1918, April 25 – BIRTH OF MARIA DE LA FUENTE

Singer (Taurus) – Emperor Hirohito of Japan was considered a living God and ordinary people were not only forbidden to see him but not even allowed to say his name…it was indeed a rare privilege for Maria De La Fuente to be able to sing before him and in fact he would become a big tango fan…she had some a long way from the little girl, who huddled around the radio with her family, dreamt of being like Libertad Lamarque whom she heard on the radio; Maria in time, would sing tango all over the world….Maria De La Fuente was born in the town of General Roca to a Lebanese  immigrant family of ten children; five boys and five girls…it was a family which loved music and she remembered her mother singing songs in her native Arabic…just barely out of grade school she got her first break singing on a radio station in the city of Bahia Blanca, the birth place of the legendary Carlos Di Sarli...

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Her older sister, who chaperoned her to the radio station, would eventually marry the presenter who would later move to Buenos Aires to work for Radio Belgrano; he would later help facilitate Maria’s participation on an important program on the station…At the age of seventeen, she was part of an all woman tango quartet which included Chola Bosch and which performed on Radio El Mundo’s  inaugural broadcast in 1935…Maria would sing with the orchestras of Julio De Caro, Francisco Rotondo and the Miguel Calo; in 1952 she recorded a celebrated LP with the Astor Piazzolla…she was with Juan Canaro on his mythical trip to Japan in 1954, the first visit in history for an Argentinean orchestra….the concert was a great success and the beginning of the opening of Japan to visiting tango musicians…at the age of eighty years old, having successfully undergone an operation to restore her vocal cords, she made her last recording; four years later she delighted audiences with a concert at the Casa De Cultura of Buenos Aires…at the age of ninety-two she sang in the documentary “12 Tangos – Adios Buenos Aires”.

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