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Juan Rodríguez
Returning to South America for a moment, I thought I’d post another pre-tango folk song, this time from gaucho country. Little is known about Juan Rodríguez, except that he settled in Buenos Aires around 1920, and eventually became an artistic director for the fledgling Disco Electra label. According to the information I’ve been able to dig up (most of it from Omar Facelli in Montevideo), Rodríguez recorded approximately 25 records for Disco Electra, most of them stellar examples of criollo folk songs from the River Plate region, accompanied by guitars. He later recorded some for Columbia before passing away ca.
1935. This piece stems from ca. 1928, by my best guess. Disco Electra was, as far as I can tell, an early independent label out of Buenos Aires. Because Victor, Columbia, and Odeon essentially monopolized all the recording in the region, smaller outfits like Disco Electra probably had to work hard to compete. Despite the fact that the quality of their pressings can’t hold a candle to the major labels’, and that they were still recording acoustically until at least 1928-1929 (most companies worldwide had switched to microphone recording by 1926), important music was recorded on Disco Electra…and here’s but one example! Technical Notes Label: Disco Electra Issue Number: 153 Matrix Number: 815