Pedro Caetano composed with major names of MPB (Brazilian popular music), such as the influential sete cordas (seven-string guitar player) Claudionor Cruz, Pixinguinha, Noel Rosa, and Alcir Pires Vermelho. Being deeply associated with the artistic scenery for more than 40 years, he wrote more than 400 compositions, but never gave up a daily gig at his shoe shop. He started to take piano lessons when he was very young. His first composition was written when he was 22: "Foi Uma Pedra que Rolou." He had the honor of having it presented by acclaimed singer Sílvio Caldas at the Programa Casé show in 1934. It would be recorded in 1940 by the duo Joel e Gaúcho. Caldas, who had promised to record it "next Wednesday," would only record it 20 years later in 1954. With Claudionor Cruz, an experienced and celebrated musician from the north side of Rio, the working-class entrenchment of true Carioca tradition, Caetano initiated a fertile association. His first hit was with the valse "Caprichos do destino" (Cruz/Caetano), recorded by the great singer Orlando Silva in 1938. "Sandália de Prata" (with Alcir Pires Vermelho), very popular tune even today and frequently re-recorded, would be another hit in 1942 in the voice of Francisco Alves. It was intended to be a choro promised to the Queen of Choro, Ademilde Fonseca. Caetano and Vermelho were at the rehearsal studio of Rádio Nacional writing the song when in came Francisco Alves, who was considered the King of Carnaval. Listening to the lyrics, he said they had excellent material for a big Carnaval hit that would be wasted in a choro. They followed Alves' judicious advice, changing the music and giving it to Alves to record. In that same year, he had another success with the choro "Botões de Laranjeira," composed with Ciro Monteiro, in Ciro's own rendition. This would open the series of great interpretations of Caetano's works by Ciro. "Eu Brinco -- Com Pandeiro ou Sem Pandeiro" (Cruz/Caetano), recorded by Francisco Alves, was the big hit of the Carnaval of 1944. In 1946, Ciro recorded "O que se Leva Desta Vida" (Victor), accompanied by Benedito Lacerda's regional with clarinetist K-Ximbinho. The Carnaval of 1947 also brought him another hit, "Onde Estão os Tamborins?"; recorded by Quatro Ases e Um Curinga, he invoked the missed genius of Cartola, who was at that time abandoned and ill. This was the first hit of the Quatro Ases e Um Curinga, until then a northeastern group that had never recorded Carnaval music. Success continued at the next year's Carnaval with the samba "É Com Esse que eu Vou" (which is still recorded today), recorded through Victor by the same Quatro Ases e Um Curinga. In 1961, his "Dessa Vez Vamos" (satirizing candidate for the presidency of the republic Adhemar de Barros) also had a good repercussion at the Carnaval. Similarly, in 1965 he would make fun of the director of transit the department of Rio with the march "Todo Mundo Enche" (with Alexandre Dias Filho). In 1968, his march "Jambete Sensação" (Cruz/Caetano) had a good rating at Rio's mayoralty Carnaval contest. His only LP as an interpreter of his own compositions was recorded through RCA Victor when he was 64. He told his musical memories in the book Meio Século de Música Popular Brasileira -- O que Fiz, o que Vi (Editora Vila Doméstica, Rio de Janeiro RJ, 1984).
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