The duo Alvarenga e Ranchinho was a most popular one in Brazil. Adopting the caipira (hillbilly) image, they specialized in political and customs satire through music and jokes. The duo's career spanned from 1933 to Alvarenga's demise in 1978. One of their biggest hits was "História de Uma Caveira," recorded in 1940. "Ê... São Paulo," taken almost as an anthem by old-time paulistanos, was recorded in 1944. In 1950, the duo performed in the Cassino Estoril (Lisbon, Portugal) for one month. Their recording of the march "Cordão Japonês" had success two years later. The duo participated in over 30 films in its career.
According to Ranchinho, the duo was formed in May 1933 in a circus at the city of Santos (São Paulo). By and by they became more popular in upcountry circuses and radio outings. But their big break came when they, invited by Capitão Furtado, appeared in the film Fazendo Fita (by Vitorio Capellaro, 1935). In the same year, the duo's carnival marchinha "Sai, Feia" won São Paulo's annual contest and was recorded by Raul Torres. Moving to Rio de Janeiro, they worked on the melody of Furtado's "Itália e Abissínia" and were included in the song's authorship and recording in 1936 (with "Liga das Nações," also by the three of them). Also in that year they opened at the Casa de Caboclo (Rio de Janeiro), were hired by Rádio Tupi, where the trio was given a show of their own, A Trinca do Bom Humor, and performed in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the next year, the duo was hired by the most prestigious Cassino da Urca, where they performed until, ten years later (1946), gambling was forbidden in Brazil by presidential decree. It was there that the duo specialized in political satire. In 1938, their marchinha "Seu Condutor" (with Herivelto Martins) became one of the biggest hits of the Carnival of 1938. The lundu "História de um Soldado," which had been recorded in 1907 by Eduardo das Neves, received new stanzas by Alvarenga and was re-recorded as "O Soldado que Perdeu a Parada." That was one of the duo's satires directed against President Getúlio Vargas' government. Because of those satires, the duo was arrested four times (for short periods, usually just for the night). In 1939, Vargas' daughter Alzirinha Vargas invited them to his father's birthday (April 19th) in the presidential palace (Palácio do Catete). Getúlio, as a populist leader, understood the importance of those jokes for his own image, as they reinforced his popularity and proposed a light and humored take on his government, which had periods of harsh dictatorship. That night, he had them perform all of those songs and jokes that had him as subject and had much fun at it. In the end of the night, he gave full permission for the duo to make whatever jokes about himself or his government they wanted. Other politicians, as the then mayor of the city of São Paulo Adhemar de Barros, even asked them to do the same about themselves. But they also had problems with Presidents Dutra and Jânio Quadros.
Ranchinho, a Bohemian character, used to disappear, leaving Alvarenga alone with their professional commitments. Because of that, Alvarenga used two other Ranchinhos to go on with the duo. For two months Alvarenga performed with his brother Delamare de Abreu, and in 1965, he worked with Homero de Souza Campos. The partnership between Alvarenga and Campos lasted for 13 years, until his own demise.