Stories Behind the Music -- Hey Stan, Ever Heard the Wife Sing?

By
Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc
This story is the classic case of an unlikely singing career that began as a result of unusual circumstances. We will go back to 1963. Stan Getz, a famed jazz musician, was working on an album, which would be influenced by Brazilian rhythms.  He was recording with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto who was a well-known Brazilian artist. 

The recording session was in New York City. The album would be called Getz/Gilberto. The producer wanted a hook to make it more popular with the U.S. audience so he decided that they should have a song with English lyrics. They wanted a female vocalist.

Astrud, the wife of Joao, was present in the studio. She was hanging out, watching and had no music or singing experience. She was the only one of the Brazilians who spoke English. They wanted to see how the song might sound, so they asked her to sing the lyrics. Her innocent, hesitant vocal is what they were looking for. At first they planned on it being a working track and they would replace it with another vocalist. Ends up, they liked it so well that they kept it. The song became a huge hit, rising to number five on the pop charts. In fact, the album became the biggest selling jazz album ever. There have been bigger selling jazz albums since then, in the past 40 years, but it is still right up there. Getz/Gilberto is considered to be an influential album that helped introduce South American music to the English-speaking world. Here is a video of Astrud performing a version of that song, not exactly as it was on the album, but close.

 Astrud Gilberto had a singing career and recorded a number of albums.  Her daughter, Bebel Gilberto, is a potent force in world music today.

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Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

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Check out "This Day In History" -- music and vintage television from the 1950's through the 1980's.  I enjoy writing these articles because they take me back to my days in radio broadcasting. Click on Elvis' gold record, below, to revisit those golden hits of yesteryear.

           

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Rainmaker
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

That's another good story!  I liked the song from way back but never knew the background.

Sep 25, 2008 07:36 PM #1
Rainmaker
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Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Barbara,

I am really glad you liked it. I got a number of lookers on this one, no comments. I have some fun old rock posts coming up in the next few days. This one moved over to jazz. By the way, Nutsy has a CD called The Squirrel from Ipanema.

Sep 25, 2008 07:48 PM #2
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Rainmaker
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Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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