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Any artist with eight decades on his back would be on permanent holidays on some paradise island, enjoying everything achieved and thinking only about how to dedicate himself to doing nothing. We should urgently warn Ramón “Palito” Ortega that this situation is possible, even for an immense musical legend like that man who attending a dry cleaning, delivering newspapers and selling coffee, became a pop icon that also brought Frank Sinatra and was governor of Tucumán, the province where was born on March 8 80 years ago.
Since the very start of the pandemic in 2020, the musician who published several dozen long plays, CDs and now new high-quality vinyl, in addition to adding huge mileage on all digital platforms, continues to record and release music without pauses. After releasing the songs “El mar” (“Beyond the sea”), “I take you under my skin” and “Something Stupid” (“I got you under my skin”) and “Something Stupid”, versions of classics that will all go together on his new album “Swing”, the singer confirms that he has string for for a while. These songs now with his voice are part of the album that will complete the entertaining trilogy that started with “Rock & Roll” (2017) and “Romanticos 60's” (2018).
In dialogue with Ser Argentino, as well as bringing up a shocking joke about the number of times the interviewer saw in cinema “Bohemian Rhapsody”, results in a relaxed talk where the singer and composer does not save anything. “I loved recording with Rosario the version we made of “Something Stupid”, she has a very good voice and the opportunity that gave us a classic so I was not going to miss it,” says Palito on a long note, where he does not forget traditional health issues, beyond the drawbacks that quarantine brought in the first half of 2020. “One always has to do the studies, if you give you in the checkups more than one value, there is no turn to give it. Those who pass the 120 points say it is already “Diabetes 2”, so I always try to walk, I walk as much as I can, I do about 40 blocks minimum, then in the morning I take two pastillitas fasting. The anxiety he had when he was on tour, now took another context as there were no shows, but at the time of the tours, a couple of glasses you took before going on stage, mainly because of anxiety,” explains Ramón Bautista in a historical review of his career covering different points of a great trajectory.
Ramon Palito Ortega: So far well. Until now, because it is a very part of life, since one is born he does nothing but walk to death. Then you don't have to scare anything because it's part of a cycle and I say that in addition to everything that happened with this album, about the people who are there, I say undoubtedly also that it is my best album, because God only knows if it's not my last album. Then I see it like that. I had the illusion of re-recording more albums, I know I have a reputation of never stopping, I write all the time, I like to write, let's see how things happen, now I have a nice album that is taking shape with every single released.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Like all things, if one has not made great disarrangements, you can afford to sing in certain records that you know the voice will answer you, the tessitura of the song will give you to go a little higher. I always sang with a fairly clear, bright and sharp voice, upstairs. And I think I kept the record quite a lot, for example, in the shows I've been doing until 2020 for 30 or 40 years, I didn't go down any tone songs, nothing. I was testing at the time when I had to sing “The House of the Rising Sun.” It's a song I heard when I went to film in London, with Graciela Borges, in that film there is a group called “The Animals”, they do that song in the film. At that time I remember that I said “one day I'm going to record this song,” until I finally did a nice Spanish version. I included it in a couple of albums, in one of them because my son Luis used it in one of his films, there it is very complicated because in that song I'm singing all the time up, the song has only the introduction down and in seconds it goes up.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Okay, I celebrate it, because if I wasn't a popular person, they wouldn't imitate me, I found it once and said “if one day you invite me, I go and sing as a duet too,” Diego took it very well, Capusotto is one of those great talents that appear once in a while, he has a behavior of work he could be winning in any other medium I wanted to have, but yet he stayed there where he started, I have a great respect for Diego.
Ramon Palito Ortega: I think that place is given to you by people, some place I occupy, I don't dare tell you what that place is. Of the songwriters in the late '60s and early '70s were Sandro and I, then Favio adds up, but at that time we were both. It wasn't a very heavy thing or a very strong responsibility something like that. What happens is that more than living it as a great responsibility all this, you feel it as a great joy, for having been able to overcome half a century since you appeared with your songs and see that today we can still be eager to go on stage when everything gets better. But fundamentally because there are people who are waiting for you to come up to sing a song with you. That is very difficult to achieve, and there is nothing other than gratitude to God, to life and to people.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Yes, Mar del Plata. That city has the peculiarity that when I arrived in Buenos Aires, I heard about Mar del Plata and I was dying to meet it, but it didn't have a handle and I couldn't travel. When I started to be known and that luckily I already had a handle to go, it was not possible because of my work schedules. When I went to Mar del Plata I was already going with the billboard there to cuesta and with the armed stage waiting for me, I had a very good relationship always, I was always excited by that crowd waiting to see me there near the beach. When you stand on stage and someone from behind tells you “there are 80 thousand people”, it is very strong because you lose your sight in the background and you see that the public is still further, it is one thing I don't know in how many places you can achieve, artists who have come from outside, recognize that Mar del Plata is a place & uacute; nico.
Ramon Palito Ortega: If I'm there, I like to be with my friends sharing a barbecue, with a guitar in between. I never rented a house or apartment for my shows, I was always an occasional visitor. But there is a crazy memory: they told me that there was a tourist agency that took you on a tour and passed in front of a chalet, they stopped and said, “This is the chalet of Palito Ortega”, there everyone started to take pictures, until they told me that, not one, but several said to me “know iacute; your house”, “I knew your house”, “I knew your house” (laughter). So people when they looked at that chalet would grab the camera and get to take pictures. There at that moment I crossed my head the idea of having a place like this someday to be able to live for a while, Evangelina went to the city when she worked, but for us now the priority is to be as close as possible always to grandchildren, we want to see them, because life is happening, they go growing and every time I have to look them further up, but that my central motivation to answer when they ask “where would you like to be? ”, that is undoubtedly “where they are”.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Yeah, when I was 16 or 17, I worked in a dry cleaners here in Buenos Aires, in Belgrano. A music festival called “San Remo” was fashionable in Italy. Domenico Modugno wins a year, “Volare” (he sings it in the right tone), everyone was singing it and while I was on an old dry cleaning bike handing out clothes, singing that, there I said “this guy makes some amazing songs”, imagine that people I was singing them down the street, “one day I'm going to meet him,” he said and thought, “if anyone listens to me, he's going to say that I'm crazy than a goat,” that's the way things are, and then I met Modugno doing a whole tour in Italy, there are things that happen to you in life that The least make you think, these are things that you put all your energy into to make them happen, not that you sit at the door of your house waiting for them to happen, just thinking about them, “They're going to come looking for me for such a thing.” No, we have to go looking for him, obviously one has caused a lot of things that have been going on, but the funny thing is that I thought about them, and yes, it seemed very crazy to happen, but I thought about it.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Let's say there is a certain connection point in that regard. One day I told a musician, I never forget, we were in a town in Chile called Chuqui Kamata, a very important copper mine, very close to Atacama, all the way to gravel, I was an assistant to a band and the drummer listened to Frank Sinatra all the time. This musician had bought a portable radio, at that time the cassettes came out, he listened again and again to Frank Sinatra. At that time he was already singing, I liked to sing all the time, this boy who was going back on the tour, says out loud to hear him, “Everyone who intends to sing should listen 24 hours to Frank Sinatra.” I acknowledged, of course, so I got up, turned around, I say, “I see you like Frank Sinatra a lot, I promise you that one day I'll introduce it to you.” Everyone's big laugh was tremendous, they thought, “This kid is crazier than a goat,” why did I say it?... Don't think I forgot about the drummer when Sinatra came, I didn't know where to place the guy, I found him, and I said, “You remember I promised you one day,” well. Why did I say those things? There was conviction... then a lot of those things happened, how am I going to tell a guy, I was the lead of the band, “I see you like Frank Sinatra a lot, one day I'm going to introduce it to you,” but then I end up bringing him to Buenos Aires. These are things I don't have an explanation for, maybe someone can give you an explanation, see why they happened. I in Tucumán sold newspapers, walked from one colony to another, as I went from one side to the other, I myself introduced myself, as if I were a radio broadcaster, “and now he sings Ramón Ortega, blah, blah” and went in to sing like crazy there on the street. And it ended up spending one day, that I went back to Tucumán on a radio that I didn't imagine, there they ended up presenting me as I had dreamed of.
Ramon Palito Ortega: The first thing I remember in my mind about it is the stage in the middle as a ring-side, that I originally pulled out of watching an act at Madison Square Garden. I totally remember that Daniel Grinbank was lucky enough to bring “The Police” a few months before the devaluation, but when I brought Frank Sinatra in 1981, I had a serious problem when I got the devaluation, that killed me. Honestly he killed me badly, he left me groggy, but Frank Sinatra behaved very well with me in the United States, so I always say it was worth it, because what counts is not what tomorrow someone will tell as an anecdote. Finally tell what you did. We brought him to Frank Sinatra as we had promised and at that moment he knew he was going to lose money, because in Argentina did not stop the devaluation, but we still brought it and performed in that year the six concerts that had been announced. We brought him to Frank Sinatra at his best.
Ramon Palito Ortega: I remember that first night, Barbara his wife began to cry later down in the dressing room, because she said, “Only in two countries of the world was the silence and respect with which I listened to my husband tonight, one was in London, England, the other here in Argentina.” Well, the thing is, Frank Sinatra went up alone on stage at Luna Park, the site was only missing the strings to make it a full box ring, the band was down, a big bang format playing the melody of my song “Sabor a nada” while he was on stage, that was very strong. His intention was for me to sing with him, but I didn't, I didn't get up to sing, honestly couldn't, that unforgettable image was left with Frank on the stage while my song sounded.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Yeah, maybe, but there's one thing I do think, was having pulled Rod Stewart a few meters out of the concern to record in the big studios that became fashionable around the world. In the 1960s he recorded in Nashville, recorded by the same man who produced the first albums of Elvis Presley, a man named Chet Atkins, the famous guitarist. The first two albums I recorded in Nashville are produced by Chet, it was amazing, you look at the historical biography about Presley and Chet Atkins is always, he's the first to receive it in Nashville. Elvis was in Memphis, Chet was the first to record it, at those studios in Memphis we went to record then we produced by Chet Atkins. What happens is that now when I return to Nashville, those first years are recreated, because the record company at the time was selling very well. When it was sold, the president of the RCA said to me “we're already going for 120 thousand, I think this month we're going to reach 150 thousand.” I remember they gave you the “gold album” when you passed the 120,000 records, I assure you that one of the records from “El Clan's Club “led to 380 thousand long plays.
Ramon Palito Ortega . Absolutely, it was the time of the album, records were sold, there was nothing on the Internet, then you lived that time, I don't know how many gold records I received, but I remember that in the contract the figure had to reach 120 thousand long plays to give you the “gold disc”. Well, we've been through it several times, what about the record company to reward you? They'd come and say, “where do you want to record? ”, I came up with Nashville once and then I went several times to record with Chet Atkins, but I also came up with Rome. I had become friends with Gianni Morandi, who is an extraordinary Italian singer of my generation and I remember recording with some amazing bands. When I said “London”, it was London, so on, I recorded in the best studios in the world, in Germany, not to speak the United States there in New York, were very good studios that the company had in that city or in Los Angeles, especially in the south, in Nashville, where I recorded several times.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Yeah, what I had back then Rome, see if I remember that I know the address of the studio by memory, is Via Tirurtrina Kilometer12, I was recording with the best arrangers. The truth had a very incredible sound the Italians, the choirs and the strings, they handled them in a perfect way, it sounded monumental, my voice sounded different. Then when I went to the United States the sound was much flatter, I remember coming to record a skinny with boots and a hat, a very worn jean, sat down and pulled out a guitar all peeled. When he plugged it in and came in to play, it was something you wanted to die, a great sound. I was lucky to have had a very good relationship with Chet Atkins, he'd tell you something, he'd come to the studio, tell you something very punctual, look, invite his friends to record the sessions with me. I had a barbarian pianist named Floyd Kramer, one day Kramer was in the company and Chet called him quick to the studio and he made him play, he played the keyboard on a song I made called “What will be,” that kind of thing happened all the time, you were limbing with people from the country atmosphere, that people there know them very well who is who, you meet every “baby”, every amazing musician.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Yeah, I was lucky enough to be in the middle, one day I was there and he tells us Chet Atkins “Today Elvis is coming to put the voice,” I was making the film “Fury in Acapulco.” It just agreed that there was Sylvie Vartàn from France and Rita Pavone from Italy. They both got infatuated that they were going to meet him. Chet Atkins said, “Colonel Parker is the most hateful guy in the world, Presley had him to play that role, the hateful guy, so he warned those people that it was going to be very difficult to take pictures and stuff like that, because Presley's gonna laugh and he's the nicest guy in the world. world, the bad is the manager.” That was Parker's role. I remember Elvis was going to record at about 8 in the evening, at six in the afternoon they closed traffic in both corners of the studio, but the girls were the same. They insisted so much that they got into control. When Elvis finishes making a shot, he comes to control and sees her to Rita Pavone. Elvis was always going with his photographer, 24 hours a day, so what does Elvis do?... She sees Rita Pavone, Rita almost throws her on her and he raises her in her arms, as small as she was, the photographer does “chack” and takes the picture. Teddy Reno leaves the room and runs out to grab the phone, quickly calls Rome to the magazine “Oggi”, “Stop the lid”, which goes Elvis's photo with Rita in arms, that was the event of the month. The next day there wasn't a picture of that roll, it was all veiled, Chet Atkins told us, “I told you, this is Colonel Parker,” he didn't let a single picture come out, Elvis said yes, but I already knew they erased everything later (laughs).
Ramon Palito Ortega: I don't know, I really like country music and I think it took me more to the beginning of my career. That was when we looked a lot in Elvis Presley's mirror, it's interesting that relationships with the new songs, but there the illusion was to be with those musicians who had who played with Elvis and going to the temple where Presley recorded the gospels, was to be at his house there in “Graceland”. It was like a special time trip. Almost the opposite of “Singing with friends”, this is different, it would be almost like “Back to the future” (laughter), it was something that was magically given. I was in my studio one day and Charly said to me “let me put on a keyboard,” I knew the song, then Pedrito Aznar added his bass and there they started to join friends who made me feel really good, for the love they put on, spontaneously. If you force it and you want to pay it, you can not pay it, has that value the album, spontaneity and affection that each put beyond the enormous professionalism that each one of them delivered. Many could see it as some kind of “musical botox” in my music, if it exists, they gave it to them, because they played knowing that the voice was going to be there, mine, none of them wanted to change my DNA, they just gave it their contemporaneity, exactly that.
Ramon Palito Ortega: He's a wonderful guy, humanly he's a wonderful person. I want to tell you an anecdote to show it to you: notice that he took the master of my album, what we call the print test, when he went to London to see his son, but before he made a stopover and he was in the Vatican with Pope Francis and there he made him bless the master (laughter), the master's master of material we did together, not his latest album “La Biblia”, but my album which is also his because he played on a couple of songs. He called me from Rome and said, “That's it, just blessed by Francis,” Juanse is an off-series guy. That album had great moments for me, it was amazing to have Joe Blaney (technician of Charly Garcia's Modern Clicks) mixing the songs, Joe is very generous and knows a lot. At one point he started to mix with the American system, they put their voice deep inside and I said, “Look, I'm used to my voice going ahead,” and there he changed it, I said “give it a little bit of reverb” and put it as I wanted, that is, he worked putting everything he knows, his professionalism, his ability without altering my essence with sound.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Well, “My friend likes rock, he wrote good songs, songs that he fell in love with people,” so far we go down the path of truth. Charly always did what she wanted, continues on the path of truth, “once she threw herself from a ninth floor terrace because she wanted to take a dip”, is in short describe a character who is great and who has done things that I don't know if others are encouraged to do them. After beyond the letters, he's a guy who always did what he thought, did what he wanted, without a filter, because he gave himself the pleasure that big can give, right? Because sometimes when they're not so important from a musical and human point of view, you see that they're on a step where you say “no, you have to stop, go down two or three.” Charly is already upstairs and her story is written and they're not gonna erase it with anything.
Ramon Palito Ortega: I live it calmly. It was seven months accompanying a friend, I always said to him, “Charly, the pain, the suffering and the anguish you put it, I put my presence, if it served you.” Here was something that transcends that, I understand that you can see from the outside and say, between us there was a bond, an affection, so deep that I know that he being anywhere in the world calls me and knows that I'm going to go, that I'm going to be, I also feel exactly the same. I affirm this without a doubt, because the bond that was established between us is very strong, that were seven months of coexistence in a very difficult time, served to make this affective basis that we have. Everything else, the other thing that others can say or think, is absolutely the least.
Ramon Palito Ortega: They were special times. He already sang in Spanish “Put your head in my shoulder”, but it's true, when we started singing in the '60s he didn't do it in Spanish, the hits were in English, singing in Spanish was an epic. I also remember that the only baladist with an American accent at that time, was “Luisito Aguilé”, made an Italian repertoire, several things by Domenico Modugno. Then there was a singer who had a very good voice, but unfortunately was quite fleeting his career, although he had a good voice, that was Billy Cafaro, without a doubt singing melodic was someone really very good. At that time he recorded “Pity Pity”, which was a huge hit by Paul Anka, in the early '60s, that was a great success, but there were no more singers who had a great popular repercussion. Until “Clan Club” came, because there people had the opportunity to fall in love with each other, and if he did not fall in love at least manifest his taste for one singer or another.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Yeah, exactly. I don't know if the producer seriously set out to show a representative of the rock and roll generation, but there was a blond guy who moved the jopito, he was very attractive, it was Johnny Tedesco. I remember being serene in the control, when the first broadcasts of “El Clan Club” began to come out, our record director, Ricardo Mejia, was yelling at the cameraman “look for his eyes, look for his eyes” (laughs), Johnny had huge blue eyes, “girls tonight have to dream about this kid,” said Ricardo (laughter), the guy already knew what he was doing. At that time there was a consultant who had the company, was in charge of the image, his name was Leo Vanés, he said to me, “You're the kid inside.” Of course he was wearing a pants and a black shirt, it was dark. As a kid inside, it wasn't to get me into the noise and not to kill me with laughter, actually I was pretty shy. Then people warned us very well what was happening with me, I didn't get into that game because I didn't feel it. Ricardo Mejía was in charge of classifying us, he said “this is the most alive in the bar”, this is “the canchero”, the “nice”, that is the “shy”, he was choosing, it was not that he invented us, but he had a group where he could say the repertoire that everyone was finally going to do.
Ramon Palito Ortega: No, he had the same strategies, for example, declared “this girl is champagne,” he put Jolly Land, the same thing happened with Violeta Rivas who had an extraordinary voice, because she was a conservatory woman, Violeta really had a great musical knowledge. She was a little relegated until one day she got a song that was “El baile del brickro”, a song by Rita Pavone, she is made to sing in Spanish to Violeta and there she takes the leap. With Chico Novarro later we wrote “What luck”, and that ended up being definitely his consecration, Violeta was a great artist who unfortunately went very young. There in “The Clan Club” you noticed quickly that in that place everyone was demonstrating what he had, it may be that the costume advisor helped the singer accentuate the personality he had, but what they did not undoubtedly invent him was the talent when singing.
Ramon Palito Ortega: True, there were versions and rumors at the time that were undoubtedly simply desopilating. They were approaching me and after a few seconds, decant seriously, is it true that you can't laugh on a contract? ” (laughs). I listened to that and kill me with laughter, how they were going to put that into a contract. I was serious, very shy, I'm still shy, but not at that level, I was very shy and people curiously saw something different in that. In addition, something came up from the marketing that worked, the head of image one day came up with saying “this is the sad guy of cheerful songs.” He wrote it and started to settle that, but actually the provincial is someone very retracted, at that time I was a provincial retracted, very tucked inside, I'm still, certainly hard to get everything out, I have to be relaxed. In truth I am someone else to observe the situation, to be watching, than to open up right away and get into it, there in the group was the most shy, the one who participated least in the games that were made all the members.
Ramon Palito Ortega: I lived very funny or laughing anecdotes I remember to get off a stage in the Chaco, comes a woman who approached me nervously, hugged me and hit me in the face, see if she reacted. “Why don't you ever laugh? “, he said, good thing that at the time people who went with one stopped her. An image had been created in people that sometimes led them to act in a certain way. I remember standing in one place, a lady comes, grabs me by my arm and says “because you never laugh” (laughter) and I was standing in the corner, crossing the street. Obviously I couldn't subtract me laughing (laughter). It caught my attention, that reaction from a lot of people. If you think about the provincians, you will find that they are not easy to smile, not so easy, but there was a contrast, because there were other companions of “Clan Club” who were very nice. There were several really very nice, the Black Lavié has an incredible sympathy and a wonderful voice, he sang always very well, has an incredible sympathy, the same Johnny Tedesco, according to the head of promotion Johnny was the “champagne boy”, that is, the blond guy who sings and moves, in the format everyone had his personality. In my case I could sing the song more rhythmic, more joyful than me, but it didn't change my attitude, neither my face or my expression, nor the movement of my body.
Ramon Palito Ortega: Well, in the popular imaginary it's always going to appear that we're rivals, totally, but we never live that situation. I give you concrete proof about that good relationship there was. We with Sandro were in the same building, located on 1455 Tucuman Street, I was on the eighth floor with my office and he was located on the fifth, can you imagine? On the fourth floor we had a garage both in front of each other (laughs). At one point the phone rang. “Come, Negro, I want to make you hear something I did,” Roberto always made me hear the last tune I was doing, or vice versa, we went to my office, we knew that the rivalry thing happened, but we were laughing, because we were very clear that He was a very sexy singer, who moved like no one on stage, who had that image of the Latin lover, that attitude didn't have it alone here, I saw him in Latin America, in a lot of countries, where we agreed, in those places we were together. Roberto really had a perceptible thing that paints it full body, how he was as an artist before his audience. He did exactly the same thing before fifteen thousand as before a hundred and fifty people. He went out and handled like he had about 20,000 people in front, he was very but very respectful of that. I didn't spare the public energy, oddly enough in his office or mine, we always had guitars at hand, we always had some melody and we were telling ourselves what we were doing, but we never sang on stage together.
Ramon Palito Ortega: At one time he says to me “look, Black, I committed to the promotion society I don't know where, that I know, I have to make a festival for profit,” he says “don't you come? ”, I say, “Come on! ”. You can imagine in town, they wallpapered with a sign that read “Sandro-Palito Ortega.” Come on and we realize that a big Sandro bar and a big bar of mine had been put together. Suddenly when we started we were both on stage, I say “Roberto Sanchez on stage, a dear friend,” and Sandro goes out to sing. A rain of coins starts, it was the time that was fashionable, there was a section of the stage, I watched and they were getting together. Roberto ends up and says “I leave the microphone to a great friend” and fuuuuh!! , a rain of coins from the other group, were the ones that swollen for him, each one's bar was throwing coins at the other, we put them together and said, as we gathered, “We're going to make some good mangoes” (laughter). After a while we stopped, we left there and stopped about ten blocks from the event, we started to laugh. We never sing together and once we do a profit recital, we end up throwing a rain of coins. Fanaticism has that, it can happen, it was the time when the gesture of greatest disapproval was that, throwing coins, throwing coins at the other. We went to sing for free and they threw coins at us, we laughed a lot, Roberto was a very witty person, very funny, always had some way out, always laughing, really upstage he was of a total delivery, a great artist. I didn't see that alone here, I appreciated it on the tours we coincided in Latin America, Roberto went out and got into what he was doing, transmitting all that he was saying, love songs, passional, he did it really very well.
PHOTOS: Sony Music Argentina 2021
Publication Date: 12/03/2021
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