Alcyr Pires Vermelho

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Alcyr Pires Vermelho left important compositions penned during the nationalistic period of the '40s until the pre-bossa times of the late '50s. Writer of carnival marches (recorded by Carmen Miranda,…
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Alcyr Pires Vermelho left important compositions penned during the nationalistic period of the '40s until the pre-bossa times of the late '50s. Writer of carnival marches (recorded by Carmen Miranda, Lamartine Babo, Deo, among others), he also had extreme success in the samba-exaltação genre with "Canta Brasil" (with David Nasser), which was recorded by Francisco Alves in 1941, interpreted in the '80s by João Gilberto in a TV special, and recorded by Gal Costa on her album Fantasia. Vermelho also had success with the waltz "Alma de Violinos" (recorded by Morais Neto) and the samba "Laura" (with João de Barro, recorded by Jorge Goulart in 1957), as well as "Dama das Camélias" (with João de Barro), "Onde o Céu é Mais Azul" (another samba-exaltação with João de Barro and Alberto Ribeiro), "Sandália de Prata," and "A Dama de Vermelho" (both with Pedro Caetano), all recorded by Francisco Alves. Several of his songs were penned under the pseudonym A. Romero. Vermelho made his professional start by playing the piano at a cinema in Muriaé. A little later he also became a bank clerk. After moving to Carangola, he formed an orchestra which played dances and balls. In 1929 he moved to Rio, where he met Lamartine Babo four years later. Along with Babo, Vermelho made his first song, the march "Dá Cá o Pé, Loura," which was recorded in the same year by Lamartine at Victor. At that time, Vermelho also started to play the piano at the Rádio Clube do Brasil and nightclubs. His first hit was the samba "Tic-tac do Meu Coração," recorded by Carmen Miranda in 1935 (she would re-record it later in the U. S.). In 1938, Miranda recorded Vermelho's march "Paris" (with Alberto Ribeiro), dedicated to the Brazilian soccer players who were in the World Cup of that year. In the next year he had another success with the march "A Casta Suzana" (with Ary Barroso), recorded by Deo. Two years after the seminal samba-exaltação "Aquarela do Brasil" (Ary Barroso, 1939), Vermelho wrote "Canta Brasil" (with David Nasser), which helped to confirm the genre with its massive popularity, quickly co-opted by the authoritarian government. "Canta Brasil" was recorded by Francisco Alves at Odeon, accompanied by the orchestra of the Rádio Nacional. During the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s, Vermelho continued to play the piano in Carioca nightclubs.