One of the best poets of Musica Popular Brasileira, Paulo César Pinheiro wrote over 1,500 songs with more than 100 different partners. Over 700 of his songs have been recorded and re-recorded, adding up to 900 discographical registers by over 120 interpreters, in almost 300 different records. Not being a musician, Pinheiro nevertheless wrote complete songs with music and lyrics, such as "Alento" (recorded by Paulinho da Viola), "Samba da Ilusão" (recorded by Cristina Buarque), "Meu Castigo," "Ninguém," and "Rolou" (recorded by Clara Nunes), among others.
Pinheiro is the poet of loneliness, of eternal passion and of failed love affairs; in his poetry, samba and death meet each other. From the generation of the '60s, he started to write poetry at 13 and, in 1964, he wrote the classic "Viagem" with João de Aquino, which was his first song. In 1965, Pinheiro started a prolific partnership with Baden Powell, with "Lapinha" (which won the I Bienal do Samba festival of TV Record, in 1968, having been recorded in this same year by Elis Regina). Through Powell, he met (and composed with) Pixinguinha, Radamés Gnattali, Alcyr Pires Vermelho, Mirabeau, and Ribamar.
"A Grande Ausente" (written with Francis Hime) was presented by Taiguara at the III Festival da Música Popular Brasileira (Festival of Brazilian Popular Music, TV Record, 1968) and got sixth place. Pinheiro also had his "Anunciação" (written with Francis Hime) interpreted in that year by MPB-4 at the III Festival Internacional da Canção (International Song Festival, TV Globo). In 1970, he had a short season in Paris, France, with Baden Powell. Returning to Brazil, he participated in the soundtrack of the film A Vingança dos Doze (Marcos Farias), having also had 12 of his songs included in the soundtrack of the TV Globo soap opera O Semideus. In the same year, Elis Regina recorded his "Samba do Perdão," "Quaquaraquaquá," and "Aviso Aos Navegantes" (all written with Powell), while Elizeth Cardoso recorded "Refém da Solidão" (also written with Powell). In 1971, Pinheiro won the IV Festival Universitário da Música Popular (University Festival of Popular Music, TV Tupi) with "E Lá Se Vão Meus Anéis" (written with Eduardo Gudin), interpreted by the Os Originais do Samba; and "Diálogo" (written with Baden Powell) won a festival in Spain in the next year. In 1973, he participated in the soundtrack of the film Tati, a Garota (Bruno Barreto), and had his "Agora é Portela 74" (written with Maurício Tapajós) recorded by MPB-4.
The first LP recorded by Pinheiro as the interpreter of his own compositions was Paulo César Pinheiro, which had "Maior é Deus" (written with Eduardo Gudin), "Viagem" (written with João de Aquino), "Cicatrizes" (written with Miltinho), and others. In 1975-1976, he participated, with Márcia and Eduardo Gudin, in the historic show O Importante É Que A Nossa Emoção Sobreviva, which was recorded live and released as a LP. In 1978, Pinheiro wrote the soundtrack to the film A Batalha dos Guararapes (Paulo Thiago) and participated in the soundtrack of the highly popular TV Globo children's series Sítio do Pica-Pau Amarelo with "Pedrinho e Jabuticaba" (written with Dori Caymmi); having also written, with Edu Lobo, songs for the other children's TV show Rá-Tim-Bum (TV Cultura). In the '80s, Pinheiro recorded other LPs as an interpreter, having also released another poetry book (after Canto Brasileiro, 1976). In 1994, he had nationwide visibility with the praised live recorded show with João Nogueira, Parcerias. Two years later, another success: this time with the show Tudo o Que Mais Nos Uniu, with Márcia and Eduardo Gudin, a commemoration of the 20 years of the first spectacle performed by the trio.