Friday, July 04, 2008

Garoto Then - And Now.

On the 29th of June Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha) would have turned 93 years of age, but sadly he only reached 39 years - a heart attack caused his premature death at the 3rd of May 1955. I read a small notice about the uncertainty of the exact date of his birth at Sovaco de Cobra. Thanks to the research of Garoto's diaries, however, it can now be settled that his date of birth was on 29th June 1915. The access to Garoto's diaries has revealed a lot of new information about the career of Garoto, documented through the excellent series of articles at Sovaco de Cobra written by Zé Carlos Cipriano and largely based on the research by Jorge Mello,'O cancioneiro de Garoto'. The first entry was launched in August last year and the series of articles have continued with (almost) weekly contributions up till now. The articles are in Portuguese, but will be available in English later - an overview of the series can be reached clicking here

After reading the mentioned small notice I reflected a little on the idea of researching info about Garoto's tour of the US in 1939-40 with Carmen Miranda and her Banda do Lua, but I haven't found detailed reports and other sources accessible at the web or elsewhere, yet. I should therefore like to encourage readers of this blog to supply material that can put some spotlight on this important chapter of the career of Garoto. If you have access to pictures, reviews and articles regarding Garoto's stay in the US 1939-40, we would love to post it at this blog. If some of you have made research already, you are invited to be a guest contributior. Your contribution will be giving you all credits, of course. Please contact us at

We know that Garoto participated in recordings with Carmen Miranda while in the US, half a dozen 78 rpms were recorded and are quite easily found on several current Carmen Miranda compilation cds. We also know that Carmen Miranda starred in her first Hollywood movie, 'Down Argentine Way', in 1940. The Banda do Lua and Garoto accompanied her in scenes of the film. I found a sequence from the mentioned 'Down Argentine Way' with Miranda singing her trademark tune 'Mamae Eu Quero' backed by Banda do Lua. In the background of the scene a guitarist is visible throughout the scene. I wonder, if this character could be Garoto?

YouTube has several uploaded videos featuring Carmen Miranda with scenes from her Hollywood produced films, unfortunately the accompanying info is scarce in many instances thus making it hard to point out which of her films the scenes are from. Anyway, I found another fragment, probably from 'A Night In Rio', where Miranda sings 'Cae Cae', again backed by her Banda do Lua that is seen in the background of the scene. The sound track pointed me to reflect that it may be Garoto playing the lead on violão tenor, but I'm not shure, as Aloysio de Oliveira also played this instrument with Carmen Miranda. Anyway, here is the scene, so judge for yourself

Since the release of the historical recordings by Garoto from the archives of Ronoel Simões a couple of years ago, there has been a growing interest in the music of Garoto around the world. Guitarist of course have for a long time been aware of Garoto's importance in Brazilian music, mainly due to the excellent research and recordings of his guitar works by Paulo Bellinati, issued in two volumes of sheet music and on a cd early 1990s, still available. I like to end this small contribution inserting a couple of examples of the contemporary conception of Garoto's music. - Here is an excellent performance of Garoto's "Jorge do fusa"

From the same performance, here is a rendition of Garoto's "Duas contas"



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