Néstor Pinsón

The Desmond Sisters

heir names were Lidia Desmond and Violeta Desmond, in fact, Lidia and Ana Argerich. They became successful by singing as a duo, they started and finished at the same time. Always together, very few times they sang separately. They appeared on many radio stations and, furthermore, they were in several theater seasons.

Violeta was born in Buenos Aires, in 1906, and passed away on January 4, 1983. She was one year older than Lidia. She sang tango, but on her own and as soloist, she also tried her luck in the melodic genre. In 1939, without Lidia, she appeared in a comedy, at the Maipo, entitled La Hermana Josefina.

The sisters appeared to relative acclaim in the thirties, but were gradually quitting show business and, we guess that, except for some gossiping in specialized magazines, they disappeared from the milieu.

Either their blonde presences or their songbook which included waltzes and tangos, generally sung in unison, attracted the public attention. They both had a light soprano vocal range, but in the case of Lidia, she was able to reach a tone lower which allowed her a better performance in tango, besides showcasing a more polished voice.

Their careers, save for some exception, were parallel. They began in 1926 as members of theatrical casts led by Arturo De Bassi. They traveled on tours of the interior of the country and, at the Capital, appeared at the most popular comedy theaters like the Porteño, Sarmiento, Maipo, Avenida, supporting the outstanding actors, musicians and singers of that time.

In 1928 they appeared at the Maipo in the comedy: Ivo Pelay’s Juventud, divino Tesoro. But their choice was the radio because they regarded it as a means in which they would carry out a better performance and with better acclaim. Several were the radio stations which opened their doors to them, such as Radio Municipal, Argentina, Callao, Mayo, Stentor, Prieto, Belgrano.

In 1934 they appeared with the Pedro Maffia orchestra but they did not cut any recording. That same year Juan Canaro summoned them for a musical and succeeded in recording the waltz “Amor es amar”. Lidia recorded the same waltz with the Francisco Canaro orchestra and the singer Ernesto Famá.

In 1935 they, temporarily, tried to form a trio by including another sister called Indiana, who soon quit and returned to her previous activities.

In 1936 they had the chance to appear —only once— in a movie: Radio Bar, a musical parade and some humorous sketches written by Manuel Romero, its director. It was premiered on September 10. It featured Juan Carlos Thorry, Alberto Vila, Alberto Soifer, Elvino Vardaro, Gloria Guzmán, the comic actors Marcos Kaplán and Olinda Bozán.

That same year they were summoned by Julio De Caro. With him they recorded another waltz: “Pienso en ti”.

Today, when they are completely forgotten, we think they deserve to be remembered in Todo Tango, because of their contribution to our popular music.