“It is a blow, it has been a bomb that oppresses my chest and I do not feel well …”. Angelica Maria was perhaps the first woman who marked the life of Armando Manzanero and today, as the world mourns his death.
The great Angelica and her mother, the film director Angelica Ortiz, gave that great opportunity to the teacher, who lost his life this December 28 as a result of COVID-19, which years later led him to be successful and recognized by the whole world.
We spoke exclusively with Angélica, who with tears in her eyes remembers that day, at the age of 17, when her interest in being a singer led her to see Manzanero for the first time, without imagining that he would become her great work friend, and she was chosen to listen to all his songs before they saw the light.
“At that moment a short, dark, Yucatecan man enters who says: ‘No, that girl is not going to do that, let’s see girl, what do you like to sing?’ And the man who seemed like the owner of the place and this short and short and young man came in, he sits at the piano and says: ‘What do you like to see singing?’ … It was Armando Manzanero “, begins by remembering Angélica María of her first step on a tape recorder and her first meeting with the teacher.
“He took me with Guillermo Acosta, divine that I adore that man too … He told him: ‘Here is this album, Armando, write the lyrics and you come in 2 weeks and record it.” ‘Eddie, Eddie’ was a cover where Armando Manzanero wrote the lyrics, this is the first hit we give, and on this LP, obviously, there were many more songs, ‘Paso a Pasito’, which was another hit, and the lyrics of so many songs. My mother, who was a film producer, when she met Armando, and heard his songs … She began to sing and we went crazy: ‘I’m going to turn off the light’ … Well, my mother put them in the movies, she was the first to play Armando Manzanero’s themes in the cinema, the first to support him and believe in him, and well me too, because we also made the films, sometimes she produced them and I acted them. I always said if Armando Manzanero songs are not there, I don’t make the film “, Angelica María continues to share her memories.
That was actually just the beginning of a long friendship, Manzanero not only entered the cinema hand in hand with the Angelicas, but also became the pianist of the mother de la Vale’s tours.
“Later you realize, over the years, who was your friend, who didn’t, who helped you, who didn’t, Armando was my pianist from all the tours I did at the beginning… I hit very hard before he hit, before that he succeeded, and many other artists were the pianist, but then we went on tour to so many places… We went on tour to Central, South America, the United States. Armando and I worked desperately, so I remember that he always edited the songs for me, I learned all the songs from Armando Manzanero, I didn’t know the authors. He worked with me a lot, our friendship was very great, above all it was a work friendship, which is the friendship that lasts the longest, it is the people at your job who you see more than your family. “, tells confessing that he is still in shock with the news of his death.
In so many years and travels, the anecdotes are endless for Angélica María, and she will carry them all forever in her heart:
“He came to his professional job, but he never stopped being nice, he had a great sense of humor, he made fun of everything, everything. One day I was furious and he said to me: ‘Is that how you want me to marry you? Are you crazy girl?’ … This has already stayed, it stayed forever, so every time we saw each other we said that to each other, because it was a joke that stayed, and the truth was that my anger was removed and I had no choice but to die laughing, like now. It is that I will always remember him with his jokes, with his cute things. When before he recorded, I told him, ‘Armando, you have to record’… And he said to me, ‘But with this trumpet voice’ and it was the world, world crash ”.
Don Manzanero was always an inveterate romantic, something that turned into the lyrics of his songs and a confessed lover. Angelica was a young woman not only beautiful, but highly desired. So many tours, so many rehearsals and so many nights it could have been the scene of a romance between them.
“I think he must have liked me, I was a very pretty girl, Armando must have liked me and the first songs, maybe he half dedicated them to me, but he never dared, there was never any of that, he was always a very discreet, but in love … I would come and say: ‘Well, what song is it for, and who is this for?’ … ‘That’s a secret,’ who was nothing, but I knew all his songs. Before they came out, before I recorded them “Angelica clarified.
Between memory and memory, the present arrives, he tries to become aware that they will no longer go up on a stage, nor will he hear him on the other side of the phone, because his partner in work adventures died.
“No, no, it’s a blow, it was a bomb that oppresses my chest and I don’t feel well… It was bad news, very bad, very bad, I really didn’t expect it. I did wish with all my soul that he would recover soon. It’s a real shame to lose another genius, Armando Manzanero, one of us, a Mexican, very proud to be Mexican, Yucatecan … He leaves us all his music, and I’m sure the youngsters will record it, because that music, those songs of his will always be good, I know that the young people will record it and will know him and fall in love with his songs just like us “she says through tears.
Angélica María will try to clear the pain and keep what her friend, her co-worker and her colleague gave her:
“A man with a great sense of humor, a man with a great talent that did not fit in his body, because he was very short and the talent was enormous, a man who only wanted to make people feel good and give him what he had inside “.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO INTERVIEW HERE: