Carmen Miranda

"The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" was born Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha in Marco de Canavezes, Portugal, February 9, 1909 to parents Jose Maria Pinto and Maria Miranda Emilia [da Cunha]. The family moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil a year later.

Carmen started in radio, singing carnival marchas and sambas. Carmen began recording with RCA Victor in 1929, and for the next decade remained one of Brasil's most popular singers (heard mainly on Radio Mayrink Veiga). Her younger sister Aurora also emerged as a singer in the 1930s but did not have the drive or stamina for stardom.

Her "bombshell" status came about as a result of both theatrical performances and cinematic releases, each inspiring also musical recording dates. Hollywood made her a star but ruined her reputation in Brasil. Many films of that period made no distinction among such diverse peoples as Argentines, Brasilians, and Mexicans.

Carmen had the same problem with her singing career as did Fred Astaire; no one watching the dance sequences tuned in their ears seriously. Of course she sang all sorts of silly Hollywood and Broadway show tunes. She also sang marchas, sambas, and rumbas dressed up as sambas. Sometimes, especially when far from the Hollywood machine, she recorded with Brasil's finest musicians Victor and Decca (Coral), presumably as well as for Brasilian labels. Her chief, best band of Brasilians was Aloysio de Oliveira and the Bando da Lua, which later made an excellent album for Capitol.

She died August 6, 1955 of a heart attack following a television-show rehearsal with Jimmy Durante. Brasil embraced her again posthumously, and eventually a Carmen Miranda museum was founded in Rio de Janeiro.

Carmen Miranda LPs, apart from soundtrack appearances, are compilations drawn from single releases (mainly 78s, although there were 45rpm EPs and singles). The Decca compilations offer all the popular hits from films, while Brasilian LPs tend to cover the years before she came to the U.S.

Carmen Miranda LPs (from 78s)

720 Anos De Saudade--a pequnea not avel; RCA Camden 107.0214; 1975/1930-35 (Brasil)
8The Brazilian Bombshell; MCA/Coral CP-99; 1966 (U.K.; COP-6821; EMI CRLM-1060;; Ace of Hearts AH-99)
8The Compleat Carmen--Miranda, That Is!; MCA/AEI 2101; 1978
8The Brazilian Fireball; EMI SH-114 (World Record Club)
8Cuanto La Gusta; Rio LP-1900 (Brasil; jacket: "LP-1901")
6Carmen Miranda; RCA Camden 107.0010; 1965/1930-34 (Brasil)
7Carmen Miranda; Imperial IMP-30.162; 1969 (Brasil)
6Carmen Miranda; Imperial IMP-30.220; 1972 (Brasil)
7Carmen Miranda [Radio Broadcast w/Jimmy Durante]; M-809 Records Macumbeiros Churrasco (Brasil, "Rarest of All Rare Broadcast Performances")
9South American Way; MCA/Coral MCL-1703 (U.K.: EMI/MCA/Coral CDL-8029)

Partly Carmen Miranda LPs

6Carmen Miranda/Aurora Miranda; EMI/Moto Discos 7947221; 1990/1935-39 (Brasil)
7Carmen Miranda/Bando da Lua: Ao Vivo; Odeon/Evento SE-11002; 1959 (Brasil)
Four Jills in a Jeep ST; Hollywood Soundstage 407 ("I Yi Yi Yi Yi I Like You Very Much")
5The Gang's All Here ST; Classic International Filmusicals CIF-3003
7Nancy Goes to Rio ST 10"; MGM E-508
7San Francisco/Greenwich Village; Caliban 6026 (perhaps first issue of the Greenwich Village ST, which uniquely has some first-rate CM songs)
7Week-End in Havana ST/Nancy Goes to Rio ST; Curtain Calls 100/14 (reissues 2 10" LPs on 1 12" LP)

Carmen Miranda 78 Albums

7Carmen Miranda: That Night in Rio (selections from); Decca 21023M; 1941 (3-disc 78 album)
8Carmen Miranda w/Bando Da Lua: Souvenir Album; Decca A-545; 1947 (4-disc 78 album)

Carmen Miranda in Film

Down Argentine Way; 20th Century Fox; 1940/1939 (1st Technicolor film)
That Night in Rio; 20th Century Fox; 1941
Weekend in Havana; 20th Century Fox; 1941
Springtime in the Rockies; 20th Century Fox; 1942
The Gang's All Here; 20th Century Fox; 1943
Greenwich Village; 20th Century Fox; 1944
Four Jills in a Jeep; 20th Century Fox; 1944
Something for the Boys; 20th Century Fox; 1944
Doll Face; 1946
Come Back Home; 1946
If I'm Lucky; 1946
Copacabana; 1947
Nancy Goes to Rio; MGM
A Date with Judy; MGM; 1947 (w/Xavier Cugat)
Scared Stiff; MGM; 1949

Carmen Miranda Television

[w/Jimmy Durante]; 1955

Carmen Miranda Biography

Martha Gil-Montero: Brazilian Bombshell; Donald I. Fine, Inc.; New York; 1989

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