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Alberto Villalón Morales

Alberto Villalón Morales (Santiago de Cuba, 7 June 1882 – Havana, 16 July 1955) was one of the greatest musicians in the Cuban trova style.

He was the only one of the 'four greats' of the trova to come from a well-to-do family. Villalón and his sister América studied guitar with Pepe Sánchez, the father of the trova movement. Later, he studied classical guitar to achieve a really excellent technique. He composed his first canciones and boleros at fourteen, and moved to Havana in 1900. In 1907 he recorded on Edison cylinders. In 1908 he formed the Cuarteto Villalón with Adolfo Colombo (tenor), Claudio García (baritone), Emilio Reinoso (mandolin), and Alberto Villalón (guitar). Colombo and García were regular members of the Teatro Alhambra company; Colombo was the most recorded singer of the age.

A difference between Villalón and the other early trovadors was in his guitar technique. With his training he preferred picking (punteado) instead of strumming (rasgueado), which had been the main technique previously. This gave him a wider range of harmonic possibilities and a characteristic style. He had a second career in 1927 when he became a founding member of the Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro. Alberto brought into the septet Juan de la Cruz and Benvenido León, who had been playing with him in a trio. The addition of the first really great sonero, Abelardo Barroso (1905 – 1972), made the Nacional the best group in Cuba for its time.

Villalón's career, then, connected the world of trova with the world of son which became central to Cuba's popular music for the rest of the century.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 7th, 1882 (Santiago de Cuba), Died July 16th, 1955

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1907 - 1928

Roles Represented in DAHR: guitar, composer, lyricist

Recordings (Results 226-244 of 244 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Brunswick 11451-11452 10-in. 9/26/1923 Dime que has hecho Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11453-11454 10-in. 9/26/1923 Que te day una Paliza Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11481-11483 10-in. 9/29/1923 Flores negras Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11484-11485 10-in. 9/29/1923 Neurosis Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11486-11487 10-in. 9/29/1923 Adios mujer Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11488-11489 10-in. 9/29/1923 Los pobres de la tierra Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11490-11491 10-in. 9/29/1923 El fantasma del suicidio Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11492-11493 10-in. 9/29/1923 La enredadera Pedro Martínez Male vocal solo, with guitar instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11494-11495 10-in. 9/29/1923 Voy á partir Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11496-11497 10-in. 9/29/1923 Salvame dios mio Pedro Martínez Male vocal solo, with guitar instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11557-11558 10-in. 10/8/1923 Neurosis Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11559-11560 10-in. 10/8/1923 Adios mujer Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11561-11562 10-in. 10/8/1923 Pensamiento Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Brunswick 11563-11564 10-in. 10/8/1923 El esclavo Villalon Trio Instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Edison 896 10-in. 12/11/1911 Matanzas Luisa Bresonier Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Edison 5404 10-in. 2/21/1917 A Maceo Marcelino Arean ; Adolfo Colombo Male vocal duet, with guitar instrumentalist, guitar  
Edison 10603 10-in. 9/30/1925 Ilusión de mi vida Juan De la Cruz ; Bienvenido León Male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Edison 10604 10-in. 9/30/1925 Mi paloma blanca Juan De la Cruz ; Bienvenido León Male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Edison 10610 10-in. 10/2/1925 Mi chiquita Juan De la Cruz ; Bienvenido León Male vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
(Results 226-244 of 244 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Villalón Morales, Alberto," accessed October 17, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113130.

Villalón Morales, Alberto. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 17, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113130.

"Villalón Morales, Alberto." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 17 October 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113130

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