Aloysio Oliveira

Biography by

A key figure in the internationalization of Brazilian popular music, Aloysio de Oliveira participated in the whole career of Carmen Miranda abroad, with the Bando da Lua, and also produced several other…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

A key figure in the internationalization of Brazilian popular music, Aloysio de Oliveira participated in the whole career of Carmen Miranda abroad, with the Bando da Lua, and also produced several other Brazilian artists in the U.S. Oliveira had many hits with the Bando da Lua, along with a considerable discography. Oliveira worked for Walt Disney on several of films that were produced under the auspices of the Good Neighbor policy. As a composer, he wrote all-time classics with Tom Jobim like "Dindi," "Inútil Paisagem," and "Só Tinha Que Ser Com Você," along with less-known tunes like "Eu Preciso de Você," "Demais," "De Você Eu Gosto," and "Samba Torto," among others. Ever since he was a child, Oliveira was fascinated by music and used to frequent a neighbor's home where Joubert de Carvalho often played the piano. During that period he also met Sílvio Caldas, who was still a driver for another neighbor. At ten he took up the guitar, learning with Hélio Jordão Pereira. Two years later the brothers Armando Osório, Stênio Osório, and Afonso Osório moved to the neighborhood. The five boys then formed a music group that, once joined by Vadeco, Ivo Astolfi, and the latter's six cousins, became known as Bloco do Bimbo. In 1929, Oliveira became acquainted with Carmen Miranda in Josué de Barros' home in Rio de Janeiro. Following Barros' advice, Oliveira reduced the number of the members of the group to seven, and it became the Bando da Lua which recorded its first album in 1931. In the next year, Oliveira enrolled at the odontology school. He would graduate, but he never exercised dentistry. The group quickly reached success, innovating in its unusually professional organization. In 1935, Oliveira participated in the film Alô, Alô Brasil by Wallace Downey. He would work in other productions by Downey, like Estudantes (1935), Alô, Alô, Carnaval (1936, directed by Adhemar Gonzaga), and Banana da Terra (1938, directed by João de Barro). In 1936, emulating his idol Fred Astaire, Oliveira performed as singer and dancer the show Parada das Maravilhas at the Teatro Municipal (Rio). Accompanying Carmen Miranda at the Cassino da Urca, the Bando da Lua was imposed by the singer as her accompanying group in her U. S. tour begun in 1939. With Miranda's huge success, the group participated in films and Broadway shows. In that period, Oliveira became a member of Walt Disney's production team which was creating films ordered by the American government to promote the Good Neighbor policy (like Saludos Amigos, in which he sang "Aquarela do Brasil" by Ary Barroso, The Three Caballeros, etc.). Acting as a consultant on Brazilian matters, he helped to shape the Zé Carioca character; he was the one who invited Zezinho do Banjo to dub the parrot. In 1948 Oliveira called Zezinho do Banjo, Afonso Osório, Vadeco, Gringo do Pandeiro, and Chico Guerrero for a hugely successful eight-week Miranda season at the Palladium (London). With the end of the first formation of the Bando da Lua in 1944, Oliveira continued to work with Miranda, organizing another lineup under the same denomination to accompany the singer, with former members of the Anjos do Inferno (Aluísio Ferreira, Harry Vasco de Almeida, and Russo do Pandeiro). With the definitive dissolution of the group in 1955 after Miranda's demise, Oliveira returned to Brazil where he became A&R director of the Odeon recording company in the next year. In 1959 he released the historic João Gilberto LP Chega de Saudade through Odeon, considered the initial mark of the bossa nova. Oliveira also was the launcher of Elza Soares, Alaíde Costa, Silvinha Telles, Sérgio Ricardo, and others. In 1961 he produced the shows Skindô (with Odete Lara, Trio Irakitan, Moacir Franco, Silvinha Telles, among others) and Tio Samba (with Trio Marabá, Chocolate, and José Tobias). Oliveira also participated in the Bossa Nova Festival at Carnegie Hall in 1962. In 1963 he formed his own recording company, Elenco (which lasted until 1968, when had its catalog absorbed by PolyGram), which produced important albums with excellent music and launched artists like Edu Lobo, MPB-4, and Quarteto em Cy. In 1968 Oliveira returned to the U. S. where he dedicated himself to producing Brazilian artists through Warner. Returning to Brazil in 1972, he continued to work as a producer for several companies.