Nássara

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One of the major composers of Carnaval hits during the decade between 1930 and 1940, Nássara coined a distinguishable style through parodies of famous compositions (for instance, in "Nós Queremos Uma…
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One of the major composers of Carnaval hits during the decade between 1930 and 1940, Nássara coined a distinguishable style through parodies of famous compositions (for instance, in "Nós Queremos Uma Valsa," he quoted the "Valsa dos Patinadores," by Emil Waldteufel). Some of his biggest hits were "Alalaô," "Balzaqueana," "Sereia de Copacabana," and "Periquitinho Verde." His prolific production was recorded by many of the most important artists of his time, such as Francisco Alves, Carmen Miranda, Almirante, Mário Reis, Sílvio Caldas, Dircinha Batista, Linda Batista, Orlando Silva, and many others. Nássara was also the writer of the first Brazilian jingle.

Since very young, Nássara evidenced talents for drawing, caricature, and music. He worked at several newspapers after 1927, when he started in the O Globo. In the same period, he formed an amateur group with Luís Barbosa, J. Rui, Barata Ribeiro, Jacy Rosa, and Mário Henrique Xavier, in which he played the pandeiro. His first song, "Saldo a Meu Favor," was written in 1930, having had his "Para o Samba Entrar no Céu" (with Almirante/J. Rui) recorded the next year by Almirante. Nássara debuted on radio in 1932 as a speaker on the highly popular Programa Casé at Rádio Phillips. Soon, he would become the composer of the first Brazilian jingle, a fado for the Bragança bakery, presented on that show. With his success, Nássara had his own show at the same outing, Talismã. In 1932, when he worked at the Mundo Sportivo daily, Nássara participated in the organization of the first samba school contest, sponsored by the newspaper. Also in that year, he had his first hit, "Formosa" (with J. Rui), presented by Luís Barbosa at the Coisas Nossas show at the Rádio Clube do Brasil. In 1933, "Formosa" was recorded by Francisco Alves and Mário Reis, and became one of the biggest hits of that year's Carnaval. In 1934, Alves recorded his marchinha "Tipo Sete" (with Alberto Ribeiro), which won the Carnaval contest that year. In the same year, he also had success with the marcha "Maria Rosa," also recorded by Alves. Also in 1934, Nássara wrote with Noel Rosa the marcha "Retiro da Saudade," recorded by Alves and Carmen Miranda in duo, and by Diabos do Céu. Quoting a famous opera in a parodistic way for the first time, Nássara wrote "Coração Ingrato" in 1935 (with Erastóstenes Frazão), winning the Carnaval contest that year and launching a new fashion that was largely influential. In 1936, he had success with the marcha "Amei" (with Frazão), recorded by Alves. Two years later, he had another hit with the marchinha "Periquitinho Verde" (with Sá Róris), recorded by Dircinha Batista. In 1939, he wrote the marchinha "Florisbela" (with Erastóstenes Frazão), which won the Carnaval contest and was recorded by Sílvio Caldas. In the same year, Orlando Silva had success with the samba "Meu Consolo É Você" (with Roberto Martins). In 1941, he had one of his biggest hits, the marcha "Alalaô" (with Haroldo Lobo), recorded by Carlos Galhardo. Pixinguinha could be considered a co-author of that song, due to his contribution in changing the melody and to his famous arrangement that modulates out of and back to the original key. In the same year, Carlos Galhardo recorded "Nós Queremos Uma Valsa" (with Frazão), surprising the audience with a valse for the Carnaval. The song became the official one for that year's Carnaval. In the late '40s, Nássara started a series of collaborations with Wilson Batista, starting with "Balzaqueana," that was successfully recorded in 1950 by Jorge Goulart. Named after Honoré de Balzac for his novel about the 30-year-old woman, the song had a French version by radioman Michel Simon, launched in France during the commemorations of the centennial of the writer. In 1951, the duo had another hit with "Sereia de Copacabana," and in the next year with "Mundo de Zinco," both recorded by Jorge Goulart. In 1952, Nássara wrote the samba "Chico Viola," recorded by Linda Batista as a tribute to Alves, who had tragically died that year. In the late '50s, Nássara gradually abandoned the Carnaval due to his criticism against the commercialization of the party. He would only write another song in 1968, "O Craque do Tamborim" (with Luís Reis).