Sunday, 6 May 2012

1965 Chico Viola Awards VIII

1.   Io che non vivo [senza te]                               Pino Donaggio           Columbia-Odeon
2.   Perfidia                                                         Trini Lopez                Reprise-Odeon
3.   Carcará – Missa Agrária                                 Maria Bethania          RCA Victor
4.   Amore scusami                                             John Foster               Style-Fermata
5.   Se piangi, se ridi                                            Bobby Solo               Ricordi-Chantecler

6.   Pau de arara                                                 Ary Toledo                 Fermata
7.   From Russia with love                                    Matt Monro                Odeon
8.   Il mondo                                                       Jimmy Fontana           RCA Victor
9.   Ma vie                                                          Alain Barrière              RCA Victor
10. Emoção                                                        Os Vips                     Continental

11. História de um homem mau [Ol’ man Mose]    Roberto Carlos           CBS
12. Festa de arromba                                          Erasmo Carlos           RGE
13. Shame & scandal in the family                       Shawn Elliott              Chantecler [Roulette]
14. Menina linda [I should have known better]        Renato & seus Blue Caps CBS
15. Il silenzio                                                      Nini Rosso                   Fermata

16. A casa d’ Irene                                             Nico Fidenco               RCA Victor
17. Preste atenção [Fais attention]                      Giane                          Chantecler
18. Trem das Onze                                             Demônios da Garôa     Chantecler
19. Baile da saudade                                          Francisco Petrônio       Continental
20. Arrastão                                                       Elis Regina                  Philips

21. Red roses for a blue lady                              Bert Kaempfert             Polydor
22. Festa do Bolinha                                          Trio Esperança             Odeon
23. O principio e o fim [Ma vie]                            Agnaldo Rayol              Copacabana
24. O professor apaixonado                                 Nilton Cesar                 Continental
25. La danse de Zorba                                        Dalida                          Barclay-RGE

26. Oferenda / O trovador                                   Altemar Dutra               Odeon
27. Canção falando mal de você                          Moacyr Franco             RCA Victor
28. Não quero ver você triste                               Roberto Carlos             CBS
29. Seleção de sambas                                      Jair Rodrigues              Philips
30. Dois na Bossa  [best album]          Elis Regina & Jair Rodrigues        Philips

1. Odeon [5]
2. RCA [5]
3. Chantecler [4]
4. Philips [3]
5. CBS [3]
6. Continental [3]
7. Fermata [3]
8. RGE [2]

1965 only consolidated the Italian hold onto the charts with not less than 6 Chico Violas going abroad to the Peninsula. Trini Lopez was still riding high with ‘Perfidia’ and other Spanish-language favorites from his 'Latin Album'.

But there was something new in the air. The Brazilian political scene had changed dramatically in April 1964 with a fascist military coup-de-etat against democratically elected President João Goulart. The right-wing putsch showed its true colours gradually threatening to shut down Congress which they eventually did four years later. The military junta exiled many prominent citizens who did not agree with their atittudes. Brazilian democracy, so hard earned after WWII’s end, was back on square one. Authoritarianism was back to stay for a few decades.

Brazilian bossa-nova had been branching out into different formats and one of them was the synergy between its highly sophiticated urban sound and shanty towns’samba. Bossa nova also crossed over with the rural Northeastern music that came along with the internal migration from drought stricken areas to the southern cities.

Maria Bethania's rendition of 'Carcará' was amazingly stunning.

 Maria Bethania had a keen sense of drama.

Carcará’ with new face Maria Bethania was the result of such a marriage. It was originally from a theatre play called ‘Opinião’ [Opinion] being shown in Rio where the three musical elements [urban music, shanty town samba and Northeastern rural music] converge into one. Nara Leão represented city life, Zé Keti’s the favela [slums] and João do Vale the rural poor. Nara Leão fell sick during the show and was substituted by Maria Bethania who became famous overnight due to her true grit, powerful voice and wild gestures. Carcará is a hawk that survives in the harshest environment of drought-stricken areas of the Northeast. Carcará is better than men because men have to flee his home land when drought strikes. Carcará stays put and eats even burned snakes and young burros who are born in the lowlands. But man has to migrate and slave away for big capital in the southern cities. It is such a powerful song that when it was released as a single it went straight to number one even if people didn’t know it was part of a theatre play. Maria Bethania had arrived to be the princess of Brazilian music for decades to come.

the original play 'Opinião' with Zé Keti, Nara Leão & João do Vale.

João do Vale & his idol Luiz Gonzaga [holding the accordion].

Zé Keti, on the right & Paulinho da Viola with his guitar. 

The queen of Brazilian music had come from the south and her name was Elis Regina. She had been around for a few years trying to make it but never reached her full potential until she went to Rio de Janeiro and started mingling with the bossa-nova crowd who congragated in night clubs around Beco das Garrafas [Bottles’ Alley] where she became a local celebrity. Next, she was competing at the first Brazilian music festival in Guarujá-SP, a San Remo-like  competition broadcast by TV Excelsior. Elis won first prize with ‘Arrastão’ written by veteran Vinicius de Moraes and new-comer Edu Lobo. Elis was different, she sang not only with her vocal chords but with her arms and whole body. She was a sensation and couldn’t be ignored anymore. Philips released her new album but Elis had to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. She was dynamite when she sang live.

Walter Silva, the same DJ who had been instrumental in consolidating João Gilberto’s career in 1958 was a show promoter then and decided to pair off Elis Regina with Jair Rodrigues. Silva planned three shows at huge Paramount Theatre with accompaniment by Jongo Trio [piano, double-bass and drums] that was an instant sell out. From these shows Walter Silva produced a ‘live’ album called ‘Dois na Bossa’ [Two at Bossa] whose main track was a seven-minute-long samba meddley that would play on the radio incessantly. Elis & Jair ruled the air-waves. This was ‘album of the year’. I would say it was album of the decade. Soon after that Elis was invited to compere ‘O Fino da Bossa’ a weekly TV show that was the best thing one could possibly think of. The best musicians in the country would play there and it became the base for future TV  musicals and future ‘music festivals’ that would stir the whole country many times in the next few years. Elis went from strength to strength soon to become the biggest female singer in Brazil’s history.

Jair & Elis & Jong Trio in May 1965

Elis & Jair at 'O Fino da Bossa' TV show.

Pau de arara’, the ‘novelty’ single of the year was a five-minute-long performance by singer-comedian Ary Toledo who accompanies himself with his acoustic guitar. It was recorded live at TV's ‘O Fino da Bossa’. Recording acts ‘live’ was cheaper for the record companies and sold a lot of discs. ‘Pau de arara’ is the story of a destitute migrant from the Northeast who comes to Rio and makes a fool of himself busking his ‘hunger’ in the parks. He debases himself telling stories about his hunger and homelessness while people laugh and guffaws. The more bizarre the tale, the more people laughed. ‘Pau de arara' is a derogative way of calling those victims of drought who migrated to the southern cities looking for a better life. Actually it means ‘bird’s roost’... because those drought victims came all huddled up in the back of trucks that traveled weeks until reaching final destination in the south. Those poor migrants looked like birds on a roost... and that’s how they got their names from. Actually ‘Pau de arara’ was part of another theatre play called ‘Pobre menina rica’ [Poor rich girl] written by Carlos Lyra, one of the greats of bossa-nova who suddenly became aware of the countries segregated under-class and  rebelled against bossa-nova’s tenets of ‘loving, smile and the flower’

Quite a few politically motivated songs broke into the charts in 1965. It is really ironic that it took a right-wing coup-de-etat against a legitimate elected government to awaken the left-wing artistic militancy. Or maybe it was already there and it only burst out into the scene in 1965.

At the same time that a sector of bossa-nova became very outspoken politically the other side of the coin was just around the corner doing very well, thanks. Indigenous rock’n’roll had definitely come of age and young  people were writing their own material instead of just translating foreing hits. All of a sudden we had a left-wing Brazilian music pitted against a ‘right-wing’ Brazilian rock, which was also called ‘alienated’ because they only thought about having a good time with cars and girls or the other way around.

Roberto Carlos, a young man from Espirito Santos, represented well this ‘alienated’ crowd. Roberto got two Chico Violas in 1965: one for ‘A historia do homem mau’ a free translation of Louis Armstrong’s ‘Ol’ man muse’ and Carlos’ own ‘Não quero ver você triste’ [I don’t want to see you sad] a poem recited over a musical instrumental arrangement. Roberto Carlos actually had more than two hits. His album 'Roberto Carlos canta para a juventude' would play non-stop on radio stations. In August 1965, RC was invited by TV Record, the same station that had Elis Regina & the new bossa-nova musicians in its roster, to compere ‘Jovem Guarda’ [Young Guard] a Sunday afternoon show that catapulted him sky-high to become the biggest male singer in the country for decades to come.

Roberto Carlos sings for young people. 

Jovem Guarda’ was a show-case for a lot of young talent, especially those who recorded for Rio’s CBS [Columbia Records’ new name] as Roberto Carlos himself, Wanderlea and Renato & seus Blue Caps, a five-member band who copied the Beatles in style and content. ‘Menina linda’ [Beatiful girl] was a free-translation of  ‘I should have known better’ and was on top.

Erasmo Carlos was Roberto Carlos’ song writing partner and himself a singer. Even though he recorded for São Paulo’s RGE he was part of Jovem Guarda’s royalty. Erasmo hit with ‘Festa de arromba’ [A swell of a party] in which he presented all the young stars who sang at Jovem Guarda to the adoring public who wouldn’t miss one TV programme.

Nilton Cesar was not exactly a ‘Jovem Guarda’ member but his ‘Professor apaixonado’ was ‘rock’ so he qualified for it. From 1965 on Brazilian music would be divided in two segments: MPB [popular Brazilian music] and JG [young guard].  MPB was ‘real Brazilian’ and JG only an ‘americanized’ sop. Brothers Marcio and Ronaldo Antonucci who called themselves Os Vips, were good as a harmonizing duo took ‘Emoção’ [Emotion] to number one.

Trio Esperança who had been big since breaking with ‘Filme triste’ in 1963, joined Jovem Guarda and recorded ‘Festa do Bolinha’ [Tubby’s party] an original song from Roberto & Erasmo Carlos depicting famous comic-book characters Tubby, Little Lulu and their friends.

This was all new Brazilian show business. As concerning the ‘old’ scene... most of the old acts were ostracized or dying of ‘natural causes’. There was absolutely no one left alive from the Old Guard. Literally a slaughter!

Moacyr Franco signed with RCA Victor with hopes of much larger sales but it backfired badly because record-buying public tastes had changed dramatically in the 1965-1965 period. 

O baile da saudade’ [The nostalgia ball] was actually very-old music style but done by newish act Francisco Petrônio who loved the ‘old ways’ but was himself from a younger generation. The song remembers the old balls given by olden families.  Moacyr Franco who had been ‘the greatest’ only two years before hit with ‘Canção falando mal de você’ [A song talking evil about you]... but it was a minor hit because Moacyr was not on TV anymore. Tastes had changed dramatically in only two years. Moacyr was old news now.

Altemar Dutra had a steady following. His music style was ‘old’ but he was young, healthy and had the best possible team producing for him at EMI’s Odeon. This was a double-sided hit with  ‘Oferenda’ [Offering] and 'O trovador' - both songs as good as most of Altemar’s material.

Agnaldo Rayol was young in age but ‘old’ in style. Agnaldo was a power-tenor who wowed audiences whenever he opened his mouth to utter his high notes. He had good-looks to boot. TV Record gave him a weekly Friday night show in November 1965, that soon became the most popular programme in the network. With ‘Ma vie’ [My life] strangely translated as ‘O princípio e o fim’ [The beginning and the end] Agnaldo received his Chico Viola for 1965.

Giane was back in ’65 with the translation of another French hit ‘Fais attention’ that became [correctly] ‘Preste atenção’ [Pay attention] a half-spoken, half-sung ballad.

Giane did it again with 'Preste atenção'.

Ma vie’, the original French song Agnaldo Rayol copied, burst into the Brazilian charts in its original version. Was it possible that after 1963’s Italian invasion we would be ‘invaded’ by the French in 1965? Not exactly but almost. A lot of French acts started playing on the radio and Alain Barrière’s ‘Ma vie’, a beautiful ballad, was the first and biggest.

Alain Barrière took 'Ma vie' to Number One while Agnaldo Rayol's rendition of the same song in Portuguese topped the charts too. 

Dalida's rendition of 'La danse de Zorba' caught Brazilians' ears.

Italian-Egyptian Dalida had her biggest hit in Brazil with ‘La dance de Zorba’ from the popular movie ‘Zorba, the Greek’ portrayed by Anthony Quinn.

Talking about movies, ‘From Russia with love’ was the second James Bond flick and the first with a hit-song in its sound-track. British Matt Monro took it to number one. And what a beautiful song it is!

But the most sensational foreign hit of the year was ‘Shame and scandal in the family’ by Shawn Elliott. It had been banned from the US air-waves because it told a story of incest, a subject not very common in every day conversation. Even though the English language is not understood in Brazil, DJs would tell the story’s meaning over the radio and due to the tune’s nice melody and rhythm plus the sensational subject it went straight to number one. You see, it’s the story of a young man who meet the girl of his dream and tell his father that he wants to marry her. His father tells him not to marry this girl because she is his half-sister even though his mother doesn’t know. The dejected young man goes to his mother and tells the story his father’s just told him. His mother turns and tell him not to worry: ‘Go ahead and marry the young girl. She cannot be your sister. Your father is not your father but your father don’t know!’ Well, that’s the big ‘scandal’ in the title.

Shawn Elliott's banned hit.

There were two instrumental hits in 1965. ‘Red roses for a blue lady’ had German band-leader Bert Kaempfert back in the charts again. ‘Il silenzio’ was a haunting piece of horn-playing done magnificently well by Italian Nini Rosso. That song would be played for years to come.

Now, the Italian invasion was at its peak, I suppose. Number one hit of the year was doubtless ‘Io che non vivo senza te’ a song Pino Donaggio presented at San Remo Festival. It didn’t win the Festival but it went on to become the biggest hit in Italy and everywhere including the USA where it was translated as ‘You don’t have to say you love me’ sung by Dusty Springfield, Elvis Presley and everyone else and his dog. ‘Io che non vivo’ was really big. You know a hit is big when you watch a talent-contest TV show. There was this ‘gong-show’ where would-be singers try and sing a tune and if he-she don’t do it well he-she is ‘gonged’. Well that was Chacrinha’s popular weekly programme. I remember watching it and there was an instance when more than 20 candidates chose the same tune: ‘Io che non vivo’! They would queue up and be gonged one after the other after just a few bars into ‘Io che non vivo’... until a would-be-star would carry the tune all the way to its conclusion.

Bobby Solo finally won San Remo in 1965 with ‘Se piangi, se ridi’ [Whether you cry or laugh]. It was a hit in Brazil too but nothing compered to Donaggio’s song. San Remo was a funny place. Except for one or two songs, winning the competition didn’t mean one had made it.. the underdog always carried the day and 1965 was not different.

Amore scusami’ with Italian jounalist turned singer John Foster was really popular too, a really beautiful ballad reminiscent of US Big Band era.

Il mondo’ [The world] was huge too. It’s one of those ballads that start very soft and goes on a crescend to burst into an explosion of sounds. Italian Jimmy Fontana’s biggest hit by far.

A casa d’Irene’ [At Irene’s house] was Nico Fidenco back again. Fidenco had been one of the first Italian acts to break into Brazil's charts in 1963. This time he tells us a story of a brothel. Irene is a madam who runs a brothel. Nico tells the story half spoken. Irene’s house is involved in a aura of mystery and its walls are surmounted by shards of broken glass. It is very 'atmospheric' and filled with desire and forbidden feelings. Brazilians usually understand half of what is spoken in Italian... the other 50% is guessed. Brazilians knew that Irene was a prostitute and her was a house of 'tolerance'... and he-she had to imagine the rest of the story.

Trini Lopez sang old 'Perfidia' as if it were a rock song, adding his famous 'sha la la la la'. It was probably the most played song on the radio for the whole year. 

Trini Lopez could do no wrong in 1965.


1.   Io che non vivo [senza te] [Pino Donaggio-Pallavicini] –   Pino Donaggio
2.   Perfidia [Alberto Dominguez] – Trini Lopez
3.   Carcará – Missa Agrária [João do Vale-José Cândido] – Maria Bethania
4.   Amore scusami [Pallavicini-Mescoli] – John Foster
5.   Se piangi, se ridi [Roberto Satti-Marchetti-Mogol] - Bobby Solo

6.   Pau de arara  [Carlos Lyra-Vinicius de Moraes] – Ary Toledo
7.   From Russia with love [Lionel Bart] – Matt Monro
8.   Il mondo [Gianni Meccia-Jimmy Fontana-Pes] - Jimmy Fontana
9.   La danse de Zorba [Milis Thèodorakis-F. Dorin] - Dalida
10. Emoção [Roberto Carlos-Erasmo Carlos] - Os Vips

11. História de um homem mau [Ol’ man Mose] [Louis Armstrong-Zilner Randolphv; v.: Roberto Rei] – Roberto Carlos
12. Festa de arromba [Roberto Carlos-Erasmo Carlos] – Erasmo Carlos
13. Shame & scandal in the family [Donaldson-Brown) - Shawn Elliot
14. Menina linda [I should have known better] [Lennon-McCartney; v.: Renato Barros] – Renato & seus Blue Caps
15. Il silenzio [transcription: Nini Rosso-Brezza] - Nini Rosso

16. A casa d’ Irene  [Maresca-Pagano] – Nico Fidenco
17. Preste atenção [Fais attention] [Jean Loup Chauby; v.: Paulo Queiróz] – Giane
18. Trem das Onze [Adoniran Barbosa] – Demônios da Garôa
19. O baile da saudade [Palmeira-Zairo Marinozo] –  Francisco Petrônio
20. Arrastão [Edu Lôbo-Vinicius de Moraes] – Elis Regina

21. Red roses for a blue lady [Sid Tepper-Roy Brodsky] - Bert Kaempfert
22. Festa do Bolinha [Roberto Carlos-Erasmo Carlos] – Trio Esperança
23. O principio e o fim [Ma vie] [Alain Barrière; v.: Nazareno de Brito] - Agnaldo Rayol
24. O professor apaixonado [Moacyr Gomes] – Nilton Cesar
25. Ma vie [Alain Barrière] - Alain Barrière

26. Oferenda [Evaldo Gouveia-Jair Amorim] - Altemar Dutra
27. Canção falando mal de você [Moacyr Franco-David Nasser] – Moacyr Franco
28. Não quero ver você triste [Roberto Carlos-Erasmo Carlos] – Roberto Carlos

The Award gala night was held at Teatro Record in 29 January 1966. 

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