BRAZIL – Aquarela do Brasil – 3 versions

On July 14, 1942,  Helen O’Connell and Bob Eberly sang their last duet together when they recorded the famous “Brazil” with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.

The following year, Helen O’Connell got married, and retired. But when her marriage broke up in 1951, she returned to performing.

Rio-de-Janeiro-Brasil at twilight_1280x1024

“Aquarela do Brasil” was composed by Ary Barroso, with lyrics in Portuguese, in 1935. The English lyrics were written by Bob Russell.

Here’s the original Jimmy Dorsey band sultry tempo duet version of “Brazil”:

Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly

This is Xavier Cugat’s choral version from 1943, with the samba tempo:

And here’s Helen O’Connell’s solo version from 1957:

In 2008,  the recording of “Brazil” made in 1942 by Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra with Bob Eberle and Helen O’Connell on vocals was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

My favorite is the recording with that driving samba rhythm by Xavier Cugat and his Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra and Chorus. Which version do you like best?



  • View of Rio de Janeiro by night
  • Helen O’Connell and Bob Eberly
  • Rio Summer Olympics

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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