Gracia do Salgueiro's professional debut was at 16 as a singer at Rádio Mayrink Veiga, in Rio de Janeiro. In 1958, he wrote his first song, "Cortina do Meu Lar," recorded by Ademilde Fonseca. In that same year, he was invited into the Ala dos Compositores (Composers' Wing) of the Acadêmicos do Salgueiro samba school, for which he composed his first samba-enredo, while he performed professionally as a singer in TV shows and clubs like the Renascença and the Bola Preta in Rio. In 1974, Beth Carvalho had her first big hit with Gracia's "1800 Colinas," recorded on her LP Pra Seu Governo. The success brought to Carvalho an invitation to a tour in France, where the album was distributed. In the next year, Gracia's "Pandeiro e Viola" was included in and named Carvalho's new album, while Jorginho do Império recorded "Na Beira do Mar." In 1976, Beth Carvalho recorded "Se Você Quiser," and in the next year, on her LP Botequins da Vida, she recorded "Cuidado Com a Minha Viola." In 1978, Janaína recorded "O Tema é o Dinheiro" and, in 2000, Zélia Duncan and Beth Carvalho re-recorded "1800 Colinas" on Casa de Samba, Vol. 4.
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