Orquesta Típica Alfredo de Angelis

Nice tango for everyone

Alfredo de Angelis

‘El Colorado de Banfield’
*02.11.1910  +31.03.1992


La orquesta de la simpatía

Number of recordings


To buy

Usually the sound of the transfers of De Angelis is quite good, still it's worth having a look at


Lagrimas de sangre


A useful discography is offered byLa Milonga di Alvin



rhythmical, romantic, obvious, repeated patterns


Violins trilling in high registers


Duos of singers

Biggest hits

Soñar y nada más (1944, Dante/Martel)

Pregonera (1945, Dante/Martel)

Pavadita (1958, Instr.)

Important singers

Carlos Dante (1944 – 1958)
Julio Martel (1943 – 1951)
Oscar Larroca  (1951 – 1958)
Juan Carlos Godoy (1958-64)

Important musicians

Piano/Arrangement: Alfredo de Angelis

Bandoneon: Carlos Cubiá


Alfredo De Angelis played in the first league of tango orchestras for over five decades. His lilting valses are undoubtedly highlights of the genre. He composed gems like Pregonera (1945) or Remolino (1946).

At the same time, many people reject his music, they consider it as too schlager-like. Some DJs even refuse to play tangos by De Angelis. Even contemporaries disparagingly called his work música de calesita - merry-go-round music.

His music should be danceable.

That counted more for De Angelis than innovations and experiments. The calculation worked. And even in the less tango-friendly years after 1955, he was successful and remained in business until the rebirth of tango in the 1980s.

In addition to catchy, melodic, but also often schematic arrangements, his greatest trump card were his singers, that the always smart and friendly red-head often let shine in schmaltzy duets.


Pregonera, Dante/Martel,


A home full of music

In his culturally influenced parental home - his father was a violinist, restaurateur and sculptor - one or the other tango musician, even including Gardel, liked to make an appearance.

De Angelis grew up in Banfield, a suburb of Buenos Aires, and was soon nicknamed El Colorado because of his unusual red hair.

Trained as a piano teacher, the 15-year-old initially only found jobs in small tango combos in the centre of the city or he worked in dance schools or in a music shop, where he strummed to boost sales of current sheet music. It took him a while to establish himself. The 1930s were not easy times, and certainly not for tango musicians.

Building his own orchestra

As he didn't find work in the capital for his first orchestra founded in 1936 De Angelis toured the Argentine provinces for over a year. But when he came back he had to disolve it again. But the 29-year-old had constantly worked on his skills. In the same year he was offered to play the piano in the Francisco Lauro'a orchestra. He helped his popular but not very musical boss by also taking care of arrangement and composition. Now he had arrived in the first league of tango orchestras.

The fake bandoneon

Lauro, a popular, funny guy, played on stage a bandoneon without an inner life. 'Silent' violins and bandoneons were supposed to show 'fake" power at large events in times without amplification to attract more guests. However, the fact that the leader did not play was unique. His solo was played by someone else in the background. As a joke, his musicians sometimes stopped their playing at the same time, Lauro stoically continued to open and close his bellows, he had a sense of humour.

In 1941, the famous Cabaret Marabú was looking for a new band. De Angelis seized his chance and gathered around him the remnants of the Lauro Orchestra, which had just disbanded. De Angelis' daughter claims in her biography that this orchestra was one of the first to be organised as a cooperative.

And so many of these musicians remained loyal to their affable, friendly orchestra leader for decades. Carlos Cubiá even shaped the sound for over 35 years as the first bandoneon.

Part of the orchestra was Néstor Rodi, who intoned the glosa with a powerful voice that was legendary at the time. The glosa were some melodious, lyrical lines that set the mood for the next tango. He can be heard on some recordings of the 1940s such as Bajo el cono azul (1944, Floreal Ruiz).

The pop star

From 1946 on De Angelis was one of the most popular orchestras.

Pregonera (Dante-Martel) was the hit of 1945, sales broke all records. Clubs and cabarets paid top prices for an engagement of the orchestra in the carnival - the record company Odeon had got the right horse in its stable with De Angelis.


And De Angelis and his singing stars were also in the successful all-star tango film El cantor del pueblo.

By his role as a singing lover in El ídolo del tango (1949), the young singer Julio Martel also became a nationwide idol in real life.


In 1948 De Angelis landed in first place in a readers' poll for the most popular orchestra, closely followed by Pugliese, D'Arienzo, Troilo and Caló.

Radio appearances and tours also ensured fame in the provinces as well as in many South American countries.



Especially during carnival, the pesos flowed en masse, because during these eight nights, practically everyone who could afford it spent the night in neighbourhood clubs, sports stadiums and cabarets in the centre.


But at the same time, contemporaries already criticised the simplicity and transparency of the music. Jokes and caricatures made fun of the fact that De Angelis was more successful with his popular, partly schlager-like style than stars like Di Sarli, Troilo or Pugliese. One reason for the success was certainly the always cultivated trademark:

la Simpatía, the niceness.

The brand 'De Angelis' was a hit, and it is not surprising that Alfredo also monetised his smiling face as an eye-catcher in an advertising campaign for the hair pomade Cheseline.


Bajo el cono azul, 1944 - Floreal Ruíz - Glosa: Néstor Rodi

The De Angelis sound

De Angelis wanted to make music for the people, simple, melodious, with a clear compás. While Troilo, Pugliese, Piazzolla, Gobbi or Salgán sought more complex, musically progressive paths in the course of the 1940s, squeezing sadness and pain out of their bandoneons and singing stars like Alberto Marino or Alberto Castillo stimulated both the schmaltz and the tear glands, De Angelis thrilled the masses with mostly happy, light-hearted, always danceable music full of beautiful melodies and positive energy - this was pop, partly ingenious, often interchangeable.

The basis is a steady beat with well danceable, predictable rhythmic variations. De Angeli's arrangements are mostly based on pleasant, less complicated harmonies that form the framework for the beautiful voices, often arranged as duets.


In addition, the violins chirping in the high registers join in like garlands shining a little too brightly, while the middle registers are occupied by routinely played bandoneon runs that tend to drift into the arbitrary.

Often it was the violins that played the variaciones and not the bandoneons as usual. The result is a pleasant, full sound, generally in the higher registers, which enriches a milonga with its somewhat different sound, but can also quickly get on one's nerves with its artificiality.

For over 22 years, half of Argentina gathered in front of their radios at prime time since 1 April 1946, to not to miss the Glastora Tango Club, De Angelis' daily radio programme.

The Glostora Tango Club

The eponym of this institution, which was broadcast Monday to Friday from 8.00 - 8.15 p.m., was actually a hair pomade from the sponsor Glostora, which ensured the stability of the porteño hairstyles. With the slogan ...dedicado a la juventud triunfadora (=dedicated to successful youth), the orchestra promoted itself daily as the representative of the young porteños.

While the capital's inhabitants went to Maipú 455 to get one of the 500 or so free seats in the largest studio in Radio El Mundo's modern buildings, which had been erected in the mid-1930s, people all over the country gathered in front of the radio sets.


The reason was not only the Tango Club, but also a radio love soap that was broadcast afterwards and that was loved throughout the country.

And so the next day the Porteños were often whistling De Angelis' Tango, which had premiered the night before. When the Redhead went on tour with his boys for three months in the summer, other greats like Canaro, D'Arienzo or Pugliese were immediately ready to share in the popularity of El Tango Club. One of De Angelis' most beautiful instrumental tangos, El Tango Club (1957) is inspired by this institution.

A live cut of the first 'Glostora Tango Club'

De Angelis live in colour
This longer TV recording shows De Angelis at a concert in Montevideo around 1980 with singers Julián Rosales and Carlos Aguirre.

De Angelis privat

In March 1939, the fun-loving, outgoing De Angelis married his wife Isabel, who accompanied him in private and professional partnership until his death.

The only daughter, Isabel, remained closely connected to her parents throughout her life. She made a name for herself in the 70s and 80s as a singer in her father's orchestra, supported him in conducting the orchestra and immortalised her father's musical career in a biography.

De Angelis, always witty, friendly and affable, painted quite successfully in his spare time and, like so many Tangueros, loved horse racing. For a time, he even had his own stud farm.


His cigarette consumption was legendary: he smoked more than 80 cigarettes a day, and there were always two packs on his piano. De Angelis died at the not quite young age of 81, but the addiction certainly cost him several years.


Although the tango lost popularity in the course of the 1950s, De Angelis remained successful in the business. His tangos always remained rhythmic, danceable, and spread a positive mood with their beautiful melodies.

He continued to market himself as the orchestra of youth with his catchy music, adapting his sound only slightly over the decades.


In this way, he was able to keep his orchestra alive at full size as one of the few, mainly thanks to its great popularity in the countries of South America, where tango continued to be popular and where he had built up a large, loyal fan base. The last recordings were made in Chile in 1987, and the orchestra as well as the piano playing of the almost 80-year-old still sound as they did decades earlier.

The composer

De Angelis, an accomplished pianist, conducted his orchestra from the piano. And he composed such outstanding tangos as Remolino, Pregonera, Pastora, or Que Lento Corre el Tren, among others.

His most important lyricist was the owner of a hairdressing salon, José Rótulo. At the latest since the hit of 1945, Pregonera, not only the royalties rang in Rótulo's pockets, but also the door of his now famous salon.


One morning, according to daughter Isabel, the famous composer Anselmo Aieta, now 71, unexpectedly appeared at the door with an extraordinary musical idea in his luggage. They had known each other for decades; De Angelis had started with Aieta as a novice.

The two of them worked intensively for a day and in the evening decided to give the extraordinary result the modest title Pavadita - a trifle, a child's play. The tango hit of 1958 was born and became the lead melody of many television and radio programmes because of its special sound.

Pavadita, 1958
Sayaka - Joscha

Alma en pena

Failure to Gardel-Reloaded

The tango god Carlos Gardel never wanted to sing together with orchestras for dancers; after all, there were no decent microphones back then. De Angelis took it upon himself to fill this gap.


In the mid-70s, it was technically possible to isolate Gardel's voice to a large extent. So El Colorado arranged the well known elements of his tango kit, e.g. hectic runs of fiddling violins and very arbitrary bandoneon phrases in far too restless arrangements around the voice of the tango icon.

The result is devastatingly bad.

Exceptional voices

Floreal Ruiz and Julio Martel

De Angelis again and again choose the right singers.

The first hits, such as Marioneta (1943), were sung by Floreal Ruiz, who - not entirely at peace moved on to Aníbal Troilo a year later. Nevertheless, it is reported, De Angelis, who was a good soul, lent him a dinner jacket for the first appearance with Troilo in the cabaret.


The duet with Ruiz was sung by the young, barely 20-year-old Julio Martel, whom De Angelis had picked out from hundreds of applications at the usual castings in the studios of Radio El Mundo. His stage name was given to him by Néstor Rodi, the legendary Glosa voice of the orchestra, who had discovered a bottle of Martell cognac behind the bar when they were celebrating Julio's debut.


The young, handsome Julio Martel not only immediately sang his way into the hearts of the women with his finely phrased baritone. 63 solo numbers, 17 duets as well as film appearances turned the poor young man into a star who could afford a dissolute celebrity life and was adored by female fans, especially during tours through the provinces. In 1951, he left the orchestra for an only partially successful solo career and retired early from the stage.

Bajo el cono azul, 1944
Marcelo Ramer - Selva Mastroti, 2022

Jirón Porteño - 1946 - Julio Martel
Ruslan Takhirov & Natalia Atepaeva

Remolino - Dante/Martel, 1946
Fabian Peralta y Virginia Pandolfi in legendary Club Sunderland, Buenos Aires, 2009

The Duo Carlos Dante and Julio Martel

To replace Floreal Ruiz, De Angelis had the idea of luring a tango singing veteran and old-time buddy out of retirement: Carlos Dante.


He had been a star with Canaro and D'Arienzo in the late 1920s, thrilled audiences in Paris in the early 1930s as the voice of Rafael Canaro and had hits with Caló, but as a man now in his 40s, he lived a secluded family life far from the stage. Néstor Rodi convinced Dante to give him a three-month trial period, he stayed - and one of the most successful duos in tango was born.

Oscar Larroca (1922-1976)

Encouraged by his father at an early age, Larroca initially performed in the style of Gardel, accompanied only by guitars.

He then gained experience as an orchestral singer with Domingo Federico, among others, in order to sing solo and successfully in duets with Carlos Dante as Julio Martel's replacement from 1951.

Zorro gris - Oscar Larroca, 1951
One of the most musical recordings by de Angelis

Juan Carlos Godoy 1922 - 2016

Godoy started his career in 1956 with Tanturi, who also gave him his name - but he became famous from 1958 with De Angelis. Just like Larroca, who spent many years in Colombia, Godoy - after leaving De Angelis - profited from his great popularity in countries like Chile or Colombia during the years of the tango crisis.


He spent more than 15 years there and was not only adored by the drug lord Pablo Escobar, to whom he gave well-paid private concerts. His high tenor voice created gems like Quien Tiene Tu Amor.


Legendary was his elegant, dandyish, charming appearance with the elegance of a casino croupier. Just like Alberto Podestá, Godoy experienced the renaissance of tango from the late 1980s, returned to Buenos Aires and performed regularly as a spry old man. The film Café de los Maestros, which reunites the last surviving members of the old guard in 2008, bears witness to this.

Entre du amor y mi amor, Juan Carlos Godoy, 1959
Gianpiero Galdi - Maria Filali, 2022


De Angelis for dancers

Most of the almost 550 recordings are danceable. In addition to lovelessly arranged mass-produced material, there are successful and catchy super hits, even if some of them are played too often.


De Angelis' big Vals hits with the duet Carlos Dante/Julio Martel such as Soñar y Nada Más (1944), Pobre Flor (1946), Flores de Alma (1947) or Cariñito (1949) combine romantic melodies with a high tempo (around 73 bpm). Anyone who doesn't fall into a moulinette frenzy here has only himself to blame.

Hermana (1958) or Angélica (1961) with Godoy's wonderful voice indulge in similar romanticism, but take a more leisurely approach.

Ilusión azul (Dante/Martel, 1947)
Mirella and Carlos Santos David - Gent, 2019.

Flores del alma (Dante/Martel, 1947)
Daiana Guspero and Miguel Angel Zotto - Bellaria, Italy, 2019.

Soñar y nada mas (Dante/Martel, 1946)
Simone Facchini & Giogia Abballe - Buenos Aires, 2015

Pobre flor (Dante/Martel, 1946)
Gioia Abballe & Simone Facchini - Bari, 2022


Floreal Ruiz

Marioneta (1943) or Bajo el cono azul (1944) were first hits, that opened the doors to tango heaven for De Angelis. Today they are choosen as a starter for a milonga becaue of their clear structur.

Marioneta (Floreal Ruiz, 1943)

Carlos Dante and Julio Martel

With nice rhythmic gimmicks and beautiful melodies, Julio Martel's tangos Va llegando gente al baile (1944), Jirón porteño (1946) or Bajo belgrano (1949) were each among the big hits of the year.


Even more successful were the popular songs Remolino (1945), Pregonera (1945) and Pastora (1948), sung in duet with Dante, while Dante's greatest solo hits included La brisa (1946), Soy un arlequín (1945) and Bésame en la boca (1950).


Volvemos a empezar, 1953, Oscar Larocca

Mariana Montes - Sebastian Arce, 2022

Oscar Larroca

Really nice are Zorro gris (1952), Viejo rincón (1953), Bailarin compradito (1953) or the slow classic Y todavia te quiero (1956).


Juan Carlos Godoy, Lalo Martel

Tangos by singer Godoy like No Culpes al amor (1958), La última copa (1958), Entre tu amor y mi amor (1959), Quién tiene tu amor (1958) or T.B.C. (Te besé – i kissed you – 1960) with Julio Martels brother Lalo Martel as a singer are rhythmically quite simple and arranged with the well known patterns, but convince with lovely melodies and a harmonic sound.


Obsesión 1963, Juan Carlos Godoy
A video projekt

Re fa si, 1959
Bologna, 2019



The same applies to the very catchy instrumental pieces Mi dolor (1957), El tango club (1957) or the outstanding Pavadita (1958). And even the originally rough-around-the-edges classic Flores negras (1961), composed by De Caro many decades earlier, fits into this pattern after being softened by De Angelis.