No. 9 — Pages 36-37: Elza Laranjeira | Leny Eversong

  • Leny Eversong — Leny em Foco
    (1957) Copacabana CLP 11014
  • Leny Eversong — A Internacional Leny Eversong
    (1959) RGE XRLP 5034
  • Leny Eversong, Cauby Peixoto — Um Drink com Cauby e Leny
    (1968) Hot/Rioson LPH 5003
  • Leny Eversong — Leny Eversong Na América do Norte
    (1957) Copacabana CLP 11521
  • Leny Eversong — Ritmo Fascinante
    (1958) Copacabana CLP 11028
  • Elza Laranjeira — A Noite de Meu Bem
    (1960) RGE XRLP 5071
  • Elza Laranjeira — Devaneio/Ninguém é De Ninguém/Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar/A Noite do Meu Bem
    (1960) RGE EP 90.073
  • Elza Laranjeira — A Música de Jobim e Vinícius
    (1963) RGE XRLP 5188
  • Elza Laranjeira — Elza Laranjeira Canta Sucessos
    (1962) RGE XRLP 5133
  • Elza Laranjeira — Ternura
    (1961) RGE XRLP 5102

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This double-page spread from the book features Elza Laranjeira and Leny Eversong, two of Brazil’s finest singers of the fifties and sixties.

Despite appearances in several latin countries, especially in Urugay, Elza Laranjeira (1925-1986) always focused her live performances on São Paulo, particularly on radio programs, possibly hindering a more extensive success in Brazil. Nevertheless, she was renowned for her elaborated phrasing and evocative expression, especially as a sophisticated ballad singer.

A native Paulista, Elza Laranjeira sang in the Radio Club of Bauru before the age of ten. A singer by profession, she graduated from the Escola Normal de Bauru and taught singing in Bauru in public school before beginning her artistic career in 1940, replacing Leny Eversong in her show Blota Júnior on Rádio Cruzeiro do Sul. Elza Laranjeira soon became a popular crooner in São Paulo’s nightclub circuit. In 1945, she became the presenter for Radio Record of São Paulo, and in 1951, as an already awarded singer, she started her recording career with a string of thirty singles and four albums, including the duets Já Paguei o Meu tributo with Cauby Peixoto in 1953 and Amor with Marco Antônio in 1962.

In 1959, Elza Laranjeira’s rendition of A Noite de Meu Bem established herself as one the finest interpreters of Dolores Duran’s songs. The same year, she scored her biggest success with her version of Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar, penned by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes. The following year, both songs were included on her first album, A Noite de Meu Bem, arranged and conducted by Henrique Simonetti.

Her 1961 album Ternura, again arranged and conducted by Henrique Simonetti, included one of the first recordings of the classic Água de Beber by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes. (The arrangements of Água de Beber and several other Elza Laranjeira recordings of 1961 and 1962 were used again by Héctor Costita aka Don Júnior on his albums Sambas and Sambas No. 2., but such reutilization will be topic in a later post.) The songs Ninguém é de Ninguém by Umberto Silva, Toso Gomes and Luis Mergulhão, and Devaneio by Djalma Ferreira and Luis Antônio, both hits with numerous recordings at that time, gained their lasting popularity considerably supported by Elza Laranjeira’s versions. In 1962, the album Elza Laranjeira Canta Sucessos, arranged and conducted by Ruben Perez ‘Pocho’, included noteworthy renditions of Poema das  Mãos by Luis Antônio and Ternura Antiga by Ribamar and Dolores Duran.

Also in 1962, Elza Laranjeira’s single Só Danço Samba b/w Samba do Avião heralded the collaboration with the composer Antônio Carlos Jobim and the poet Vinícius de Moraes, who named her “the most feminine voice of Brazil”,  on her final and critically most acclaimed album A Música de Jobim e Vinícius, arranged and conducted by Erlon Chaves, Waldemiro Lemke and Ruben Perez ‘Pocho’. She not only contributed to confirm the nascent popularity of the duo with several of their songs recorded for the first time, but she also set standards with her unequalled interpretations of their poetic ballads such as Derradeira Primavera, Sem Você and Por Toda A Minha Vida (Exaltação ao Amor).

After that achievement Elza Laranjeira untimely retired from music business in 1963 with her participation  in the compilation album Um Milhão por uma Canção. In 1975, she temporarily returned to artistic life with several performances in São Paulo before finally retiring from the public eye.

Playlist Elza Laranjeira:
1. Samba do Avião (Antônio Carlos Jobim) from the single Só Danço Samba b/w Samba do Avião (1962)
2. Eu Nem Me Lembro Mais de Ti (Klécius Caldas – Victor Freire) from the album Ternura (1961)
3. Água de Beber (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes) from the album Ternura (1961)
4. Derradeira Primavera (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes) from the album A Música de Jobim e Vinícius (1963)
5. Ternura Antiga (Ribamar – Dolores Duran) from the album Elza Laranjeira Canta Sucessos (1962)
6. Tome Continha de Você (Dolores Duran – Édson Borges) from the album A Noite de Meu Bem (1960)
7. Conversa (Jair Amorim – Evaldo Gouveia) from the album A Noite de Meu Bem (1960)
8. Devaneio (Djalma Ferreira – Luis Antônio) from the album Ternura (1961)
9. Estou Amando Azul (Fernando César – João Leal Brito ”Britinho”) from the album A Noite de Meu Bem (1960)
10. Serenata do Adeus (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes) from the album A Música de Jobim e Vinícius (1963)

The art work of Elza Laranjeira’s albums is consistently uncredited.

Elza Laranjeira — A Música de Jobim e Vinícius (1) a

Elza Laranjeira — A Música de Jobim e Vinícius (1) b

Elza Laranjeira — Elza Laranjeira Canta Sucessos (a)

Elza Laranjeira — Elza Laranjeira Canta Sucessos (b)


Leny Eversong (1920-1984), born Hilda Campos Soares da Silva, was famous for her powerful voice, visually underpinned by her impressive appearance. She started her career at the age of twelve at Rádio Clube de Santos in São Paulo, where she became a regular act under the nickname ‘Hildinha, Princess of the Fox’. In 1935 she decided to sing only in English and in doing so she adopted her stage name. And what surname could me more appropriate for a singer?

Leny Eversong extensively played radio and stage shows before her first recording session in 1942. About 100 singles were to follow until 1961, accompanied by seven albums from 1955 to 1968. Her biggest hit was Jezebel which she recorded several times from 1952 on. In the fifties she resumed singing Brazilian but her discography always featured different languages as well. By the end of the decade, she toured the US, recording the album Leny Eversong na América do Norte with Neal Hefti’s orchestra.

Leny Eversong — A Internacional Leny Eversong (a)    Leny Eversong — A Internacional Leny Eversong (b)

In 1968, Leny Eversong released her final album, Um Drink com Cauby e Leny, recorded ‘live’ with Cauby Peixoto in Djalma Ferreira’s nightclub ‘Drink’, which was leased by Cauby Peixoto then. She retired from the music business in 1970. Although Leny Eversong is best known for the vigour of her vocal chords, showcased with songs like Jezebel and El Cubanchero, her qualities are actually even more persuasive in her ballads.

Playlist Leny Eversong:
1. Tenderly (Walter Lloyd Gross – Jack Lawrence) from the album Leny Eversong na América do Norte (1957)
2. Jangada (Hervé Cordovil – Vicente Leporace) from the album Ritmo Fascinante (1958)
3. Pode Ficar (Hervé Cordovil – Vicente Leporace) from the album Ritmo Fascinante (1958)
4. The World Outside (Concêrto de Varsovia) (Richard Addinsell – Carl Sigman) from the single The World Outside (Concêrto de Varsovia) b/w It’s Only Make Believe (1959)
5. Gangazuma (Carlos Cruz – Almeida Rego) from the album Bossa 12 Vezes (1965)

Leny Eversong’s covers like to show the dynamic and cheery singer in her expansive looks. All art work of her covers featured here is uncredited.

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