BRAZILIAN MUSIC IN USA--1967--50 YEARS AGO

Now we are onto the 50th anniversary of the year 1968 (no longer 1967).

I realized (this week, thinking about it) that the watershed/pivotal Rolling Stones song, that marked that band's emergence out of the Psychedelic era -- "Sympathy for the Devil" -- has a Brasilian/Samba-influenced rhythm.

I really liked hearing an earlier take (filmed in the studio by Jean-Luc Godard) with a more sparse arrangement. In that, I believe, Keith Richards plays bass guitar - and it sounds great.

1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, (3) : ||

I see in the Wikipedia article, there is definite mention of the rhythm:

Sympathy for the Devil - Wikipedia

Charlie Watts is quoted:
a jazz Latin feel in the style of Kenny Clarke would have played on "A Night in Tunisia" – not the actual rhythm he played, but the same styling.

And the Jagger quote that follows is really important, too.
 
I also just realized that
"Spooky" by Classics IV (also from the same year) has a hint of a Samba rhythm in its drum beat.
In fact, I never hear any straight-ahead Rock/R&B back-beat at all on "Spooky".

Even on that band's next follow-up hit, "Stormy" -- I hear some hint of a syncopated Latin (hemiola) rhythm on the verses -- though the refrain/chorus has a definite backbeat.

The _Classics IV_ band were good white southern boys (except the sax player, who was black) doing Soul -style music, but maybe with a bit of a hint of a Latin/Brasilian-esque rhythm, at times.
That serves as an example of a broader point about late 1960s music that relates to what I've been discussing in this post -- There is such a cross-pollination and inter-mixing of styles -- all related to Jazz. Brasilians were listening to what was coming out of the U.S. and incorporated Jazz, Soul, and later (in the 1970s) Funk, and Jamaican influences into their Brasilian sound. Jazz players are pretty much expected to be versed in the vocabulary of Funk, Latin rhythms, and even maybe Jamaican beats too. Those can be mixed in various ways. "Tropicália" is an example of this. M.P.B. started to absorb (what was then, contemporary new sounds/styles/feels, such as) American Funk and the "Regee" that was comin' out of the Carribean.

The Wikipedia article on "Spooky" mentions that the famous _Classics IV_ recording is actually a cover of what was originally an instrumental (Soul-Jazz) recording by Mike Sharpe (Shapiro).
Also, in 1979 the Atlanta Rhythm Section did a version and that has no Latin/syncopated Brasilian-like rhythms.
 
I thought of two more examples -- by Donovan (Donovan Philips Leitch):

"Sunshine Superman" -- It just occurred to me, today, that has a Samba (or, Samba-esque, at least) rhythm to it!
I see that it hit the U.S. (American, on this side of the Atlantic) charts in "September 1966" (according to Wikipedia). Well, anyway, that was a popular song in 1967 and is definitely a fit for 1967 Flower Power.


Sunshine Superman - Wikipedia
I mean, try to play a simple Rock back-beat along with that. The backbeat is too laden and stiff and lacks the panache of a syncopated Samba beat. Just off-set the placement of the snare hits by an 8th note, or so.

 
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And ...

On that same album --
Sunshine Superman (album) - Wikipedia


-- is the song "Season of the Witch"

Again, a simple back-beat on the snare would be too "stiff" -feeling for that song, wouldn't you say?

So, Brasilian Samba(-esque) elements and influence appeared in a lot of places that I didn't realise, until now. Most people would label those two songs as being "Rock" music.


"Season of the Witch" was covered by Julie Driscol with Brian Auger (Trinity) in 1967.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I got to thinking, after four straight gold records, why did the record sales of Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 fall so dramatically by 1969? I have three reasons:

(1) The era of Easy Listening/Middle of the Road music represented by composers such as Bacharach, Jobim, Mancini, Sol Lake etc. and interpreted by groups such as Brasil 66, the TJB, and singers such as Sinatra, Bennett, Peggy Lee and Steve and Eydie was coming to a close by 1969-70, due to the dominance of Rock music. How sad that was!

(2) By 1969-70 the singer/songwriter (King, Simon, Taylor, Stevens, Mitchell) became hugely popular. As good as their interpretations were, no one was interested in hearing another cover version of a previous hit by Brasil 66/77.

(3) The popularity of Brazilian music had run its course in the USA. In the past, most of the time Latin music has remained a local thing with with Salsa on the East Coast, Tex/Mex in Texas and Norteno and Banda in California. Only on rare occasions has Latin music crossed over nation-wide. I can think of only three examples.

In the 1950s Mambo and Cha Cha Cha was huge with gold records for Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" and Warren Covington's "Tea for Two Cha Cha Cha."

Between 1970 and 1972, there were nation-wide hits by El Chicano "Viva Tirado", Santana "Oye Como Va" and Malo "Suavacito."

Brazilian/Bossa Nova had the longest musical run lasting through most of the 1960s, but a run it was! It started with a Charlie Byrd tour of Brazil in 1961 sponsored by the JFK State Department. He brought back Bossa Nova to the USA, and with Stan Getz he recorded the "Jazz/Samba" album which went to the top of the 1962 Billboard album charts. Also in 1962 there was Bossa Nova at the White House with the Paul Winter group also back from a State Department tour. Then to close out 1962 there was Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall with the likes of Jobim, Gilberto, Bonfa, Lyra, Mendes. CBS TV featured Bossa Nova as the New Beat on its Eyewitness prime time series. The Bossa Nova excitement was palpable. Philadelphia radio personality Dick Carr told a story of a late night phone call from Tony Bennett in Brazil to Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme imploring them to get with the new Brazilian music and record something right away. The result was Eydie's classic "Blame It On The Bossa Nova" album in 1963 which included four Brazilian compositions. Ruby and the Romantics had a #1 hit with a Bossa Nova rhythm--"Our Day Will Come." Quincy Jones had his "Soul Bossa Nova" recording. Numerous jazz artists such as Cannonball Adderley recorded albums with the Bossa Nova style. Most importantly, there was the 1963 recording of the "Getz/Gilberto" album which included the "Girl From Ipanema" track which later won a Grammy for Record of the Year. By 1966, Walter Wanderley released "Summer Samba" and Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 released "Mas Que Nada" and Bossa Nova for awhile was truly the soundtrack of America. For me these musical memories are eternal.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
lj: I'm with you on all the factual points. Not sure I share the opinion that the switch from standards to rock was necessarily sad. All things run their course. Standards and Bossa Nova had (as you point out) lengthy and quite successful runs...as did rock.
 

KentTeffeteller

Well-Known Member
Some other commentary here. With Brazilian music, there is also a lot of subtle micro-dynamics going on. A lot of gentle sophistication and swing in there. Also, on modern music, Rap and Beats took over when the USA public education system sharply cut or outright eliminated music education and arts education in the name of test scores at all costs. This meant fewer new musicians exposed to a variety of musical influences, and listening and music appreciation skills have never been the same for succeeding generations ever since. Used to be in older days, rock music had some interesting and often sophisticated influences going on.
 

Cannon

Member
I think the group Manassas featuring Stephen Stills had strong Brazilian influence as do more recent groups Matt Bianco and Basia.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I got to thinking, after four straight gold records, why did the record sales of Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 fall so dramatically by 1969? I have three reasons:

(1) The era of Easy Listening/Middle of the Road music represented by composers such as Bacharach, Jobim, Mancini, Sol Lake etc. and interpreted by groups such as Brasil 66, the TJB, and singers such as Sinatra, Bennett, Peggy Lee and Steve and Eydie was coming to a close by 1969-70, due to the dominance of Rock music. How sad that was!

(2) By 1969-70 the singer/songwriter (King, Simon, Taylor, Stevens, Mitchell) became hugely popular. As good as their interpretations were, no one was interested in hearing another cover version of a previous hit by Brasil 66/77.

(3) The popularity of Brazilian music had run its course in the USA. In the past, most of the time Latin music has remained a local thing with with Salsa on the East Coast, Tex/Mex in Texas and Norteno and Banda in California. Only on rare occasions has Latin music crossed over nation-wide. I can think of only three examples.

In the 1950s Mambo and Cha Cha Cha was huge with gold records for Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" and Warren Covington's "Tea for Two Cha Cha Cha."

Between 1970 and 1972, there were nation-wide hits by El Chicano "Viva Tirado", Santana "Oye Como Va" and Malo "Suavacito."

Brazilian/Bossa Nova had the longest musical run lasting through most of the 1960s, but a run it was! It started with a Charlie Byrd tour of Brazil in 1961 sponsored by the JFK State Department. He brought back Bossa Nova to the USA, and with Stan Getz he recorded the "Jazz/Samba" album which went to the top of the 1962 Billboard album charts. Also in 1962 there was Bossa Nova at the White House with the Paul Winter group also back from a State Department tour. Then to close out 1962 there was Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall with the likes of Jobim, Gilberto, Bonfa, Lyra, Mendes. CBS TV featured Bossa Nova as the New Beat on its Eyewitness prime time series. The Bossa Nova excitement was palpable. Philadelphia radio personality Dick Carr told a story of a late night phone call from Tony Bennett in Brazil to Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme imploring them to get with the new Brazilian music and record something right away. The result was Eydie's classic "Blame It On The Bossa Nova" album in 1963 which included four Brazilian compositions. Ruby and the Romantics had a #1 hit with a Bossa Nova rhythm--"Our Day Will Come." Quincy Jones had his "Soul Bossa Nova" recording. Numerous jazz artists such as Cannonball Adderley recorded albums with the Bossa Nova style. Most importantly, there was the 1963 recording of the "Getz/Gilberto" album which included the "Girl From Ipanema" track which later won a Grammy for Record of the Year. By 1966, Walter Wanderley released "Summer Samba" and Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 released "Mas Que Nada" and Bossa Nova for awhile was truly the soundtrack of America. For me these musical memories are eternal.
Even though the sales were falling for Brasil'66 albums, they were still making a lot of rounds for television shows. I remember them on a number of shows between 1969 and 1971.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Even though the sales were falling for Brasil'66 albums, they were still making a lot of rounds for television shows. I remember them on a number of shows between 1969 and 1971.
Variety shows in that era were in a weird spot—-middle America wasn’t yet ready for nothing but rock and roll acts—-so Middle-of-the-Road artists with declining record sales were still frequent guests.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Variety shows in that era were in a weird spot—-middle America wasn’t yet ready for nothing but rock and roll acts—-so Middle-of-the-Road artists with declining record sales were still frequent guests.
The last one that I can remember was a special Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme with Brasil'77 as the guest.
I am not sure what show was the last Brasil'66 show appearance but I saw one with Gracinha and Chelsea Morning was the featured song.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
The three most important variety show mainstays in the 1969-71 period referenced by rockdoctor were the Ed Sullivan Show, the Kraft Music Hall and the Hollywood Palace and they all featured MOR performers such as Brasil 66. Also in the same time period the Carol Burnett Show, and briefly the Don Knotts Show and TIm Conway Show featured MOR performers. However, by the 1971-72 TV season all the above TV shows were cancelled except for the Carol Burnett Show. The top MOR artists survived, in many cases quite well, performing live in the Vegas, Tahoe, and Reno night club circuit through the 1970s and beyond. On television post 1971 they were infrequently seen on TV save the Carol Burnett Show and the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, which always featured MOR talent throughout his tenure until his retirement in 1992.

What kept Sergio Mendes going financially when his records weren't selling--which was most of the time after 1969-- was his constant concert touring where he always drew large and appreciative crowds here and overseas.

I remember quite well the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme NBC TV special from Caesar's Palace Las Vegas in the Fall of 1973. Sergio Mendes & Brasil 77 performed "Where Is the Love" and with Eydie "Sabor a Mi". The show was top notch, as you would expect from true professionals like Steve and Eydie. Lucille Ball was the special guest.

Gracinha and Brasil 66 performed "Chelsea Morning" on November 1, 1970 on the Tim Conway Show. My first reaction was where is Lani? With hindsight we now know that Lani was slowly being eased out as lead singer due to her upcoming retirement from Brasil 66 at the end of 1970. The reason I remember the November 1st date so well is because I, as a 21 year old, had just returned from visiting Las Vegas the previous three days where I saw no less Steve & Eydie at the Sands Hotel. And also in the Stardust Hotel lounge I saw the incredibly talented Geri Stevens, who would join Brasil 77 in 1972. A truly amazing and memorable weekend!
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
There were two additional TV variety series that featured MOR performers in the late 1960s-early 1970s. They were the Andy Williams Show--cancelled after the 1970-71 season, and the Dean Martin Show, which lasted a bit longer through the 1973-74 season. Dino's celebrity roast series in following years had no musical artists perform.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
There were two additional TV variety series that featured MOR performers in the late 1960s-early 1970s. They were the Andy Williams Show--cancelled after the 1970-71 season, and the Dean Martin Show, which lasted a bit longer through the 1973-74 season. Dino's celebrity roast series in following years had no musical artists perform.
Andy Williams actually was among the first to book more contemporary acts.

Mike Post was musical director for the final three seasons, and as a result, Andy had Ike & Tina Turner, Sly & The Family Stone, Simon and Garfunkel, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Linda Ronstadt, The Rascals, Little Richard, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Elton John, The Jackson 5, The Grass Roots, Aretha Franklin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bee Gees and The Beach Boys.

And Andy not only had them on, he frequently performed with them, showing enormous respect for the artists, in a way a lot of the variety hosts of his generation didn't:


 
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lj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
About the only variety show Sergio and Brasil 66/77 did not appear on in the late 60s early 70s was the Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan demanded that all musical guests perform live. However, Sergio and Company always performed to the studio prerecorded album version on the other variety shows. And that should explain why Mendes never was on Sullivan's show. My guess is that that Mendes felt that a live version would be inferior to his studio version. Interestingly, Mendes was on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963 with the Bossa Tress jazz group, which followed the historic 1962 Carnegie Hall concert. Brasil 77 were guests on the aforementioned Steve & Eydie 1973 Las Vegas special, and the group did perform live playing backup to Eydie Gorme on "Sabor A Mi."

I thought of two more variety shows on the air between 1969-71 that featured MOR guests. They were the Jackie Gleason Show and the Red Skelton Show, both of which were off the air in 1970.
 
I do not believe it is correct that Sullivan insisted that all musical guests perform live. For example, look at this clip of the Four Seasons. It is clearly not live. The organ and guitars aren't even plugged in. There are no mics on the musicians.



About the only variety show Sergio and Brasil 66/77 did not appear on in the late 60s early 70s was the Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan demanded that all musical guests perform live. However, Sergio and Company always performed to the studio prerecorded album version on the other variety shows. And that should explain why Mendes never was on Sullivan's show.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I do not believe it is correct that Sullivan insisted that all musical guests perform live. For example, look at this clip of the Four Seasons. It is clearly not live. The organ and guitars aren't even plugged in. There are no mics on the musicians.

You are correct, the Four Seasons are not playing their instruments. However, the vocals appear to be live, as they are not exactly the same as heard on the studio recording. The mics in the Sullivan theater for the vocalists are probably hanging from above out of sight. You will in the background hear a live orchestra, especially the brass at the end of the song.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Correction: I earlier wrote that Sergio was on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963 with Bossa Tres. It was piano leader Luis Carlos Vinhas of the group Bossa Tres who appeared on the Sullivan Show, February 3, 1963, not Sergio. Sergio's group from the early 60s had a similar name but was called Bossa Rio.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
The three most important variety show mainstays in the 1969-71 period referenced by rockdoctor were the Ed Sullivan Show, the Kraft Music Hall and the Hollywood Palace and they all featured MOR performers such as Brasil 66. Also in the same time period the Carol Burnett Show, and briefly the Don Knotts Show and TIm Conway Show featured MOR performers. However, by the 1971-72 TV season all the above TV shows were cancelled except for the Carol Burnett Show. The top MOR artists survived, in many cases quite well, performing live in the Vegas, Tahoe, and Reno night club circuit through the 1970s and beyond. On television post 1971 they were infrequently seen on TV save the Carol Burnett Show and the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, which always featured MOR talent throughout his tenure until his retirement in 1992.

What kept Sergio Mendes going financially when his records weren't selling--which was most of the time after 1969-- was his constant concert touring where he always drew large and appreciative crowds here and overseas.

I remember quite well the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme NBC TV special from Caesar's Palace Las Vegas in the Fall of 1973. Sergio Mendes & Brasil 77 performed "Where Is the Love" and with Eydie "Sabor a Mi". The show was top notch, as you would expect from true professionals like Steve and Eydie. Lucille Ball was the special guest.

Gracinha and Brasil 66 performed "Chelsea Morning" on November 1, 1970 on the Tim Conway Show. My first reaction was where is Lani? With hindsight we now know that Lani was slowly being eased out as lead singer due to her upcoming retirement from Brasil 66 at the end of 1970. The reason I remember the November 1st date so well is because I, as a 21 year old, had just returned from visiting Las Vegas the previous three days where I saw no less Steve & Eydie at the Sands Hotel. And also in the Stardust Hotel lounge I saw the incredibly talented Geri Stevens, who would join Brasil 77 in 1972. A truly amazing and memorable weekend!
I also remember a performance of Lost in Paradise on a show and that was either just before or just after the Chelsea Morning. Lani Hall had gone soloby this time.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I also remember a performance of Lost in Paradise on a show and that was either just before or just after the Chelsea Morning. Lani Hall had gone soloby this time.
I saw Gracinha sing "Lost in Paradise" with Brasil 66 as seen on the Pearl Bailey Show which aired on Jan. 30, 1971. As is the custom, the show was probably taped months earlier in 1970 for a later TV air date.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I saw Gracinha sing "Lost in Paradise" with Brasil 66 as seen on the Pearl Bailey Show which aired on Jan. 30, 1971. As is the custom, the show was probably taped months earlier in 1970 for a later TV air date.
That is probably the show that I saw as Pearl Bailey was popular in my house when I was growing up.
 
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