Monday, 14 May 2018

1957 rock'n'roll starts to show up in Brazil

It is common knowledge that Rock'n'roll aka Rock Era has started in the USA when the single (We're gonna) 'Rock around the clock' recorded by Bill Haley & His Comets reached Number One in the singles-charts on 14 May 1955

And when Elvis Presley reached Number One on the pop charts on 10 March 1956, with 'Heartbreak Hotel', rock'n'roll music found a leader for millions of devoted teenagers worldwide. 

Brazilians who always took a hint from the 'Metropolis', read about the emergence of a new 'craze' called rock'n'roll in local newspaper & magazine but it took a while until Rock started showing up in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo its two biggest cities. 

I would say the rock'n'roll started showing its first signs in Brazil around 1957. Here are some newspaper clips about rock or movies related to the 'ritmo alucinante'.

17 February 1957 - American night-life columnist Mary Wynne writes at daily 'O Estado de S.Paulo' two notes about two different events occurred in São Paulo night-clubs related to the rock'n'roll craze: at Bar Michel, US pianist Fred Feld is a great hit when he sings 'like Elvis Presley'.

At Boite Oasis, crooner-musician William Fourneau entertained a rowdy young crowd performing rock'n'roll numbers helped by Elza Aguiar and João de Lima & his combo.

24 February 1957 - Rock's first film ever. It was released in the USA on 7 December 1956, barely 2 months before arriving in Sao Paulo which was like being released simultaneously... that showed how much the rock'n'roll craze was being eagerly folllowed by the South American youth. 'Rock, rock, rock' (Ritmo alucinante) starred Tuesday Weld & Teddy Randazzo and featured Chuck Berry ('You can't catch me'), Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers ('I'm not a juvenile delinquent'), The Flamingos, Connie Francis etc.
24 March 1957 - Playwright & humorist Silveira Sampaio wrote a revue 'Vovó, papai & rock'n'roll' (Granddad, father & rock'n'roll)... that proves that the word 'rock'n'roll' was already embedded in the Portuguese language by March 1957.
Kids go crazy about Elvis at the premiere of 'Love me tender' at the Paramount Theater in Manhattan on 15 November 1956.
7 April 1957 - Rock'n'roll sensation Elvis Presley has his 1st movie 'Love me tender' (Ama-me com ternura) released in Brazil less than 6 months after its premiere at the Paramount Theater in New York on 15 November 1956.
12 May 1957 - Barely 6 months after its release in the USA 'The girl can't help it' reached Brazilian shores as 'Sabes o que quero' (You know what I want). The movie was originally intended as a vehicle for American sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, with a satirical subplot involving teenagers and rock'n'roll music. The unintended result has been called the 'most potent' celebration of rock music ever captured on film. Gene Vincent sings his fundamental 'Be-bop-a-lula'; Julie London performs her red-hot 'Cry me a river'; Eddie Cochrane does '20-flight rock' (Albert Pavão covered it as 'Vigésimo andar') but Little Richard is the greatest of all the rock acts.
25 August 1957 - Even though 'Cha cha boom!' (A música proibida) (1956) is not exactly a rock-movie it was made in response to the whole craze about 'new' rhythms like the cha-cha, mambo. Done by the same company that did 'Rock around the clock' it stars Latin American band-leader Damaso Perez Prado...
Latin American rhythm in the American Way... Mambo King Perez Prado is the one on the right...
20 October 1957 - Before 1957 was through, another dance-craze movie is released: 'Calypso heat wave' (Ao compasso do calypso) produced by the same crowd who did 'Rock around the clock' and 'Cha-cha boom!'. See the well-behaved Hi-Lo's and The Tarriers trying their emulate Harry Belafonte in 'Banana boat song'.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Bobby de Carlo 1960 - Chiquita

15 year-old Bobby de Carlo in 1960.

By mid-1960, Brazilian rock was growing as fast as a speeding bullet. Celly Campello was its undisputed queen, Carlos Gonzaga its king... and new faces were popping up every day. Weekly magazine Radiolandia carried this article about Chiquita and Bobby de Carlo, two new stars from very different background. 

Roberto Caldeira dos Santos aka Bobby de Carlo was born on 30 June 1945, in Sao Paulo-SP. He was a good Catholic boy who started working as an office-boy at a bank when he was 14 years old. He was also very musical and one day played his guitar at a teen-age party in which Tony Campello was a guest. Campello was impressed by his talent and took him for a test at EMI's Odeon where he was signed immediately to a contract. In no time, Odeon released Bobby de Carlo's first single 'Oh Eliana', a cover of Frankie Avalon's 'Dede Dinah' which soared up the charts. 

Radiolandia #340, November 1960
Chiquita and Bobby de Carlos were rock's new sensation in 1960. 
RIO-50.523: Bobby de Carlo covers 'Dede Dinah' ('Oh Eliana') b/w 'I like girls' ('Quero amar') accompanied by Mario Gennari Filho & his combo. 

Francisca de Oliveira Paula Assis was Chiquita's real name. She was born in 1947, and had always been a hyper-active child who liked to listen to Brenda Lee's records especially 'Jambalaya'. She was 11 years old in 1958, when she impersonated Little Miss Dynamite at the Santa Paula Country Club in a party promoted by Colegio Sao Bento. Chiquita was an instant hit. 

Next up, Chiquita did her 'Brenda Lee act' at Durval de Souza's kid show 'Programa Durvalino', on TV Record, Channel 7. So it happened that writer-song-translator Fred Jorge, who worked for EMI-Odeon saw Chiquita and thought she'd be the best next thing. He took her to Odeon and was signed by the label that had discovered Celly Campello, the queen of Brazilian rock. 

By 1961, Chiquita had already recorded a few singles for Odeon like 'Rock das vogais', 'Calipso do velho', 'Bobby, Bobby, Bobby', 'Cartão postal' e 'Meu diploma'.

RIO 50.820: Chiquita covers Jo Ann Campbell's 'Bobby, Bobby, Bobby' b/w 'Psiu...' accompanied by Walter Wanderley and his combo. 

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Antonio Aguillar, rock promoter 1962 - 1963

Radio-man Antonio Aguillar was the closest Sao Paulo rock got to New York's rock pioneer Alan Freed

Maybe it's going a bit too far to compare him with such a luminary as Alan Freed for he actually came up with the name Rock'n'roll whereas Aguillar came up with nothing really original. 

Aguillar started his professional life working as photographer at daily 'O Estado de S.Paulo'. 

In 1957, when he was covering the vandalism perpetrated against the seats of Cine Art Palacio during the screening of 'Rock around the clock' (Ao balanço das horas) Aguillar was impressed by the sheer energy released in teenagers by a simple rock movie and thought seriously about entering this brave new world where he suspected there was money and excitement.

By late 1960, Aguillar left his job at 'Estadão' for O.V.C. to organize what would become the audio-visual department of Radio Nacional and TV Paulista, Channel 5

At the same time Aguillar was given the command of 'Clube dos Garotos', a kid's show at Radio Nacional. By November 1961, Aguillar presented 'Ritmos para a juventude' (Rhythms for the young-set) from 4:00 to 5:00 PM from Monday through Friday and on Saturdays from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. 

By mid-1962 Aguillar's rock show was the hottest thing in show business in Sao Paulo. He not only played discs but urged young rock bands around town to play live on his radio show on Saturdays. These sessions grew up in number and popularity until TV Excelsior signed Aguillar to do a weekly rock show which was an instant success.
Radiolandia #367, 1st January 1962 - 'Ritmos para a Juventude' was #1 with teenagers in São Paulo.
Radiolandia #373, 15 March 1962.

By March 1962, Aguillar and his 'Ritmos para a Juventude' at Radio Nacional Paulista had become so popular he made a splash organizing a big celebration at Club Atletico Silvicultura at far-away Horto Florestal.  The only way to reach the country-club was through the railway Estrada de Ferro Cantareira but that didn't prevent a small crowd of 2,500 people of reaching the place to see their favourite singers and performers. As not all the performers were rock'n'rollers Aguillar adapted the name of the party to 'Festival de Todos os Ritmos' (All rhythms festival) and presented each participant with a 'Ritmos para a Juventude' trophy.

Celly Campello - best rock female singer
Ronnie Cord - best rock male singer
Maria Regina - the smallest singer in the world
Hamilton di Giorgio - best international song-writer & singer
Sergio Murilo - international relevation
The Jet Blacks - best instrumental rock band
The Jordans - revelation instrumental rock band
Carlos Gonzaga - 'O twist' (The twist) (RCA)
Wilson Miranda (Chantecler) as TV revelation
Bobby de Carlo - 'Hey, Lili' (Lilly Lou) (Odeon)
Tony Campello - Querida Susie' (Susie darling) (Odeon)
Ilze Aparecida - 'Brotinho do rock' (California)
Cidinha - '24 mil desejos' (24 mila baci) (Mocambo)
Carlos Ely - 'Cinderela' (RCA Camden)
Sergio Reis - 'Será' (Chantecler)
George Freedman - 'Adivinhão' (RGE)
Fernando Costa - 'Amor em cha cha cha' (Columbia)
Mario Augusto - 'Amor de Terezinha' (Copacabana)
Baby Santiago - for penning 'Rock do sacy' & 'Adivinhão'

these were non-rock acts who were invited to the great bash:

Miltinho - best Brazilian music male singer
Leila Silva - best TV female singer
Martha Mendonça - 'Tu sabes' (Chantecler)
Renato Guimarães - 'Poema' (Chantecler)
Creusa Cunha - 'Lembrança' (Un recuerdo) (Copacabana)
Silvana - 'Amor, fonte da vida' (Copacabana)
Archimedes Messina for his work as a radio man and singer
Carlos Nobre - 'Amor em serenata' (RCA)
Nerino Silva - 'Minha sogra' (Chantecler)
Agnaldo Rayol for 'Não pode ser' (Copacabana)
Roberto Vidal - 'Maria Helena' (RCA Camden)
Fernando José - 'Diner' (RGE) 
Franquito - music & films revelation 
Nilton Cesar - for a Carnaval hit  
Wilson Roberto - for a Carnaval hit 

Radiolandia #379, 1st June 1962.
Radiolandia #379 - 1st June 1962.

'Radiolandia' #382 - 1st August 1962.
Radiolandia #385 - 15 September 1962; 'Ritmos para a Juventude' crosssed over to TV Paulista, channel 5. 
15 September 1962; Neil Sedaka is honoured at 'Ritmos para a Juventude' on Channel 5. 
Radiolandia #387 - 1st October 1962; Theotonio Pavão says 'Ritmos para a juventude' turned 1 year old on 30 September 1962, and had a bash at Cine Piratininga, one of the largest in town. 
Radiolandia #396, 1st March 1963 - Theotonio Pavão tells all about Aguillar's big event at Lapa's Cine Nacional on 17 February 1963.

Antonio Aguilar weds Marly Bucci at the Catholic church Santo Antonio do Pary on 27 July 1963

columnist Theotonio Pavão at Radiolandia, 1st August 1963.

DJ Carlos Alberto Lopes left Radio America (Estudio V) to Radio Record.
Radiolandia, 1st October 1963; more than 3,000 people swarmed at the doors of Channel 9 on Rua Nestor Pestana to see Antonio Aguillar rock-show. 

Antonio Aguillar TV rock-show at TV Excelsior on Tuesdays & Fridays from 12 Noon to 1:00 PM; on Sundays 'Festival de Gala da Juventude' from 6:00 to 7:00 PM.
Radiolandia, 1st October 1963. Albert Pavão accompanied by The Clevers wearing a Chinese disguise at Antonio Aguillar rock-show on TV Excelsior, Channel 9.

a young Antonio Aguillar working as a photographer for 'O Estado de S.Paulo'; Radiolandia #345, 1st February 1961 says Aguillar had just been signed by Organização Victor Costa to organize their audio-visual department. 
Ademar Dutra took over Aguillar's place when the latter was signed by TV Excelsior, Channel 9 - Radiolandia, 1st October 1963.
Ademarzinho Dutra presents 'Clubinho das 5' at TV Paulista, channel 5 - 15 October 1963.

By 1964, Aguillar had been 'poached' by TV Record to do his TV rock-show at Teatro Record that was something akin to Paris Olympia in the 1960s.

VS an independent label

RGE - Radio Gravações Elétricas - a recording studio that produced and distributed commercial jingles to radio stations all over Brazil became an independent label in 1956. Following RGE's example, VS - Som Industrial Vilela Santos Ltda. opened shop in mid 1963. Radio man Ataliba Santos was its boss; Guido Bianchi its production manager and Rogerio Duprat its artistic director. 

Nelson Luiz sings 'Só na solidão' b/w 'Amanhã quero ser mais feliz', VS's first release. 
Radiolandia, 15 September 1963, columnist Theotônio Pavão. 
Radiolandia, 1st October 1963; Theotonio introduces The Hits, a rock band.