Jorge Veiga departed from a life of misery as a shoe-shiner and doer of small jobs to a highly successful career as a samba singer. His specialty were humorous Carnival sambas and sambas-de-breque in which the figure of the malandro (street smart) was frequently central. Veiga started his artistic life in 1934, singing in circuses throughout Rio's working-class suburbs. After a while he was given an opportunity to perform in the Rádio Educadora. Singing and acting, he toured the North in a theater company. In 1943, he was already regularly popular when he met Araci de Almeida, who introduced him to the artistic director of Rádio Tamoio (Fernando Lobo). Hired to sing in that outing, he soon would move to Rádio Tupi, already for an appreciable salary. It was when he started to sing not only "mid-year sambas" (sambas-canção, more romantic by definition) but also Carnival sambas that he finally had broad popular success. His first record was his first hit, "Iracema" (Raul Marques/Otolino Lopes), 1944. In the next year had a big smash with "Rosalinda" (Wilson Batista/Haroldo Lobo). In 1946 he repeated the dose with "Vou Sambar em Madureira" (Haroldo Lobo/Milton de Oliveira; these were the same composers of his great hit of 1947, "Eu Quero é Rosetar"). In the Carnival of 1954, he had a hit with "História da Maçã" (Haroldo Lobo/Milton de Oliveira/Claudionor Santos) and won the Carnival contest with "Não Posso Mais" (idem). In the same year had one of his biggest ones with "Estatutos da Gafieira" (Billy Blanco). In 1964 he had another success with "Bigorrilho" (Paquito/Romeu Gentil/Sebastião Gomes), and, in the next year, with "Bigu" (idem). He would have several other hits, like "Café Soçaite" (Miguel Gustavo). In 1972, he won the VI Festival of Carnival Songs in 1972 at the Maracanãzinho (Rio) with the samba "Mágoa" (Ataylor de Souza/Paulo Filho).
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