Jose Gonzalez Castillo

Jose Gonzalez Castillo was a journalist, playwright and lyricist of the early years of the guardia nueva. He is the author of numerous sainetes including “Los dientes del Perro” which showcased the first tango canción, Mi noche triste,”  with the orchestra of Roberto Firpo in 1918.

Gonzalez Castillo was born in 1885 in the city of Rosario. Having lost his parents at a young age, he was raised by a priest in the Province of Salta and trained to become a priest himself.  However he left the church as a young man and with his education and writing skills, soon he became a journalist for the newspaper “La Republica” in Rosario.

Later on in Buenos Aires Gonzalez Castillo was a successful playwright. Shortly after the success of “Mi noche triste” he began writing his own tango songs. The first one of those, “Que has hecho de mi cariño,” was composed for a play entitled “Don Agenor Saladillo” and presented to the public in 1918 with the music or Juan Maglio. Other tangos by him include “Sobre el pucho”, “Organito de la tarde”, “Griseta”, “A Montmartre”, “Bandoneon”, “El porteño” and “Por el camino”.

Besides his activities as a playwright and lyricist, it is interesting to note that Gonzalez Casillo was among the first to notice Carlos Gardel and to attract attention on the duo Gardel-Razzano.[2] He worked on various films including the silent movie “Nobleza gauchesca”  (1915)  and “La ley que olvidaron” (1937). He is the father of Catúlo Castillo with whom he collaborated on many tangos including “Organito de la tarde”, “Silbando”, “El Aguacero”, “Papel picado” and “El circo se va”.

González Castillo died in Buenos Aires in 1937. π

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[1] Tálice, Roberto A. “Evocación y ubicación de José Gonzalez Castillo”. In La historia del tango: Los poetas (I). Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 1977.

[2] Del Greco, Orlando. Gardel y Jose Gonzalez Castillo. Todotango. Online.  http://www.todotango.com/creadores/ficha/296/Jose-Gonzalez-Castillo

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