Marlene, at 80, Still Singing Different

Vitória Bonaiutti de Martino was born in São Paulo 80 years ago today. In
1940, she made her professional debut on Rádio Tupi and adopted the stage name
Marlene in honor of Marlene Dietrich.

She moved to Rio de Janeiro and began appearing in a string of radio stations and casinos, becoming the star of the Golden Room at the Copacabana Palace Hotel.

In 1948 Marlene started singing in César de Alencar’s program, at that time the most popular variety radio show in Brazil. It was César who appended to her the slogan “Ela que canta e samba diferente.”


Although her main rival, Emilinha Borba, was César’s established star, Marlene won the Rainha do Rádio competition in 1949, propelled by the promotion machine of Companhia Antarctica Paulista, which used Marlene in the launch of its guaraná Caçula.


Following this manufactured triumph, Marlene got her own Rádio Nacional program and a regular slot in the popular Manuel Barcelos show, where she was the star until Rádio Nacional was closed.



Mortal rivals: Marlene hides Emilinha Borba’s face on César
de Alencar’s show, Rádio Nacional


Marlene has been professionally active over six decades and continues to make appearances to this day.


Her fan club is likewise active. The singer’s most recent CD, Estrela da Vida, was launched in 1998.

Estrela da Vida

Vou, não sei como porque nunca sei como vou
ainda tenho de abrir meus caminhos
encontrar exatamente aonde ir
descobrir minha estrada

Arrependimentos, eu? Nenhum,
faria tudo igualzinho.
Erros e acertos, tudo outra vez
Para ir em frente, outra vez.

Voltar í  barriga da minha mãe
Deixar os diabinhos saí­rem.
Artista no sangue, na veia no palco,
Santa e profana em qualquer papel
Estar no palco é tão gostoso,
í‰ como fazer amor…

Vou não sei como, porque nunca sei como vou
Ninguém percebe esta angústia
Estou todos os dias começando, buscando, buscando…

Estrela da vida, da noite, do palco,
Cantar a alegria, a dor e a esperança
Na boca do povo, dias de folia
Na boca do palco, ser só uma cantora,
Ser só uma pessoa,
Cumprir meu destino,
Que o artista é muito só…

Marlene’s words, compiled by José Carlos Asbeg and set to music by Paulo Baiano.

You can read more about Brazilian music and culture at Daniella Thompson on Brazil here: http://daniv.blogspot.com 

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