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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

María Ester Sánchez, the voice of Radio Image who dreams of returning

National Corn Festival, Chacabuco, the seventies. María, 18 years old, an amateur announcer, feels tachycardia inside a flowered dress made by the best seamstress of those payments, her mother. She has to present in pairs with a famous presenter from Buenos Aires. His question, a certain Juan Alberto Badía, dislodges her, wakes her up, takes her to the capital to change her life.

-You have conditions. Why don’t you go study speech in Buenos Aires?

María Ester Sanchez in the '80s, in an advertisement for yerba mate

María Ester Sanchez in the ’80s, in an advertisement for yerba mate

María Ester Sánchez was a recognized voice in the land of Haroldo Conti and the Carolina poplar. She worked in the small company of Don Martini, owner of a record store and the closed radio circuit in which a loudspeaker was installed in the subscriber houses, but she did not think of herself as an air professional. ANDhe council encouraged her to try her luck at ISER and Cosal. She performed flawlessly in both.

The radio education institute exam was taken by the teacher of announcers Juan Ramón, Badía’s father. At the time of singing the notes, the man named everyone, but Sánchez skipped it. ‘And me, sir?’she questioned timidly and fearfully, and the praise ensued. ‘Are you the lady from Chacabuco? She has the highest grade. I would not need to attend the race’.

Graduated from ISER, she is now a teacher at that same cradle of broadcasters and at the National University of La Matanza. Few know what is of her life, how she followed the path of one of the queens of radio image with Silvina Chediek. She shone on every station that existed, she was a mother twice, she is a grandmother four times. He went through cancer and now -unbelievably- he hopes: that someone remembers that voice and gives him a red light.

Together with Badía in Radio Image.

Together with Badía in Radio Image.

There is a phrase that perpetuated it in the memory of a generation: “The soft yerba that does not loosen because it is from the Marías”. In the 1988 advertisement directed by Juan José Stagnaro himself, the redhead with a crimson mouth and obelisk heels woke up a country with a sensual tone, pure mateada: “One minute to seven. Temperature 16 degrees, humidity 68%”.

Radio Antártida, Del Pueblo, El Mundo, Rivadavia, Colonia, Belgrano, De la Ciudad, Del Plata, FM Horizonte. Enumerating the stations that he frequented is like diving into a compendium of a good part of the listening history of Argentina. He was a partner of Berugo Carámbula, Juan Carlos Altavista (“Minguito”), Juan Carlos Mareco, Andrés Percivale. He shared air with Blanca Cotta, Riverito, Favio Zerpa, Canela, Luis Garibotti. Y he was a substitute for “monuments” such as Rina Morán and Beba Vignola.

In the Juan Alberto Badía studio at ISER.  (Photo: Luciano Thieberger).

In the Juan Alberto Badía studio at ISER. (Photo: Luciano Thieberger).

“Má”, as Juan Alberto called it, witnesses the construction of that rookie Marcelo Tinelli of The sports oral whom “Beto” sent for to Free stone. They shared the mythical Rivadavia FM cycle in which Badía decided to baptize her the panther of the show to entrust more than the locution: with the music of The Pink Panther he presented her as the great theater and music commentator.

“Juan was demanding and suddenly he could ask Marcelo: ‘How did such a game of bowls go?”’, he rewinds and his voice fills with knots. “There were no computers and Tinelli had 800 written pieces of paper, all well prepared. ‘I’ll answer it, Juan Alberto’, was saying. He was funny and fast.”

As a consecrated voice in the eighties, lhe job offers more than raining down on him, they were pouring down. He came to introduce Mercedes Sosa on some tour and Luis Landriscina with Mamerto Menapace at Luna Park. A time of talks with Miguel Abuelo, of friendship with Piero, of leading the BA Rock festivals. He feels light years away, but he does not lose faith: “I’m still waiting for a job that will make me return to the radio. Hopefully. I know they keep me in mind, but they don’t call me.”

The day he sang with Sabina

The daughter of a fruit and vegetable merchant who later opened his own store, from the age of 14 she supported herself financially by pure changa. She arrived in the city, during a dictatorship, she settled in Balvanera and looked for work in the Classifieds of Clarion. She combined her studies with a position as an invoice filer at the Disco Cultural Center.

“I take acting inside. I wanted to be an actress, but for my mother it was not well seen,” says the woman who can sometimes be heard singing tangos in La botica del Ángel, or boleros in some corner of Abasto. “I did two years of musical comedy with Pepe Cibrián, I studied theater with Osvaldo Guidi and I even studied at the EMAD, the Municipal School of Dramatic Art. I also transferred all of that to the microphone.”

María Ester Sánchez on Telefe, in the '90s.

María Ester Sánchez on Telefe, in the ’90s.

His television debut was on Channel 9, during the beginning of democracy, along with Enrique Llamas de Madariaga. The height of his popularity came with Radio Image, cycle in which he lived an excessive happiness. “Thanks to that program I got to know the snow, for example, in Bariloche. I remember throwing myself on my stomach with Adolfo Castelo. I also sang with Joaquín Sabina”.

The anecdote with the poet from Úbeda gives him chicken skin. “Sabina came as a guest, she smoked a lot, drank whiskey, her fingers were yellow. Suddenly Badía asks me: ‘María: What would you sing to her?’ ‘I want to get my heart drunk / To turn off a crazy love / That more than love is suffering’… Start nostalgia and Joaquín joined.

“Do you like being robbed?” With that spot from the Ministry of Public Revenue, María also slipped into popular memory. “Always demand an invoice or ticket when making your purchase”, she launched her with limpid diction. “And when they give you a simple calculator strip without data, call these DGI phones. He will be defending himself. Think about it“.

In addition to being an announcer and singer, María once sang a duet with Sabina in a TV studio.  (Photo: Luciano Thieberger).

In addition to being an announcer and singer, María once sang a duet with Sabina in a TV studio. (Photo: Luciano Thieberger).

Registration 2381, the Chacabuquense who was part of Saturdays in freedom, on Channel 9, was never nominated for a Martín Fierro. She lived “the best paid vacations” in Estudio Playa de Pinamar with her “brother” Juan Alberto. In 2017 he had a fleeting screenshot: he went to say hello to Tinelli to the study of Dancing and surprised nostalgic viewers who were unaware of his trail.

A neighbor of La Paternal, “badly spoken at home”, she firmly recognizes herself in that doctrine “from another time” of taking care of words in public, considering them sacred. He was one of the people who held “Beto’s” hand until the end, in that farewell at the Hospital Austral in which he heard the most beautiful phrase in the mouth of the friend who was fading away: “you came, ma“.

María Ester Sánchez, the voice that walked the AM dial and also FM.

María Ester Sánchez, the voice that walked the AM dial and also FM.

-What deep memories do you have of “Radio Image”?

-I have a problem with the memory of exciting times, as if everything were erased, but I do remember that day when Juan told me: “I have to talk to you” and he came to my house for the first time. He told me about his project, bringing the spirit of radio to television. I followed him. I bought a little motorcycle, a yellow Zanella, and that’s how I went from Barrio Norte to Channel 13. an easy life and I was very happy that time.

-How was he after that surprising fame?



-From TV they didn’t call me anymore and that’s why my nostalgia is so focused on Juan. It was a teaching. You also learn to deal with new formats and new professionals and understand that maybe you don’t fit in and that’s why they don’t call you. But I don’t want to go to the downside, because I think I had a brilliant career.

Marcelo Tinelli with Maria Ester Sanchez

Marcelo Tinelli with Maria Ester Sanchez

-Did you live difficult times without work?

-I never stopped working. I also resold cosmetics. I’ve been looking for them since I was very young. And I overcame breast cancer.

-How was that transit of the disease?

-I made a combo. Traditional and homeopathic medicine and I took refuge in faith. I got cured. It was almost around the time that Badía’s cancer was declared. That’s why the day he invited me to his program on Public TV we hugged in a special way and the public didn’t know: we lived the same.

María Ester Sánchez, announcer, together with Badía, Luisa Delfino, Silvina Chediek and others.

María Ester Sánchez, announcer, together with Badía, Luisa Delfino, Silvina Chediek and others.

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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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