Saturday, May 23, 2015

FERREIRA MARTINS, Radio Piratininga PRB-6

José Ferreira Martins was born on 25 November 1945 in Rancharia-SP, 520 km away from the capital city, 57 km from Presidente Prudente-SP the region's main city and south of Parapuã-SP.

In 1958, when he was 13 years old, Ferreira was asked by a friend to go along with him to Rancharia’s Radio Difusora where he intended to take a test to become a radio announcer. His friend was turned down but Ferreira Martins was accepted and soon would work as a speaker in the early hours of the morning.

But Ferreira’s parents didn’t go for that and sent him to a boarding-school in Itapetininga-SP some 400 km east to finish his High School. In 1960, when he was 16 years old he came back to Rancharia and took up a job at the local radio station.

In 1964, when Ferreira was 18 years old, he was spotted by Orlando Duarte, a popular sportscaster who brought him to Sao Paulo where he signed by Wilson Baptista for Radio Piratininga, PRB-6.

Ferreira presented ‘Faça seu pedido’ (Make your request) from 9:00 to 10:00 AM where a secretary would take phone calls from listeners, kept them on line until such time as Ferreira Martins would come on the air and said: 'Make your request!'. The listener would say: 'I'd like to listen to 'Scrivi' with Rita Pavone' and the song was played right away. I know the whole process because I used to try and get my request every morning. It was really hard to get so lucky as to finish dialing the disc at the exact moment that the previous listener hang up. Jee, it sometimes took the whole show to get through.

'Sua carta vale musica' (your letter is worth a song) was a catch-phrase that would encourage listeners from out of town to write Radio Piratininga, Rua 24 de Maio, 208, 10o. andar -  and request a song. Ferreira would then play Roberto Carlos's 'Escreva uma carta, meu amor' and play the requested song.

Ferreira would then have his lunch and was back at the microphone of Radio Piratininga at 1:00 PM for ‘Você faz a Parada’(You make the Hit Parade); had a breather was back again at 3:00 PM for ‘Idolos da Juventude’ (Teen Idols) which made him very popular among teenagers. Ferreira was at the right place (Sao Paulo) at the right time (1964-1965) when Brazilian rock aka Jovem Guarda was becoming really a national obsession. 

He would host young hopefuls like Wanderlea, Roberto Carlos and Erasmo Carlos in his afternoon radio show, talk to them on air and play their latest releases. Soon Roberto Carlos would  become so famous he couldn't even go out on the streets without using a disguise to avert being mobbed by the crowd.

Ferreira had (and still has) one of the most beautiful male speaking voices in Brazil. But he had also a good musical taste and played his favourites Johnny Mathis, Johnny Rivers and the Mamas & the Papas on his afternoon radio show.

While still working at Radio Piratininga, Ferreira was signed by Radio Bandeirantes to emcee a 2 hour-programme on its sister broadcaster Radio America which was investing heavily on the youth-oriented market. Ferreira was part of a young troika made up of Jose Paulo de Andrade and Jorge Elau that spanned the whole afternoon from 12:00 AM to 6:00 PM. This was the time when there was a fight between the fan-clubs of the Beatles and Italian rocker Rita Pavone. There was a pitch battle between the 2 camps who sent letters to the DJs abusing each other and telling how superior one act was against the other. 

Ferreira would go on to be a TV news-reader at TV Bandeirantes later on but that is something else we’ll leave for later. 

Radio Piratininga DJ Ferreira Martins at a Revista Melodias article in which this post was based.

Ferreira Martins wearing a white cardigan at Rita Pavone's press conference on 22 June 1964 at Terrazza Martini on rua Barão de Itapetininga. Ademar Dutra (Radio Nacional) and Jose Carlos Romeu (Radio Excelsior) look on while Rita writes something leaning on journalist Moracy do Val's legs. photo: Nicanor Le Terry.

in February 1970, Ferreira Martins had been signed by Radio Bandeirantes.