Homero Manzi was a journalist, professor of literature, playwright, and one of the greatest poets of the golden age of tango. He is the author of lyrics of outstanding classics such as “Malena” (1941), “Barrio de tango” (1942), Torrente (1944) “Fuimos” (1945), “Sur” (1948), and “Che bandoneon” (1949). His words are profound and filled with poetic evocations of the city, the humble neighbourhood and love and life gone by.
Homero Nicolas Manzione Prestera was born in Santiago del Estero in 1907. He spent most of his youth in Buenos Aires in the neighborhoods of Pompeya and Boedo. There he met his friend Catúlo Castillo who’s father, Jose Gonzalez Castillo, was a playwright and tango lyricist. He was 15-years-old when he wrote his first vals “Porque no me besas” (1921) and only 19 he submitted his first tango, “Viejo ciego” (1926), to a poetry contest.
Explused from the Faculty of Law in 1930 because of his political implication, Manzione spent some time in prison under the military regime. Then he became a journalist, playwrite and movie director. He was also co-founder of the Artistas Argentinos Asociados and director of the Sociedad Argentina de Autores y Compositores de Música.(S.A.D.A.I.C.)
Throughout his career, Homero Manzi wrote for the best composers and directors including Pedro Maffia, Lucio Demarre, Osvaldo Pugliese and Anibal Troilo. His style was elegant and free of lunfardo. Yet some of his compositions were banned by the military government in 1943 for being pessimistic or possibly immoral.
With Sebastián Piana he contributed to create a new genre of tango-milonga, the first of which was Milonga sentimental (1931).
Homero Manzi died of cancer in 1951. He was only 44-years old. Anibal Troilo who was working with him at that time expressed his sorrow in an instrumental tango, “Responso“.