Saturday, 8 December 2018

Rock as a subject in Brazilian movies

16 March 1958 - great Oscarito was 51 years old when he did an impersonation of Elvis Presley on 'De vento em pôpa'. He not only sang Carlos Imperial & Roberto Reis' 'Calypso rock' but did a whole dancing number with acrobatic Sonia Mamede

Sonia spots Zezé Macedo fuming; but Oscarito kindly introduces Mrs Fou-Fou to the audience...
Mrs Fou-Fou says: 'Lisongeiro'; he answers 'Thank you, very much!'
Luiz Carlos & Sonia Mamede are happily together ever after... 

to read more about early Brazilian rock:

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Rock'n'roll in Rio 1963

19 May 1963 - Rio de Janeiro daily 'Correio da Manhã' had a musical column called 'Esquina sonora' written by journalist Rossini Pinto who was also a song writer & an aspiring singer having recorded at CBS. Rossini would eventually become an A&R (Artist & Repertoire) man at CBS. 

Rossini was an active man who was always on the go. On the left he offers photos of teen-idols to those readers who wrote to 'Clube do Rock' c/o Radio Tupi do Rio de Janeiro - where he had a daily radio show. Foreign stars such as Elvis Presley, Neil Sedaka, Paul Anka, Chubby Checker, Nico Fidenco, Peppino di Capri, Ricky Nelson or their Brazilian counter-parts as Roberto Carlos, Sergio Murilo, Demétrius, Rossini Pinto (himself), Wanderlea, Célia Vilela, Selmita, Tony Campello, Cleide Alves and Clério Morais. 

On the right, Rossini started a competition among his readers who would write care of 'Correio da Manhã' / 'Esquina sonora' and vote for her/his favourite disc jockey

1. José Duba (Radio Metropolitana)
2. Luiz Fernando (Radio Tupi)
3. Jair de Taumaturgo (Mayrink Veiga)
4. Luiz de Carvalho (Globo)
5. José Messias (Guanabara)

6. Roberto Muniz (Globo)
7. Jair Amorim (Guanabara)
8. Waldyr Machado (Mauá)
9. Moacyr Bastos (Radio Rio de Janeiro)
10. José Soares - Metropolitana 

11. Oliveira Filho (Guanabara)
12. Euclides Duarte (Mauá)
13. Othon Bastos (Mauá)
14. Sergio Porto (Mayrink Veiga)
15. Teonir Buteri (Vera Cruz)

Friday, 14 September 2018


Rio de Janeiro's leading daily newspaper 'Correio da Manhã' mentioned Celly Campello on 13 July 1958, for the very first time. Columnist Claribalte Passos actually hailed the release of Odeon's 78 rpm single 'Forgive me' sung by Tony Campello b/w 'Handsome boy' sung by his sister Celly as 'not bad'. Claribalte's final judgement is that the record is 'acceptable'. 

'Correio da Manhã' 13 July 1958.
Amidst a plethora of new records - Maysa's 'Eu não existo sem você' being the most important, Claribalte Passos acknowledges the release of Celly Campello's first ever 78 rpm single: 'Handsome boy' which was the B-side of her brother Tony's 'Forgive me'.

'Correio da Manhã', Tuesday, 26 May 1959.

Ten months after Claribalte Passos first noticed the existence of Celly Campello he writes about her in a different way:

Transitará hoje pelo Rio a garota-sensação do radio e TV paulistas, Celly Campello, que vem ocupando os 1os. postos nas paradas de sucessos em São Paulo e nesta praça (Rio) com sua recente gravação Odeon de 'Estúpido cupido' (Stupid cupid). Celly estará entre nós, apenas por algumas horas, participando somente do programa 'Discoteca do Chacrinha', do Canal 6, às 13:00 horas e, logo em seguida, retornará ao seu Estado. Na ocasião, Celly será homenageada por colegas de radio, TV, cronistas de jornais e revistas, numerosos fãs e pelo próprio Chacrinha, que foi seu lançador na Radio Carioca.

À guisa de curiosidade publicamos alguns dados da curta, mas já vitoriosa carreira dessa 'estrêla':

Estreou cantando em dupla com seu irmão Tony Campello. Em 1958, convidada por Mario Gennari Filho, gravou uma face de disco na Odeon (a outra foi de Tony) e então iniciou a carreira profissional mas, terminaram suas férias e retornou a Taubaté-SP para continuar seus estudos do curso clássico. Gravou cinco músicas que foram: 'Handsome boy', 'Devotion', 'O céu mudou de cor', 'Estúpido cupido' e 'The secret'.

'Correio da Manhã' 26 July 1959; Radiolandia 15 June 1960.

Claribalte Passos now welcomes Celly's very first E.P. (extended-play aka compacto-duplo) featuring: 'Estupido cupido' (Stupid cupid), 'The secret', ''Tunel do amor' (Have lips will kiss in the tunnel of love) & 'Somos jovens' (Just young).

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Cinema rock up to 1963

13 October 1957 - 'soft' rock'n'roll balladeer Pat Boone stars in 'Bernardine' (O sonho que eu vivi) released in the USA only on 24 July 1957; old timer Janet Gaynor plays somebody's mother.
4 May 1958 - Elvis Presley's 2nd flick for Paramount Pictures, 'Loving you' (A mulher que eu amo). 
11 May 1958 - Paramount's Elvis Presley's 2nd flick 'Loving you'.
2nd November 1958 - Elvis Presley's most successful rock song becomes 'Prisioneiro do rock and roll' - 'Jailhouse rock'. 
29 September 1962 - At the height of the twist craze in Brazil 'Don't knock the twist' (Ao ritmo do twist) with Chubby Checker starts playing in Rio de Janeiro.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Neil Sedaka & Celia Vilela in 1963

Ever since Neil Sedaka was in Brazil for the very first time, in November 1959, even before he had his first top-10 hit in the USA ('Oh! Carol' would hit #9 at Billboard's weekly survey on 7 December 1959) he and Celia Vilela developed a strong friendship that some would say amounted to a full-on romance. 

The fact is Miss Vilela visited the USA soon after (January 1960) and was a guest at Neil Sedaka's home in Brooklyn, N.Y. where she had the chance to meet the whole Sedaka family: Mum & Dad plus sister Ron who would show a bit of New York City to the Brazilian starlet. 

By the end of 1960, Sedaka had established himself as a 'teen-singer' with 'Stairway to heaven' at #9 on 18 April 1960 and 'Calendar girl' at #4 on 31st December 1960.

Sedaka was back in Brazil in March 1961. He visited a few radio stations in Rio de Janeiro and had a lot of photo opportunities with Celia Vilela who had a radio show at Radio Globo by then. 

1962 would be Sedaka's best year when he finally reached #1 at the charts with 'Breaking up is hard to do' on 7 July 1962. While Sedaka reached the top of the charts in the USA he was actually in Brazil doing his 2nd singing tour. He performed at Teatro Record on 13, 14 & 15 July 1962

Six months later, January 1963, Sedaka is back in Rio de Janeiro where he would take part in 'Instant love' (Pão de Açucar), an American movie where he placed 3 of his songs: 'Instant love', 'It happened again' co-written by Buddy Kaye and 'Fetch me a fortune'. This time he brought his mother along to show her the Brazilian Carnaval. 

Neil Sedaka shows how much he likes Celia Vilela at the Copacabana Palace in Rio.

Multi-media performer Celia Vilela, who's been a singer, dancer, show-girl, radio announcer, TV Master of Ceremonies and a journalist working for weekly magazine 'Revista do Radio' meets Neil Sedaka at the Copacabana Palace's swimming pool grounds on his 3rd trip to Brazil. 

Neil says this time he came up to Rio de Janeiro to have a special appearance in 'Instant love' (Pão de Açucar), a Hollywood production set in the 'Wonderful City' (Cidade Maravilhosa) starring Rossano Brazzi, Rhonda Fleming & Odete Lara.

Sedaka tells the journalist he was the first American artist to sing Brazilian Bossa Nova in the USA. Telling about his beginnings he says the first time he went on the stage was as a pianist and he confesses he was really nervous.

Why did you become a singer? I followed the advice of people like Ray Charles, Connie Francis and Bobby Darin to whom I had to show some of my songs when I was barely 16 years old.

'Revista do Radio' n.700 - 10 February 1963 - says Neil Sedaka is 'controlled' by his Mother.

As Neil talked to the journalist he kept on looking at his mother as if he expected her  approval.

We asked him what is Brazil's best singer and he said he considered João Gilberto the top. As the reporter saw Celia Vilela following the chat he said he'd thought Sedaka would have chosen Vilela.

Sedaka wasn't abashed. He said: 'I like Celia Vilela as a singer too. Besides she's my best friend in this country. Just to prove it, Mother and I went to have dinner at Celia's apartment only last night'. 

Why did you bring your Mother along this time? 'Because I like to travel with Mom! We have just traveled through Italy recently. Mother is a sharp businesswoman. I feel really secure in her hands'. 

Then, your Mother is your agent? - 'I have both an agent and a publicity man who follow me around  but Mother's last word is what it counts to me'.  

Neil Sedaka, his mother Eleanor Appel Sedaka & Celia Vilela at the Copacabana Palace. 

Monday, 14 May 2018

1957 rock'n'roll get started 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 sensation when he sings 'like Elvis Presley'.

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

E não faltam as turmas de 'stay-out-night' que passam pela Boite Oasis. Ultimamente está ganhando ainda mais frequentadores entre os 'fans' do 'Rock and roll', que está pegando com todos os 'habituées' do Oasis, alguns dançando enquanto outros apreciam e marcam tempo batendo palmas. Está vendo a alegria do 'Rock and roll', dirigido pelo William Fourneaud, Elza Aguiar e o conjunto de João de Lima.

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'.

1st June 1958 - a milder version of rock'n'roll was personified by Pat Boone! He had a good voice, a goody-too-shoes appearance and could swing & rock just a little. Even though he covered Black rhythm'n'blues for Dot Records his most successful singles were ballads like 'April love' - that became the movie 'Primavera do amor' - or his cover of Gene Austin's 1931 hit 'Love letters in the sand'. 

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.