Elza Soares

Elza Soares has a distinct, harsh voice, even if you consider the Armstrong mannerisms. She is one of the most popular samba singers. Her peak success was achieved in the late sixties. Soares’ artistic career was always hampered by her personal life. This certainly hindered her from enjoying greater popularity. Soares grew up in poverty and struggled to survive her teens and childhood. At 12 Soares married. She won first place in Ary Barroso’s novice radio show at 16 years old. The Orquestra Garam de Bailes, under Joaquim Nägli, hired her as a crooner. She was a member of the orchestra from 1954 to 1954 when she fell pregnant. She was invited to star with Grande Otelo in Jour-JouFruFru-Fru in 1955. It was a huge success. Soares returned to Argentina in 1959, and was again hired by Radio Vera Cruz the following year. She also recorded a 78-rpm recording in 1959 with “Se Acaso Voce Chegasse”(Lupicio Rodrigues/Felisberto Marts), which was one of her greatest hits. She recorded her first album, Se Acaso Voce Chegasse, in 1960. She represented Brazil in Chile at the 1962 World Soccer Cup. There she met Garrincha who was a brilliant soccer player and a recovering alcoholic. Soares and Garrincha had a troubled marriage. Their son Garrinchinha died in an accident in 1986, which caused them to have to split. Her career reached its peak in the 1960s with albums such as O Maximo em Samba (1967), and Elza Soares (1977).

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