In spite of his expressive popularity, Jorge Fernandes also cultivated a semi-erudite approach based in Brazilian folkloric songs. He had national and international acclaim throughout his career.
He learned piano and violão (acoustic guitar) with his parents. Performed for an audience for the first time in 1925, in Cambuquira MG, at the Hotal Silva. In February of the next year began to work in Rio's Rádio Sociedade. The first album was recorded in 1929, with "A Cabocla do Arraiá" (Pachequinho) and "Amô de Caboclo" (Edite Lacerda/Celeste Gomes Filho), backed by Tute and Luperce Miranda. In January 1931, he gave his first recital accompanied by pianist Arnaldo Estrela. In 1932 recorded with success a song which would became a classic, "Pierrô" (Joubert de Carvalho/Pascoal Carlos Magno). In 1932 recorded several songs for Columbia, like the foxes "O dia em que te conheci"(Aluísio da Silva Araújo) and "Querer bem" (Silvan Castelo Neto), the canções "Dor" (Joubert de Carvalho) and "Pestinha" (Silvan Castelo Neto) and the valse "Eu Tinha Um Beijo Para Sua Boca" (Joubert de Carvalho/Cleomenes Campos). In the same year, he departed for Victor, recording the song "Caboclinho" (Joubert de Carvalho/Olegário Mariano). He was also featured in the musical Broadway Cocktail, with Ary Barroso and Marília Batista. He also regularly performed for the radios Philips and Clube do Brasil. In 1933 he married, moving to São Paulo. He recorded "O Que Eu Queria Dizer Ao Teu Ouvido" (Hekel Tavares/Mendonça Júnior) and "Minha Terra" (Waldemar Henrique). In 1935, he toured Argentina after some excursions to North Brazil. In that country, he performed on the radio and in theaters. Returning to Rio, he was hired by Rádio Tupi and recorded, in the next year, the songs "Querer Bem Não É Pecado" and "Ping d'Água" (both by Osvaldo de Souza) and "Pregões Cariocas" (João de Barro). In 1938, he departed for São Paulo to work for that city's Rádio Tupi and Rádio Cultura. He changed his artistic name to George Fernandes and had his biggest hit in the next year with the folklore song "Meu Limão, Meu Limoeiro," arranged by Maestro Gaó. In 1942, he had another hit with "Rolete de Cana" (Osvaldo Santiago/Dilu Melo). Moving back to Rio, he worked for Rádio Globo and Rádio Nacional. In 1954, he toured some Latin American countries with Waldemar Henrique. In that year, he recorded the Sinter LP Essa Nega Fulô (text by Jorge de Lima, music by him and Waldemar Henrique). In 1958, he released the LP Momentos Românticos, interpreting compositions by his brother Armando Fernandes. In 1959, he toured several European countries and recorded Brazilian songs in that continent, also performing at the television of Portugal and the former U.S.S.R.