Carmen Vallejo ( 1922-2013)
Oscar Alemán's first Quinteto de Swing (ca 1941)
Oscar Alemán had returned to his homeland Argentina in 1940 when German Nazis has captured the French capital Paris …………. In Argentina he had to find a living as a musician and started his first Quinteto de Swing …… Volví a la Argentina el 24 de diciembre de 1940, con 84 pesos, pasándola fiero (= I returned to Argentina on the 24th of December, 1940, with 84 pesos .. having a very hard time ) ( source: Tributo a Oscar Alemán- Guillermo, José & Estanislao Iacona). He founded a quintet, featuring the (later) famous violin player Hernan Oliva, Dario Quaglia (rhythm guitar), Andres Alvarez bass and Ramon Caravaca on drums. With this quintet he performed in local clubs, like the Gong, a night club in Buenos Aires.
Carmen Vallero with her relatives at Oscar's former appartement to unveil a plaque (June 2008) ( Photo courtesy Daniel Cossarini and Jorgelina Alemán )
During this period he must have met Carmen Vallejo, who was a young attractive actress. Carmen remembered her first meeting with Oscar at a Belgrano radio studio. Just before the program would start he came in with his guitar: ...... se presentó, pidió permiso y tomando el instrumento y apoyando un pie en una silla arrancó con "Falsa bahiana", que además cantó (= … introduced himself, asked for permission, held the instrument, put a foot on a chair and started to play and sing the song "Falsa bahiana.") ( source: Tributo a Oscar Alemán- Guillermo, José & Estanislao Iacona). He told Carmen that he would wait until the radio program had finished and so he did: Finalmente, al concluir el programa, resultó que me esperaba para llevarme a mi casa en bicicleta ( When the program had finished, he gave me a ride by bike to my house). ( source: Tributo a Oscar Alemán- Guillermo, José & Estanislao Iacona). Carmen even remembered that Oscar was wearing short pants and a waist-line jacket, not very common in those days. They fell in love and lived together for ten years.
Carmen Vallejo (2008) ( Photo courtesy Daniel Cossarini and Jorgelina Alemán )
Their apartments were located in the same area and Oscar used to play Hombre mio under her window to wake her up ….. They would dine out at Sibarita …… a German restaurant in Suipacha Street. Nos divertíamos mucho porque Oscar era chaplinesco. Una mezcla de Chaplin con Danny Kaye. (= We had a lot of fun, because Oscar was really a funny guy, something between Charles Chaplin and Danny Kay) Carmen Vallejo told the Iacona’s who wrote Oscar’s biography; Tributo a Oscar Alemán.
Love to share a fragment of an Argentine TV soap, the kind of programs, the the general public remembers Carmen Vallejo best ....
In April 1944 Selva was born and four years later India Morena. The young family moved to Lanús where they bought a house. Oscar was, in those days, at the top of his popularity – he had his own radio programs and was the star to sing in large dance halls all around Argentina. Carmen was a sought after actress and had to perform almost constantly ….. She became also a well known and popular actress, which Oscar didn’t like, because people recognized her on the streets, which made him jealous ... ….. He wanted her to stop performing!
Carmen Vallejo with her relatives (2008) ( Photo courtesy Daniel Cossarini and Jorgelina Alemán )
Owing to force of circumstances Oscar started to drink and their relations had to end ……. Carmen remembered him as a good and generous man … A Oscar lo salvó la música; era todo música, tanto que ni él mismo fue capaz de darse cuenta de lo que era ( = Oscar was saved by music, he was music, so much that he didn’t realized it himself) ….. Late 1950s they had to divorce.
Jorgelina Alemán in a concert,in a tribute to her grandfather (2009) ( Photo courtesy Daniel Cossarini and Jorgelina Alemán )
Oscar and Carmen’s daughter Selva became a well known actress and film star and his granddaughter would follow in her grandpa’s footsteps: Jorgelina - she would become a jazz vocalist, keeping Oscar’s heritage alive.
We hope, Selva, India, Jorgelina, Daniel and all their relatives, will accept our condolences on the death of their mother and grandmother Carmen Vallejo!
Hans Koert - Jørgen Larsen - editors Oscar Alemán blog