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Monday, 11 May 2015

Carlos Lyra born 11 May 1939

Carlos Lyra is a Brazilian singer and composer  of numerous bossa nova and Música Popular Brasileira classics. He was born Carlos Eduardo Lyra Barbosa on May 11, 1939. A predecessor of the bossa nova movement, along with Roberto Menescal, Ronaldo Bôscoli, Edu Lobo and Nara Leão, Lyra would play the guitar and sing at parties and friends’ houses up till 1954, when he started playing his own compositions in festivals and contests.  
His career only took off in 1959, though, when João Gilberto released the LP "Chega de Saudade", which featured three of his songs: "Maria Ninguém", "Lobo Bobo" and "Saudade Fez um Samba", the last two co-written with Bôscoli. That same year, he recorded his first solo album via Phillips. He made other records in the 60s and wrote music scores for movies and plays, including Vinícius de Moraes’ "Pobre Menina Rica", which would later be turned into an LP that featured the hits "Minha Namorada" and "Primavera".

              Here's "Maria Ninguem" from above 1959 album.
He played the Carnegie Hall Bossa Nova Festival in 1962. Lyra showed irony toward the foreign descendent of bossa nova with "Influência do Jazz" ("The Influence of Jazz"). Through popular culture centers and student’s organizations, he promoted meetings between bossa nova (mostly middle class) and samba (mostly the black and the poor) musicians, writing "Samba da Legalidade" with samba composer Zé Keti.
Lyra was also one of the
first MPB stars to use his music to openly criticize the military dictatorship that took power in 1964. Like many artists, Lyra spent several years in exile outside of Brazil after the dictatorship became particularly oppressive. That same year he recorded the The Sound of Ipanema with Paul Winter (released in '65) and appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival with Stan Getz.
He toured with Getz in 1965 and '66, and decided to relocate to Mexico, where he lived for five years making music for films and plays and writing jingles. While there, he married the American actress-model Katherine Lee Riddell (now Kate Lyra); their daughter Kay is now a singer.
Lyra returned to Brazil in 1971 and released an album with Chico Buarque. Three years later he left for another season abroad, this time in Los Angeles, where he studied Astrology, eventually issuing a book on the subject. During the 80s and 90s, he continued writing music scores and performing in Europe and Asia with other bossa nova stars.
Lyra's most famous compositions include "Coisa Mais Linda", "Você e Eu", "Maria Ninguém" (once claimed by Jacqueline Kennedy to be her favorite song), and "Influência do Jazz". Referring to Tom Jobim's song, Samba do Avião (Song of the Jet), where it says "My soul sings / I see Rio de Janeiro", he said that his soul only sings when he gets into the South Zone of the city - region where lies all the Rio's famous beaches. He was specifically referring to the Rebouças Tunnel. Rebouças is a major tunnel that links the North to the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro.

Antonio Carlos Jobim called Lyra "the King of rhythm, unique, unpaired and unmatchable, that his sambas and song will live on because of their quality, delicacy and depth – as long as there is music."
Lyra continues to compose, record, and perform today.  (Info various, mainly All Brazilian Music)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Carlos Lyra’s first 2 albums go here:

Bossa Nova (1959)
1 Chora Tua Tristeza
2 Ciúme
3 Barquinho De Papel
4 Rapaz De Bem
5 Só Mesmo Por Amor
6 Gosto De Você
7 Quando Chegares
8 Maria Ninguém
9 Canção Do Olhar Amado
10 O Bem Do Amor
11 Menina
12 Sem Saudade De Você

Carlos Lyra (1961)

1. Tem dó de mim
2. Só amor
3. Você e eu
4. Aonde andou você
5. Caminho do adeus
6. Nada como ter amor
7. Só não vem você
8. De quem ama
9. Primeira namorada
10. Mister Golden
11. Nós dois
12. Vem do amor
13. Coisa mais linda
14. Com você é pior