No. 19 — Pages 66-67: Maysa

  • Maysa — Maysa, Amor… e Maysa
    (1961) RGE XRLP 5121
  • Maysa — Maysa é Maysa… é Maysa. É Maysa!
    (1959) RGE XRLP 5068
  • Maysa — Maysa Vol. 2
    (1968) Premier PRLP 1038
  • Maysa — A Música de Maysa
    (1962) RGE XRLP 5173
  • Maysa — Maysa Canta Sucessos
    (1960) RGE XRLP 5100
  • Maysa — Voltei
    (1960) RGE XRLP 5078
  • Maysa — Estou Pra Dizer Adeus/Chão de Estrelas/Quizas, Quizas, Quizas/Murmúrio
    (1961) RGE CD 80.091
  • Maysa — Fim de Noite/Por Causa de Você
    (1964) Elenco CE-10
  • Maysa — Maysa
    (1964) Elenco ME-8

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This double-page spread from the book features a charismatic diva with a tumultuous life.

Singer and composer Maysa Figueira Monjardim Matarazzo (1936-1977) was one of the most enigmatic stars of her time—not only because of her impressive green eyes. Born into a wealthy, aristocratic family, she started singing, playing piano and composing as a child. At the age of 17 she was married to a millionaire’s son 18 years older than her. Visiting a party in 1955 while being pregnant, a record producer invited her to a recording session, but she refused to take up a musical career until a few months after her child’s birth. In 1956, Maysa’s debut album Convite para ouvir Maysa was released, and rumours say, that this album was RGE’s very first attempt to break into the pop market but actually it was only the initial success that eventually made RGE one of the most important labels in Brazil. The album showcased exclusively Maysa’s own compositions, arranged and conducted by Rafael Puglielli. The success of her debut led to a major crisis in her marriage since her husband opposed her intentions, forcing her to donate all proceeds to charity and prohibiting her to appear on the cover. So, after just two years of marriage she was getting a divorce and facing a depression.

Maysa — Voltei (a)    Maysa — Voltei (b)

In 1957, the second album was released, again arranged and conducted by Rafael Puglielli, simply entitled Maysa with her portrait on the front cover. She scored a string of hits during the next three years, including Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você and Eu Não Existo Sem Você by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, Franqueza by Denis Brean and Osvaldo Guilherme, Recado by Djalma Ferreira and Luis Antônio, and the self-penned Ouça, O Quê and Meu Mundo Caiu. Focusing on the highly emotional and melancholic ballad style known as fossa, she was the unrivalled queen of torch songs.

Maysa — A Música de Maysa

Maysa suffered from a depressive state since her faltered marriage, causing increasing problems with alcohol and pills of various kinds. Moreover, being one of the most popular and highest paid singers of the late fifties, she became a darling of the tabloids due to her impulsive and hot-tempered behaviour. After a serious car accident and a failed suicide attempt, she finally retreated under medical treatment. In 1960, Maysa turned her attention to bossa nova, releasing her album Voltei, arranged and conducted by Henrique Simonetti. While touring South America, Maysa began a publicized affair with Ronaldo Bôscoli who was linked romantically to Nara Leão. This led not only to a break between Maysa and Bôscoli as well as Bôscoli and Leão but to a fracture in the young bossa nova movement with Leão and others developing in a more politicized direction instead of continuing the airiness of early bossa nova as the likes of Bôscoli. As catalyst, Maysa became objectionable for both parties. Regardless of that, Maysa’s 1961 album Barquinho, almost exclusively featuring songs by Ronaldo Bôscoli and Roberto Menescal, became a bossa nova classic. After that Maysa’s career faltered, not least because depression and addictions continued to increase heavily. In 1969, she enjoyed a successful comeback show at the Canecão in Rio de Janeiro, followed by appearances as an actress and two more albums in the seventies. In 1977, she died in a car crash at the age of 39.

Maysa released 17 original albums and 25 singles from 1956 to 1974. The sultry singer with the evocative style not only became one the few stars of the pre-bossa era to successfully change genres, but she influenced numerous subsequent female singers.

Playlist Maysa:
1. Só Você (Mais Nada) (Paulo Soledade) from the album Barquinho (1961)
2. Sincopado Triste (Hianto de Almeida – Macedo Neto) from the album Voltei (1960)
3. Ouça (Maysa) from the album Maysa (1957)
4. ‘Round Midnight (Thelonius Monk – Cootie Williams – Bernie Hanighen) from the album Canção do Amor Mais Triste (1962)
5. O Quê (Maysa) from the album Maysa (1957)
6. Só Deus (Jair Amorim – Evaldo Gouveia) from the album Maysa é Maysa… é Maysa. É Maysa! (1959)
7. Quem Quiser Encontrar o Amor (Carlos Lyra – Geraldo Vandré) from the album Maysa (1964)
8. Fantasia de Trombones: Demais / Meu Mundo Caiu / Preciso Aprender a Ser Só (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Aloysio de Oliveira  ⁄  Maysa  ⁄  Marcos Valle – Paulo Sergio Valle) from the album Maysa (1966)
9. Besame Mucho (Consuelo Velásquez) from the album Maysa, Amor… e Maysa (1961)
10. Pra Quem Não Quiser Ouvir Meu Canto (César Roldão Vieira) from the album Maysa (1969)

The art work for the 1964 album entitled Maysa, a masterpiece among their brilliant covers for Elenco, is by César G. Villela with photograph by Francisco Perreira.

The delightful art work for Maysa é Maysa… é Maysa. É Maysa! is uncredited.

Maysa — Maysa é Maysa... é Maysa. É Maysa (a)

Maysa — Maysa é Maysa... é Maysa. É Maysa (b)

Maysa — Maysa, Amor... e Maysa (a)    Maysa — Maysa, Amor... e Maysa (b)

Maysa — Maysa Canta Sucessos

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