Launching Arys songs in the USA
Before Walt, there were Carmen,24 May 2005
André, and Eddy.
A Pequena Notável was the sensation of
the Broadway musical revue Streets of Paris.
Carmen Miranda arrived in the United States in May 1939. Her Broadway debut in the musical Streets of Paris was such a success that within a few months she was shooting her first Hollywood film, Down Argentine Way. On 26 December 1939, Carmen recorded six songs from the musical and the film in an album entitled The South American Way (Decca 109).
But the American audience wouldnt wait that long to hear Carmen, so her Decca career was launched with reissues of six Brazilian recordings, three of them composed by Ary Barroso. One of these was the samba-batuque No Tabuleiro da Baiana (or, as it was spelled then, No Taboleiro da Bahiana), a lively duet that Carmen had sung with Luiz Barbosa to the accompaniment of the conjunto regional of Pixinguinha and Luperce Miranda.
Image courtesy of Dijalma M. Candido
Luiz and Carmen sang:
No tabuleiro da baiana tem
Vatapá, ôi, carurú
Mungunzá, ôi, tem umbú... pra ioiô
Se eu pedir você me dá...
...o seu coração
o seu amor de Iaiá?
No coração da baiana tem...
Sedução, ôi, canjerê
Ilusão, ôi, candomblé
Juro por Deus, pelo Sinhô do Bonfim
Quero você, baianinha inteirinha prá mim
Sim, mas depois o que será de nós dois?
Teu amor é tão fugaz, enganador
[Mentirosa, mentirosa, mentirosa]
Tudo já fiz, fui até num canjerê
Pra ser feliz, meus trapinhos juntar com você
Sim, mas depois vai ser mais uma ilusão
Que no amor quem governa é o coração...
After Carmen and Luiz Barbosa had recorded the song but before their record was released, No Tabuleiro da Baiana received its world première in the musical revue Maravilhosa, produced by Jardel Jércolis and Geysa Bôscoli. Here it was sung to great acclaim by the paulista starlet Déo Maia and the diminutive actor-singer Grande Otelo, both of whose careers were greatly bolstered by the sensational success of this production.
In his biography Carmen Miranda, a Cantora do Brasil (1978), Abel Cardoso Junior quotes a 1937 interview with Ary Barroso in the revista Carioca, in which the composer confessed:
First, you must know that No Tabuleiro da Baiana was the first song I sold, so little did I believe in its merit. It was commissioned from me by Jardel Jércolis, who intended to include it in one of the revues of his repertory company. The song was more manufactured than inspired. I produced it more or less by force and ended up composing it in the mold of a batuque I had created some years earlier and that had been recorded by Sílvio Caldas with little success [Batuque (Victor 33463-A) 1931]. When Tabuleiro was ready, I sold its theatrical rights to the well-known impressario, something I had never done before and that I have never repeated.
Image courtesy of Dijalma M. Candido
Recorded on 29 September 1936 and released in November of that year, No Tabuleiro da Baiana (Odeon 11402-B) was as much a hit on record as it had been on stage. Although it came out at the end of the year, the song not only landed in the top 100 songs for 1936 but snagged fifth place in record sales and radio air play.
Such was the success of No Tabuleiro da Baiana that Ary repeated the formula the following year in the samba-jongo Quando Eu Penso na Bahia, which the composer designated as chapter 2 of the series. Carmen recorded it with Sílvio Caldas on 17 September 1937 (Odeon 11540-A). It was one of Carmens six Brazilian sides that Decca would release in 1939.
In Brazil, No Tabuleiro da Baiana had been released on the flip side of Ary Barrosos marcha Como Vaes Você? The U.S. edition (Decca 23096) replaced the A side selection with the more successful Boneca de Pixe (Ary Barroso/Luiz Iglésias). Another light-hearted duet, this so-called cena carioca of 1938 featured Almirante as Carmens male partner, with accompaniment by the Odeon Orchestra under the direction of Simon Bountman.
The Library of Congress Audio Collection contains both the original Odeon disc and the American Decca release. While the LoC database correctly identifies Luiz Barbosa as the male singer in the Brazilian recording of No Tabuleiro da Baiana, the entry for the U.S. recording mysteriously claims Almirante as the vocalist.
Carmens first U.S.-recorded album
The third Ary Barroso composition released among Carmens first six sides was the samba-jongo Quando Eu Penso na Bahia (Odeon 11540-A). This song had been recorded on 17 September 1937 and released in December of that year. Yet another duet, it features lyrics by Luiz Peixoto, Sílvio Caldas as Carmens singing partner, and Grupo da Odeon as accompanists.
Many people think that Walt Disney introduced Ary Barroso to the United States, but it was Carmen, with these three duets of 1936, 37, and 38, who rightfully takes the credit. She said as much in an interview with Alex Viany, published in the magazine O Cruzeiro in November 1948:
I know that I have contributed enough toward spreading Brazilian popular music abroad. But its also true that I had a lot of luck. In the first place, I had the luck of having been the first to bring numbers like Tico-Tico, Mamãe, Eu Quero, Cai, Cai, O que é que a baiana tem?, Na Baixa do Sapateiro, No Tabuleiro da Baiana, and so many others to the United States. The American public had never heard such things, and naturally became enthusiasticeven without understanding the words. [...]
Naturally, not every Brazilian samba becomes a hit in the U.S. There are gorgeous sambas that could never be understood here. When the American public likes something, it really likes it. This is what happened with Tico-Tico, which continues to be frequently played and has already become a kind of popular classic. Like Aquarela do Brasil and Na Baixa do Sapateiro and few others, Tico-Tico is one of the few sambas that Americans can recognize from the first beat. Thats why theyre the only ones that the orchestras always play. And when I try to sing something new, something different, Im never applauded as much as when I sing one of these. The same happens with all the other Brazilian singers and composers who live in the United States. [...]
In one of the films I made in Hollywood, I insisted that the director include among the musical numbers No Tabuleiro da Baiana, to be sung by me and Cesar Romero. We even got around to rehearsing it. But when the time came, the director steadfastly refused to include the song I like so much. Pleading didnt help. The explanation convinced me: Carmen, here you have to make music that pleases Brazilians, Americans, and Europeans. If you pleased only the Brazilians, you wouldnt be here anymore.
André Kostelanetz and the CBS orchestra in 1931 (photo courtesy of maurice-abravanel.com)
Perhaps it was the partner or the forgettable film (Weekend in Havana, Springtime in the Rockies, or The Gangs All Here) rather than the song that was wrong, for No Tabuleiro da Baiana appears to have made a lasting impression on the conductor André Kostelanetz.
From the early 1930s through 50s, Kostelanetz (19011980) fronted several enormously popular series of radio programs. In Popular Music for Orchestra, Dick OConnor describes the Kostelanetz formula:
The juxtaposition of concert, operatic, folk, and popular music had become a standard practice on singer-oriented good music programs. Kostelanetz extended this juxtaposition to include excerpts from the more sacrosanct symphonic literature and clever, refined orchestral adaptations of theatre songs. The unstated but intentional implication of this format was that Broadways best tunesmiths were, in their own way, the equals of Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and other serious composers, a suggestion that resonated greatly with an America doing its best to cope with the effects of the depression. The melodies featured were not those of the middle-European operetta heritage that dominated the good music shows, but the recent stage and Hit-Parade successes of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Noel Coward, Harold Arlen, and Hoagy Carmichael. [...]
In planning and execution, in coherence and attention to detail, in orchestrational elegance and ensemble virtuosity and unity his Chesterfield shows (193438), Tune-Up Time (193940), and The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (194044) had no superiors.
As early as 25 September 1939 (only a few months following Carmens arrival on the American scene and presumably just after her Brazilian recordings had hit the U.S. market), No Tabuleiro da Baiana made its debut on Kostelanetzs CBS program Tune-Up Time. The samba became one of those tunes that the orchestras always play and the most frequently executed Ary Barroso composition on the conductors radio programs. Kostelanetz also conducted it on screen in the movie Music in My Heart (1940), starring Tony Martin and Rita Hayworth.
Author/s Song Performer/s Radio Program Tape No. Air Date
Ary Barroso No Tabuleiro da Baiana (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra Tune-Up Time (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5127 12A2 25 September 1939 Ary Barroso No Tabuleiro da Baiana (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra Tune-Up Time (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5127 16A2 1 January 1940 Ary Barroso No Tabuleiro da Baiana (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5855 r16A2 25 January 1942 Ary Barroso/S.K. Russell Brazil (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra w/ vocalist Allan Jones The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) From musical film Saludos Amigos, based on Spanish [sic] tune Arquela do Brasil Library of Congress LWO 5585 r20B1 31 May 1942 Ary Barroso No Tabuleiro da Baiana (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5855 r23B1 13 September 1942 Ary Barroso/Luiz Peixoto Brasil Moreno (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5855 r25B1 22 November 1942 Ary Barroso/Luiz Peixoto Brasil Moreno (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5855 r26B1 17 January 1943 Ary Barroso/Luiz Peixoto Brasil Moreno (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5855 r31B1 13 June 1943 Ary Barroso/S.K. Russell Brazil (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5855 r33B1 15 August 1943 Ary Barroso/Luiz Peixoto Brasil Moreno (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress RXA 9750 B1 2 April 1944 Ary Barroso/S.K. Russell Brazil (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress RXA 9751 A2 8 October 1944 Ary Barroso No Tabuleiro da Baiana (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra The Pause That Refreshes on the Air (CBS) Library of Congress LWO 5913 r9A2 3 December 1944 Ary Barroso/Ray Gilbert Baía (samba) André Kostelanetz & Orchestra Music Millions Love (CBS) From musical film The Three Caballeros Library of Congress RGA 4125 track 7 1 November 1945 Ary Barroso No Tabuleiro da Baiana (samba) André Kostelanetz & string orchestra The André Kostelanetz Show Library of Congress RXA 9757 B 1946
But it wasnt always the Americans who werent able to gauge the potential success of a given samba. Why the artistic direction at Odeon selected Como Vaes Você? for the A side of No Tabuleiro da Baiana is no clearer than the reason for making Na Baixa do Sapateiro (no. 4 in the 1938 Brazilian charts) the B side of the now obscure Salada Mista.
Also unclear is why Carmen never released Na Baixa do Sapateiro on disc in the United States. It seems that it was left up to Disney (most likely at Aloysio de Oliveiras urging) to claim the distinction of having introduced the tune in this country. That did not happen until early 1945, when The Three Caballeros was released.
Aquarela do Brasil didnt have to wait so long. It was released in the 1942 Disney film Saludos Amigos. But this time someone had beaten Disney to the punch. On 4 September 1941, while Disney was still on his Good Neighbor visit to South America, society pianist Eddy Duchin and his orchestra recorded Aquarela with vocalist Tony Leonard singing in Portuguese (Columbia 36400). How did Duchin discover the song? Simple: he had just returned from Rio de Janeiro, where he performed at the Cassino de Copacabana. Duchins Aquarela recording was quickly followed in December 41 by Xavier Cugat and his Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra, with vocalist La Chata & Chorus (Columbia 36651).So it transpired that even without Disneys help, Aquarela do Brasil quickly became one of those tunes that the orchestras always play.
= = =
Autor: Ary Barroso
Título: No Tabuleiro da Baiana
Intérprete: Carmen Miranda & Luiz Barbosa
Data Gravação: 29.09.1936
Data Lançamento: Nov/1936
Autor: Ary Barroso
Título: Sem Ela; No Tabuleiro da Baiana
Intérprete: Ary Barroso (piano)
Data Gravação: 20.06.1939
Data Lançamento: Jun/1940
Autor: Ary Barroso/Luiz Peixoto; Ary Barroso
Título: Brasil Moreno; No Tabuleiro da Baiana
Intérprete: Trio Surdina
Data Lançamento: Set/1955
Copyright © 20052013 Daniella Thompson. All rights reserved.