Having as its main course a repertory of Northeastern and folk songs, the Trio Nagô had its biggest hits with the baião "Mulatinha Sarará" (Walter Tourinho/Isaías Ferreira) and the toada "Aquarela Cearense" (Valdemar Ressurreição); the latter being re-recorded by the trio in 1954 as a samba, again with much success. The Nagô also had success with sambas by Vadico, João de Barro, Marino Pinto, and Alcir Pires Vermelho.
The vocal/instrumental Trio Nagô was formed in Fortaleza, Ceará, in 1950, by Evaldo Gouveia (guitar), Mário Alves (guitar), and Epaminondas de Sousa (atabaque), and its first job was at the Rádio Clube do Ceará (still as Trio Iracema). Having worked at several Northeastern radio stations, the trio represented the Ceará state in the commemorations of the TV Tupi anniversary in São Paulo; the city where they remained for a month, leaving for a season at Rádio Farroupilha (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul). After the expiration of their contract with the Rádio Clube do Ceará, the trio returned to Rio where they signed with Rádio Jornal do Brasil, recording their first 78 rpm in 1953, with the rasqueado "Moça Bonita" (Gilvan Chaves/Alcir Pires Vermelho) and the maracatu "Paisagem Sertaneja" (Hortênsio Aguiar). Between 1952 and 1957, the trio had its own weekly show at TV Record (São Paulo). Still in 1953, they were hired by Rádio Tupi (Rio de Janeiro). In 1956, the group toured Europe. Six years later, Mário Alves left the group, which two months later was joined by Manuel Batista.