One of the most important samba composers of 1925-1950, Carlos Cachaça has had his compositions recorded by Cartola (his regular partner), Araci de Almeida, Paulinho da Viola, Leny Andrade, and many others. The first samba composer of the Mangueira Hill, he was also one of the founders of the Bloco dos Arengueiros, who would give birth to the samba school of Mangueira. His father was a railway man, and Cachaça lived in one of the houses destined for employees nearby the line, at the Estação da Mangueira, a strategic location for Cachaça's future incursions in the world of samba. When still a child, Cachaça went to live with his godfather at the Mangueira Hill, and at age ten began to parade in the Cordão Guerreiros da Montanha and other cordões. Around 1920, he started to frequent the pagodes in Mangueira and other hills, like Madureira, where the most important organizer of such parties was the Baiana Tia Esther. As he would only drink cachaça (sugar-cane brandy), he soon became known as Carlos Cachaça; as he was also a poet, he also was nicknamed O Poeta de Mangueira (the Poet of Mangueira). In 1918, he became a pandeiro player in the group led by Mano Elói, one of the pioneers of the recording of pontos de macumba. Around 1922, he became friends with Cartola, with whom he would write many classics. In 1925, he and Cartola formed the Bloco dos Arengueiros, who would be the core of the samba school Estação Primeira de Mangueira. His first samba was "Não me Deixaste Ir ao Samba em Mangueira," written in the early '20s. In 1932, Mangueira won the annual contest with his "Pudesse Meu Ideal" (the first with Cartola), but his first success came in 1936 with "Não Quero Mais Amar a Ninguém" (with Cartola/Zé da Zilda), which also gave him the championship for Mangueira in that year. It was recorded by Araci de Almeida the next year, by Paulinho da Viola in 1973, and by Leny Andrade in her Cartola, among many versions. In 1937, he won a contest promoted by the A Pátria newspaper with "Homenagem," a homage to Mangueira written in 1934 and presented by the samba school in the same year, which is considered the first samba-enredo ever written. In that time, he was already acknowledged as a bamba (samba master) in the samba redoubts of Madureira, Favela, São Carlos, Salgueiro, Tuiuti, and others. In 1939, he won another samba contest by being promoted in the II International Sample Fair. He became vice president of the samba school Estação Primeira de Mangueira, but left the school in 1949, one year after Mangueira paraded to Cachaça's samba-enredo "O Vale do São Francisco" (with Cartola). As is typical among the great samba composers of that period, Cachaça only came to record his first album after many decades of successful songwriting. He recorded the samba "Lacrimário," together with Odete Amaral, Nelson Cavaquinho, Clementina de Jesus, and Cartola, for Odeon in 1972. In 1974, he recorded two other sambas, "Vingança" and "Homenagem," in the Mangueira LP of the series História das Escolas de Samba (Marcus Pereira). In 1976 his first LP was released for Continental in the Ídolos da MPB series (on the same day that he turned 74). In 1980, he released the book Fala, Mangueira, co-written by Marília T. Barboza da Silva and Arthur L. Oliveira Filho.
Share this page