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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Zenilton - Meu Pernambuco– from Namoro No Escuro - Tropicana 1973

Zenilton - Meu Pernambuco– from Namoro No Escuro - Tropicana 1973

video
Click on the video above to play the song.

Zenilton is an accordion player and songwriter. Zenilton began recording in 1967 and he’s still keepin' on keepin' on at the ripe old age of 73. Like many forró-cious artists, Zenilton recorded a heap of albums for multiple record labels with scant reissues on CD.

Sometimes one has to hunt for gems on Zenilton LPs. Meu Pernambuco is a great tune dedicated to Zenilton’s home state in Brazil. The budget label Tropicana was a subsidiary of Cantagalo. Although recording budgets for Tropicana were probably more skint than those on CBS or RCA judging by the mixes and sound on many of the albums, some cuts were fantastic, like Meu Pernambuco. Perhaps having access to a budget label allowed many forró artists to record albums that may not have existed otherwise?

Zenilton from the cover of Namoro No Escuro


Friday, November 16, 2012

Ary Lobo – Renda-dá - from Último Pau De Arara - RCA Victor 1958

Ary Lobo – Renda-dá - from Último Pau De Arara - RCA Victor 1958

video
Click on the video above to play the song.

Ary Lobo was one of the earliest forró stars to rise in the wake of Jackson do Pandeiro’s success. Ary left an excellent legacy, but had the shortest life of any of the major forró stars, dying at age 50 in 1980.  Lobo’s records have aged extremely well. Although he was inspired by the sound of Jackson, Ary Lobo definitely had his own style with quality albums and songwriting that rivaled Luiz Gonzaga’s and Jackson’s.  

Ary Lobo was one of a few forró greats lucky enough to have been on RCA.  Why? 5 of Ary Lobo’s rare classic albums were remastered and reissued on CD faithfully with original artwork, but unfortunately, Último Pau De Arara was not part of the RCA CD reissue series.  For that reason, this may be one of the rarer forró slabs that I own.  

Último Pau De Arara was originally released on 10” vinyl and only contained 8 songs.  It lived in that strange late 50’s netherworld between EP and album, before the format finally left the 10 inch 78 rpm size.  Perhaps the master tapes were lost or they simply didn’t have enough extra material outside of those 8 songs to create a suitable release?

Renda-dá (English: Surrender?)(Gadé – Walfrido Silva) is a fantastic song.  It’s shocking that it was recorded in 1958. It sounded 15 years ahead of it’s time.  The entire 8 song album did.

Ary Lobo

Friday, November 9, 2012

Genival Lacerda - Cantarolando - from Mungangueiro Aloprado - Fontana 1971


Genival Lacerda - Cantarolando - from Mungangueiro Aloprado - Fontana 1971

video 
Click on the video above to play the song.

Ary Lobo was 50... died in 1980.   
Abdias was 57... died in 1991.
Jackson do Pandeiro was 62... died in 1982.
Jacinto Silva was 66... died in 2001.
Elino Julião was 69.... died in 2006.
Marinês was 71... died in 2007.  
Luiz Gonzaga lived to the ripe old age of 76... died in 1989.  

It’s shocking that so many of these brilliant characters are long gone.  Their music is so fresh, vital and alive.  In fact, it’s hard to find a single forró star that had a substantial career before 1980 that hasn’t gone on to the big zabumba in the sky. There is, however, a silver lining to this dark cloud, Forró LP Gringos.  

Genival Lacerda
is alive and well!  He is one of the few survivors from the first 3 waves of forró, which lasted from 1940 to 1980.  At 81, Genival Lacerda still performs today and makes television appearances.  Stylistically, Lacerda has changed quite a bit through the years.  Although he always injected humor into his lyrics, he found his niche in 1975 with his hit Severina Xique-Xique.  After that record, he became the king of kinky double entendre forró. The later records may be funnier, but the early records have the musical power.  Perhaps laughter is a Genival’s miracle tonic?

Genival Lacerda is an unashamed disciple of Jackson do Pandeiro, which was stated proudly on the back of 1971’s Mungangueiro Aloprado (English: Nutty Monkeyman?) LP cover.  It’s a killer album.  It’s a monophonic tour de force.  Mungangueiro Aloprado is full of manic energy, maniacal laughter and wild phrasing.  Like other forró artists on Philips, Fontana, Cantagalo, Tropicana or CBS in the 60s or 70s, the part of Genival Lacerda’s back catalog that has been reissued has been relegated to a few meager slapdash compilation CDs.  There is one excellent compilation of his early work called Popularidade, but the artwork is crummy and the liner notes are zilch.  Nothing before 1980 by Genival Lacerda has ever been properly and respectfully reissued on CD with original artwork.  Genival’s early records are tough to find in excellent condition.

Cantarolando (Genival Lacerda – José Pereira), literally means humming in English... but knowing Genival, he is talking about something else entirely...


Genival Lacerda back in the day... image from: http://www.forroemvinil.com/tag/genival-lacerda

Genival Lacerda today....