Música sertaneja essentially is Brazilian country music whose influences stem from the rural regions of the São Paulo and Minas Gerais states. The duos (duplas) perform on 10-string viola caipira guitars, and usually sing in parallel thirds and sixths, in a rural dialect and in a somewhat nasal tone. From the 1940s on, the duplas became hugely popular, particularly with working class Brazilians. There were dozens of duplas groups that recorded for Brazilian labels – apparently, the style even threatened to eclipse samba in popularity, causing a bit of a backlash. Some duplas performed virtually all types of songs and dances, often mixing folk idioms with urban or international influences. Some performers wore felt hats or had wild pompadours. While it may not sound as raw and unsophisticated as Dock Boggs or any “country” artist from the United States, it can be truly enjoyable, effective music. For such a popular, ingrained genre, similar to postwar “Country and Western” in the US, I find it interesting that there seems to be few if any early examples of this music on CD on US labels, though there are loads of Brazilian CDs that feature the style.
Many duplas had simple names, more or less like nicknames: Tonico e Tinoco, Zico e Zeca, Lourenço e Lourival, and the performers of today’s piece, Vieira e Vieirinha, one of Brazil’s most beloved duos. Brothers born in a rural part of the Itajobi municipality in the interior of Brazil, Vieira’s given name was Rubens Vieira Marques (1926-2001), and Vieirinha’s was Rubiao Vieira (1928-1991). Their career began in the late 40s performing on Brazilian radio. They began recording approximately 32 78s in 1952-1953, and their first LP was released in 1958, for Continental. This piece is one of their most famous, and one of their earliest, dating from 1953. The title translates to “Transporting Cattle” or perhaps “Cattle Drive.” It eventually appeared on a 1971 LP by the duo, which can be found on the web, if you dig enough. The song is unabashedly romantic, with over-the-top sound effects, yet it does evoke a time and place, and one that we haven’t explored here.
Issue Number: 17-147
Matrix Number: 11740