Tuesday, 13 May 2014


Tony Campello sharing a table with Dolores Duran and Comendador Bahar - who was the spitting image of British actor Sydney Greenstreet in 'Maltese Falcon' -  at a TV show in Rio de Janeiro's TV Tupi, Channel 6 in 1959. The lady giving her lovely back to the camera is Alaide Costa.
From left to right: singer-song-writer Dolores Duran holds an album Tony Campello probably brought to promote on a TV Rio programme in  1959; Ely Celano, TV Rio stage-designer and an unidentifed man.

Tony Campello was one of the first Brazilian rock'n'rollers. He started singing and playing his guitar as soon as he listened to the first Elvis Presley record back in his hometown Taubaté-SP. He formed his own band called Ritmos OK and started performing at dances and balls.

Tony whose real name was Sergio Benelli Campello had a younger sister called Célia who had a golden voice and ended up being more famous than him. She actually became Celly Campello, the Queen of Brazilian Rock selling heaps of records and being at #1 in the charts more than anyone else in Brazilian show business at the time. Celly though had other plans than being famous. She simply got married in May 1962 and just like Greta Garbo went into retirement at the age of 22.  

Even though Celly became bigger than himself, Tony never had a chip on his shoulder. On the contrary, he enjoyed his sister's success and usually toured with her around the country being part of the band that accompanied her.

It looks like Fate had something in store for him because 1963 turned out to be Tony Campello's biggest year ever when 'Boogie do bebê' (Babysitting boogie) went to Number One in the singles' chart. Tony Campello had come of age.


1. Não te esqueças de mim (Non ti scordar di me) versão: Fred Jorge
2. Esta noite (Tonight) v.: Romeu Nunes
3. Presa a um grãozinho de areia (Legata a un granello di sabbia) v.: Nazareno de Brito
4. Moon River (Henry Mancini-Johnny Mercer)
5. Quando, quando, quando (Tony Renis) v.: Teixeira Filho
6. Vamos fingir (Making believe) v.: Fred Jorge

1. Como sinfonia (Come sinfonia) v.: Romeu Nunes
2. Não toque esta canção (Don't play that song) v.: Hamilton Di Giorgio
3. Non esser timida (Del Prete)
4. Pingo d'água (Raindrops) v.: Nick Savoia
5. Quem me faz sofrer (Mattinata) v.: Fred Jorge
6. O dia do amor (Our day will come) v.: Fred Jorge

same photo of  Rio de Janeiro's TV Tupi, Channel 6 studio in 1959.
1963's 'Boogie do bebê' (Babysitting boogie) was Tony Campello's greatest hit ever.
1963 was Tony Campello's biggest year. He had his only Number One with 'Boogie do bebê', a cover of Buzz Clifford's 'Baby sittin' boogie'. 
1963 E.P. featuring 'Não te esqueça de mim' plus 'O canário' (Yellow bird) in which Tony sings a duet with his famous sister Celly Campello - one of her good-bye songs when she retired to get married in May 1962.

Circa 1964 Tony tried to get into the Italian pop-music boom but with no great success, because, differently from a few years back, the originals from Italy were more popular than the Brazilian covers. Times had changed quickly! Here's the Brazilian lyrics for Richard Anthony's 'Cin cin' which in Portuguese was 'Tchin tchin'. Tony might be busy talking on two phones at the same time but the record-buying public was interested in something else.

Tony Campello at the back-cover of Revista do Rock; Celly Campello & Sergio Murilo as Queen & King of Brazilian Rock'n'roll at the cover of Revista do Rock; add for Celly Campello's first 'Programa da juventude' on TV Record in 1959; 1960s list of best selling records.

Celly Campello, Brenda Lee & Tony Campello in September 1959 when Brenda visited Sao Paulo and sang at Teatro Record.
Tony Campello on the cover of 'São Paulo na TV' - November 1965 - Tony tried to conform with the new trend coming from abroad: his Pompadour went down a little but his hair wasn't long enough as to look like one of those British youngsters that were all the rage among the followers of the new Brazilian rock called 'Jovem Guarda'.
Tony sings at TV 'Jovem Guarda' rock show in late 1965.
Teresinha Sodré became Mrs. Tony Campello
Tony's career became erratic after 1964. With the Italian music invasion Odeon thought Tony could capture some of that market but translations were not as successful as they had been up to 1963.
Tony tried all formulas and dance crazes with no avail. 'Pertinho do mar' was actually a medium-sized hit but it was a bit too little too late.

Bobby de Carlo & Tony Campello - Revista do Radio 1960.
Tony's flat on Rua Amaral Gurgel, 471 was broken into and reported by Revista do Radio #600 - 18 March 1961. 
'Revista do Radio' 31st January 1959 - in what must have been Tony Campello's first exposure in the Brazilian media. The headlines says: A North-American who was born in Sao Paulo

Revista do Radio was the most popular show-business weekly in the country and they usually showed all their contempt & sarcasm towards foreign acts or Brazilian acts who showed any inclination to perform rock'n'roll or any 'imported' rhythm. 

Who's it flying up there?
Is it a bird? Noooo.
Is it a plane? Noooo.
Is it Tony Campello? Yeahhh!
Flying Tony Campello in late 1958...

Odeon-14.328 - 'Forgive me', Tony Campello's 1st single for Odeon b/w 'Handsome boy' sung by his sister Celly Campello.
Odeon-14.384 - 'My special angel' b/w 'Louco amor' a cover of Paul Anka's 'Crazy love' that was covered by Carlos Gonzaga for RCA Victor. 
Odeon-14.492 Tony covers Ricky Nelson's 'Poor little fool' (Pobre de mim) b/w Paul Anka's 'Pity pity' (Tenha pena).

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