Father of the composers Paulinho Tapajós and Maurício Tapajós and of the singer Dorinha Tapajós, Paulo Tapajós was Vinícius de Moraes' partner in the latter's first composition, the fox trot "Loura ou Morena"; the song was recorded in 1928 by Paulo in a duo with his brother Haroldo Tapajós. In the preceding year, Paulo had formed with his brothers Haroldo Tapajós and Osvaldo Tapajós the vocal trio Irmãos Tapajós, which performed at parties, having debuted at the Rádio Sociedade do Rio de Janeiro in 1928. Paulinho Tapajós also wrote with De Moraes the fox-canção "Canção da Noite" and with Dunga the samba "Morreu o Anacleto"; he still developed an intense and highly regarded activity as a researcher of Brazilian popular music and as a director of the historic festivals of the '60s.
Osvaldo left the trio in 1932, and the duo of Paulo and Haroldo recorded several other songs in that decade. In 1942, Haroldo abandoned the artistic scene and Paulo followed as a singer and director/producer of radio shows, hired in that capacity by Rádio Nacional and Rádio Tupi. With Nuno Roland and Albertinho Fortuna, he formed the Trio Melodia and the serenata group Turma do Sereno. In 1966, Tapajós became a member of the executive committee of the I FIC (International Song Festival, TV-Rio, Rio de Janeiro), remaining as its artistic director until 1970. Organizing tapes recorded by Jacob do Bandolim and his own renditions, he launched the LP Os Saraus de Jacob: Jacob do Bandolim Recebe o Modinheiro Paulo Tapajós. In 1988, Tapajós had a compilation of his songs released by the Collector's label.