve heard. Last I heard you were working for ... don’t tell me! ... N-B . . .

HM: NBC Radio. Good memory!

CG: That’s right. And how’s Remo Bolognini doing these days?

HM: Would you believe he’s the new concert master for the Toscanini Symphony Orchestra?

CG: Sounds like you boys are doing very well.

HM: We can’t complaint. But Carlos, I didn’t come to brag. I came to make you an invitation.

CG: Are you throwing a party?

HM: Not exactly. Remo and I want you to come to New York to work with us at NBC Radio.

CG: I’m flattered. But are you sure those yankees are ready for this gaucho?

HM: Believe me, Carlos. We wouldn’t ask you to come if we weren’t sure that you are destined to be an
international star.

CG: That’s very kind of you. But I’m not sure this would be the right time.

HM: Carlos. Listen to me. Right now you are doing the best work of your entire career. You’re singing in
cinemas, theatres, and radio programs. You’re making great records. Oh, and need I say, you are the biggest
star of Spanish-language films.

CG: Exactly. SPANISH-language films. What about the fact that I don’t speak English?

HM: Don’t worry about that. The yankees are crazy over all things “latin” these days. You can learn English
while you make a bundle serenading them in Spanish! They don’t care about the words anyway?

CG: I don’t know, Hugo. It all sounds very tempting but I’m leaving for Europe in just a few days.

HM: Carlos, you let me worry about that. You get yourself on that boat to Europe and we’ll make all the
arrangements from New York. Trust me. You will not regret this.

CG: ... Very well! You’ve got yourself a deal. ... You realize of course, I will have to change my farewell speech.

HM: Well, let’s hear it then!

CG: “I leave temporarily to Europe – and New York – to conquer new laurels to offer you, my dear fans.”

HM: Sounds great to me!

15. Like Maurice Chevalier (1934)

Gardel and Le Pera commiserate at Gardel’s New York apartment in a rainy afternoon.

CG: Well, one thing’s for sure Alfredo. New York is not Paris.

LP: Ain’t that the truth.

CG: Over there, I had them eating out of my hands in no time.

LP: Come on, Carlos. It’s not so bad. You have to give these yankees a bit more time. There just not as
sophisticated as the French.

CG: I understand that. I’ve always had patience with the public. But what about the critics? I’ve been performing
at NBC now for weeks and they’ve been less then charitable.

LP: Come now. There’ve been some positive reviews.

CG: For starters, the New York Times has not even acknowledged that I exist.

LP: What about Metronome?

CG: Oh yes. I show “promising work.” And don’t even get me started on Variety. “Not enough showmanship.”
What do they know about putting on a show!

LP: They were just negative because your English isn’t so good. But you’ve been making some progress the last
3 shows. The phonetic lyrics should help you get up to speed.

CG: I’ve had it Alfredo. I just can’t sing what I don’t understand. From now on, I only sing in criollo!

LP: Alright. It’s your career. In any event. I’ve got some news that are sure to cheer you up.

CG: It’s gonna take quite a bit.

LP: Okay. What would you say to filming not one but two new Spanish-language movies for Paramount?

CG: Don’t tease me Alfredo! . . . Are you serious?

LP: I know better than to mess with you.

CG: This is great news!

LP: But wait. There’s more. The folks at Paramount want to see how these movies fare. If all goes well, they’re
gonna want to see you in some English-language films as well. Are you up to the challenge?

CG: Are you kidding? If Maurice Chevalier can do it, why couldn’t I?

LP: The first film is gonna be called “Going Downhill” and is about this guy that after running around Paris and
New York, he desperately longs to return to Buenos Aires. Sound familiar?

CG: Vaguely. Say, why don’t we use that song we’ve been working on?
LP: I’m ahead of you. Wanna try it right now?

CG: Why not?

Mi Buenos Aires Querido

LP: Very nice. Now, the second film is to please the yanks. It’s called “Tango on Broadway” and it’s a lot less
depressing. For that I’ve got just the ditty.

CG: What do you mean?

LP: Remember a few weeks ago I heard this song, and I kept thinking and thinking about it . . .

CG: Sure, they play it on the radio all the time. It’s called . . .

LP: “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”

CG: That’s it! But I don’t want to sing that.

LP: Don’t worry. I got inspired by that song and came up with an entire new theme. But, get this, it’s a fox trot!

CG: Are you sure?

LP: Trust me, you’ll love it. Here. Let’s give it a whirl and see how much fun we can have with it, shall we?

CG: Maestro.

Rubias de Nueva York

16. I’ll never get on a plane . . . (1935)

Carlos Gardel at a special farewell performance for the citizens of Bogota, Colombia, through Radio La Voz Del

MC: And now ladies and gentleman, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Right here, at Radio La Voz Del
Victor exclusively, the voice of the tango and -- may I add – a most promising international film star, Mister
Carlos Gardel!


CG: Thank you very much. It is a real pleasure and an honor to perform for such a distinguished and loving
audience. In this tour, I’ve had the chance to entertain audiences in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Aruba, Curacao,
and now Colombia. I leave you with sadness to continue my journey through Panama, Cuba, and finally,

MC: Mr. Gardel, I have been told that during this tour you got to fly for the first time. Is that true?

CG: Why, yes it is. I used to tell my mother that I’d never get on a plane. However, I had no choice if I wanted to
tour this beautiful country. It was quite a thrilling experience.

MC: What will you sing for us today?

GC: I’d like to begin with a beautiful love song from one of my latest films, “The Day You Love Me”

El Dia Que Me Quieras

MC: Bravo! That was very sweet. What’s next Mr. Gardel?

GC: How about a song about returning home after many years have passed, from the same film?

MC: But of course!


MC: Thank you very much! How about one more song? Please!

GC: Very well. I would like to conclude with a song about love lost tragically, called “Her Eyes Closed”

Sus Ojos Se Cerraron

17. Epilogue

Julio Sosa:

On June 24, 1935, around 12:30pm, Gardel and his entourage take off from Bogota, Colombia on their way to
Panama on a Ford F 31 tri-motor aircraft.

At around 2:26pm, the plane makes a brief stopover at Medellin Airport. When the plane attempts to take off to
continue its journey, it inexplicably tilts to one side colliding with another airplane near the runway. Both airplanes
are immediately enveloped in flames. Both Gardel and his partner Alfredo Le Pera perish on the spot.

To this day, nobody is sure about the cause of the accident. Some argue that the pilot had been impaired. Some
even say that there was a scuffle involving a gun and that the pilot was shot accidentally on takeoff. The point is . . .
it really doesn’t matter.

Some remember that on that day the weather in Buenos Aires was cold and very humid. The mood was already
fairly somber when people heard about Gardel’s passing. At that moment, all theaters went dark. Radio stations
refuse to play tango for a whole week.

When Gardel’s coffin finally arrived in Buenos Aires, 30,000 people showed up to greet him. His body laid in state
at the Luna Park – the Argentine Madison Square Garden. Then, they carried him up Corrientes Avenue to his final
resting place at the Chacarita Cemetery. At several corners in the procession, you could see small orchestras playing
his songs.

Today, Carlos Gardel embodies the music and personality that was born out of that odd mix between gaucho and
gringo. He’s a national treasure and a part of every Argentine soul. Some call him Carlitos, others Gardel, and yet
others the “Zorzal Criollo” or Argentine Song Thrush.

But there is something upon which everyone invariably agrees. Go ahead, stop anyone on the streets of Buenos
Aires and ask them -- they will all agree on one thing. Seventy years after his death, Carlos Gardel sings better
every day.

Montage with La Cumparsita

The End