Dancing Through Time: Herminia Velich’s Tango Journey


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In the rich tapestry of Argentine Tango, one name stands out as a luminous thread – Herminia Velich. Born in La Plata, Buenos Aires, on March 12, 1908, and leaving an indelible mark until her untimely passing on January 5, 1956, in Mar del Plata, Velich was not only a renowned singer but also a multifaceted artist in the realms of cinema, radio, and theater.

A Legacy Unveiled: Herminia Velich’s Career

Early Influences in the Velich Family

Herminia Velich emerged as a pioneer in the Argentine radioteatro scene during the 1920s, showcasing her prowess as a singer, pianist, composer, and actress. Born into a family of illustrious artists, including her father, the notable guitarist and composer Juan Miguel Velich, and her siblings, she was surrounded by musical inspiration from an early age.

Radio Stardom and Theatrical Triumphs

Velich’s career soared through radio platforms like Radio Prieto and Radio Argentina. She graced the airwaves with her acting and singing talents, becoming a household name. In the 1930s and 1940s, her radioteatro productions, such as “El hada del Circo” and “La hija de la sombra,” resonated across LR1 and LR3 Radio Belgrano, solidifying her presence in the Argentine entertainment landscape.

A Cinematic Sonata: Velich on the Silver Screen

Her silver screen journey commenced in 1937 with “Melgarejo” and continued with notable films like “Canto de amor” (1940) and “Academia ‘El Tango Argentino'” (1942). Collaborating with talents like Nelly Omar and Carlos Viván, Velich left an indelible mark on the Argentine cinematic landscape.

Melodies Beyond the Mic: Velich as a Songstress

Velich’s vocal journey began in 1925 on Radio Cultura, making her one of the first voices heard in Argentina. Teaming up with her future husband, Oscar F. Rossano, on piano, she charmed audiences with her singing. Her collaborations with orchestras, including Rafael Rossi’s, and recordings with Victor and Odeon Nacional showcased her versatility.

Tango Compositions and Collaborations

In a testament to her musical diversity, Velich, alongside her father and Manuel Meaños, composed tangos recorded by none other than Carlos Gardel. “Cualquier cosa” and “Por qué soy reo” became timeless pieces, etched into the tango repertoire.

10 Most Important Tango Songs by Herminia Velich

  • Cualquier Cosa
    • Recording Year: 1928
    • Orchestra: Carlos Gardel
    • Singer: Carlos Gardel
    • Details: With its soul-stirring melodies and emotional depth, “Cualquier Cosa” showcases Velich’s compositional mastery and Gardel’s poignant interpretation, making it a timeless classic in the tango repertoire.
  • Por Qué Soy Reo
    • Recording Year: 1929
    • Orchestra: Carlos Gardel
    • Singer: Carlos Gardel
    • Details: Co-composed by Velich, “Por Qué Soy Reo” captivates with its narrative richness. Gardel’s expressive rendition, coupled with Velich’s lyrical contributions, solidifies its place as a cherished piece in the history of tango.
  • Canto de Amor
    • Recording Year: 1940
    • Orchestra: N/A
    • Singer: Herminia Velich
    • Details: A reflection of Velich’s vocal prowess, “Canto de Amor” is an enchanting piece that resonates with the romantic essence of tango. Velich’s own rendition adds a personal touch to this timeless composition.
  • La Mujer del Zapatero
    • Recording Year: 1941
    • Orchestra: N/A
    • Singer: Herminia Velich
    • Details: In “La Mujer del Zapatero,” Velich’s emotive voice takes center stage, conveying the tale of the shoemaker’s wife with passion and grace. The song remains a testament to Velich’s ability to infuse storytelling into her tango performances.
  • Gran Pensión La Alegría
    • Recording Year: 1942
    • Orchestra: N/A
    • Singer: Herminia Velich
    • Details: “Gran Pensión La Alegría” showcases Velich’s versatility, bringing vivacity to the tango scene. With a dynamic arrangement and Velich’s spirited vocals, this composition continues to enliven milonga dance events.
  • Academia “El Tango Argentino”
    • Recording Year: 1942
    • Orchestra: N/A
    • Singer: Herminia Velich
    • Details: A final note in Velich’s cinematic journey, “Academia ‘El Tango Argentino'” is a poignant tango that reflects the depth of her artistry. Velich’s farewell to the silver screen, this composition remains a timeless gem.
  • Luces de Bengala
    • Recording Year: 1933
    • Orchestra: N/A
    • Singer: Herminia Velich
    • Details: Part of the radioteatro era, “Luces de Bengala” is a testament to Velich’s theatrical talents. The tango, presented alongside the Notar sisters, adds a touch of drama and flair to her extensive repertoire.
  • El Hada del Circo
    • Recording Year: N/A
    • Orchestra: N/A
    • Singer: Herminia Velich
    • Details: A radioteatro masterpiece, “El Hada del Circo” reveals Velich’s storytelling prowess. With her captivating voice, she brings to life the enchanting world of the circus, leaving a lasting impact on the tango narrative.
  • Canto de Jazz
    • Recording Year: 1927
    • Orchestra: Rafael Rossi
    • Singer: Herminia Velich
    • Details: Venturing into jazz influences, “Canto de Jazz” showcases Velich’s versatility as she lends her voice to Adolfo Avilés’ jazz composition. The fusion of jazz elements with her tango roots adds a unique flavor to this recording.
  • Cualquier Cosa en la Voz de Enzo Valentino
    • Recording Year: N/A
    • Orchestra: Alfredo Attadia
    • Singer: Enzo Valentino
    • Details: Velich’s composition “Cualquier Cosa” takes on a new dimension in Enzo Valentino’s rendition. The collaboration with Alfredo Attadia’s orchestra highlights the adaptability and enduring appeal of Velich’s tango creations.

These ten tango masterpieces by Herminia Velich continue to enchant and inspire dancers, keeping her legacy alive in the heartbeat of Argentine Tango.

Farewell to a Star: Herminia Velich’s Last Tango

Married to pianist Oscar Rossano, Herminia Velich bid adieu to the world at the age of 47 in 1956 in Mar del Plata. Despite her early departure, Velich’s legacy endures, woven into the fabric of Argentine Tango.

FAQ Section: Unraveling Herminia Velich’s Tango Tale

What made Herminia Velich a standout in the world of Argentine Tango?

Velich’s versatility as a singer, actress, and composer, along with her pioneering role in radioteatro, set her apart. Her cinematic contributions and tango compositions further enriched her legacy.

Which are Herminia Velich’s notable film appearances?

Velich graced the silver screen with films like “Melgarejo,” “Canto de amor,” and “Academia ‘El Tango Argentino’,” leaving an indelible mark on Argentine cinema.

Tell us more about Velich’s tango compositions.

Collaborating with her father and Manuel Meaños, Velich composed timeless tangos like “Cualquier cosa” and “Por qué soy reo,” recorded by the legendary Carlos Gardel.

Notable Sources for Tango Enthusiasts

For those eager to delve deeper into Herminia Velich’s life and contributions to Argentine Tango, the following sources offer valuable insights: