Adelino Moreira

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Adelino Moreira's father, Comendador Serafim Sofia, emigrated from Portugal to Brazil when Adelino was eight months old. After one year of work as jeweler, Serafim sent tickets to his family join him.…
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Artist Biography by

Adelino Moreira's father, Comendador Serafim Sofia, emigrated from Portugal to Brazil when Adelino was eight months old. After one year of work as jeweler, Serafim sent tickets to his family join him. An amateur poet and musician in his leisure hours, Serafim was the first and most demanding critic of the incipient music and poetry written by Adelino since he was a little child.

In spite of the good money the Comendador was making, Adelino had to abandon his studies before completing high-school to help his father. But Serafim's taste for music and poetry became ingrained in young Adelino from the start, who had great appreciation for Guerra Junqueiro and Eça de Queirós, preferred poets of his father. Adelino would soon learn violão (acoustic guitar), Portuguese guitar and a little theory.

In 1943, Serafim begins to sponsor the radio show Seleções Portuguesas, broadcast by Rádio Clube do Brasil. The show was directed by conductor Carlos Campos, whith whom Adelino was learning Portuguese guitar. It was natural that Adelino appeared in the show, singing fados and some originals. That would give him an excellent opportunity to meet show-biz people, making invaluable contacts. The first result of this was famous singer and at the time artistic director for Continental João de Barro's invitation for recording with them. He'd record six 78 rpm's there, with his compositions, among them the fados "Olhos d'alma," and his Brazilian songs "Mulato artilheiro," "Nem cachopa, nem comida" (with Carlos Campos), along with "Manita" and "Adeus" (both by Carlos Campos and Américo Morais). But all that wasn't enough to provide financial autonomy, and Adelino continued to work as jeweler. In 1947 he established himself independently, and as a result he enjoyed more funding for his musical projects. Next year he'd go to Portugal, where he recorded for Parlophon several Brazilian songs, as interpreter. Together with a presentation at the Teatro Sá de Miranda, the experience would make him to abandon expectancies about becoming a successful singer, but reinforced his belief in his compositional talent. So he returned to his work, and everyday he'd go Downtown Rio, where artists met in the Café Nice. Trying to convince the experienced composers to became his partners, he finally succeeded in getting the acceptance of Zé da Zilda (formerly known as Zé com Fome). Together they made "Jura" and "Quebramar," in 1950. In the following year he was introduced by a friend to one of the most successful singers of Brazil: Nelson Gonçalves. Making Adelino to present his songs right there, over the sidewalk, under the critical examination of professional musicians, Nelson liked of "Última seresta" (with Sebastião Santana), and promised to record it, which he did at May 8th, 1952. Nelson would became Adelino's most faithful interpreter, and would record Adelino's songs for four years with no representative success. In the same year of 1951, Adelino's march "Parafuso" (with Zé da Zildaand Zilda do Zé) was recorded by his partner Zé da Zilda, who had a duo with his wife Zilda do Zé. In 1953, Adelino composed the songs that would be the first big hits of his career: "Meu vício é você," recorded in 1955, and "A volta do boêmio," recorded in 1956. "A volta do boêmio" is an all-times classic, extremely popular until today, and has been making good money for his composer. More importantly, it showed to Adelino the safe path for popularity: the formula was to tell tragic stories of love and treason, separations, and the likes. In this vein, soon would follow "Fica comigo esta noite," "Chora comigo," "Deusa do asfalto," "Meu bairro," "Êxtase," "Escultura," "Queixas." Working in a "just-in-time" scheme of production, wrote music to all successful singers when solicited. That would yield 650 recorded compositions in 20 years. The broad spectrum of singers who had recorded Adelino's compositions range from Ângela Maria to Orlando Silva, with Núbia Lafayette and Carlos Galhardo in between, all of them being responsible for the recording of about half of Adelino's production, with the other half perpetuated in the voice of Nelson Gonçalves. From 1966 to 1971, Nelson's problems with cocaine finally resulted in the rupture of their relationship. During that gap, Adelino, already an experienced businessman, tried to build a new singer with the successful characteristics of Nelson's, Paulo Vinícius, who, nevertheless, never achieved comprehensive results. In 1971, Nelson, already cured from his addiction, became again the faithful interpreter of Adelino's compositions, who would be his impresario until Nelson's demise in 1998. Today, Adelino Moreira is vice-president for SBACEM, a major rights collecting society, in which he is the best paid composer.