Saturday, May 25, 2013

RCA singles 1963-1967

As we have already mentioned elsewhere: as of 1963, due to 'Rome Adventure''s huge success in Brazil, a US movie production filmed in Italy in 1961, in which the song 'Al di là' is featured in the sound-track, the modern Italian music starts being played on radio stations in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. A few months earlier 'Legata a un granello di sabbia', by Nico Fidenco had received a lot of air-play too so RCA Victor thought it was time to start releasing the latest hits from their RCA Italiana catalogue.

Before the end of 1963, RCA had released 2 albums by Nico Fidenco, an album by singer-song-writer Sergio Endrigom, one by teen-age sensation Rita Pavone and two compilation albums of Italian hits.

By early 1964, Brazilian hit parade had been taken over by the likes of Peppino Di Capri with 'Roberta', Gino Paoli with 'Sapore di sale', Edoardo Vianello with 'Abbronzatissima', Michele with' 'Se mi vuoi lasciare' and Sergio Endrigo who went straight to #1 with 'Io che amo solo te'.

During 1964 and 1965, more than 90% of RCA's catalogue of foreign singles was made up of Italian releases, something never seen before. That phenomenon was described as the 'Italian invasion' of the Brazilian charts just like the Beatles, Dave Clark Five and the Rolling Stones had done in the USA, which was dubbed as the 'British Invasion'.

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A partir de meados de 1963, com o sucesso estrondoso do filme 'Candelabro Italiano' (Rome Adventure), tendo 'Al di là' com Emilio Pericoli como tema romântico e o sucesso espetacular de 'Legata a un granello di sabbia' (Presa a un grãozinho de areia) o público consumidor de discos e ouvintes de radio passaram a exigir que mais sucessos italianos fossem lançados aqui. Antes do final de 1963, a RCA Victor começou a prensar compactos como 'Io che amo solo te' e 'Cuore'.

Em 1964, quase a totalidade do catálogo internacional da RCA Victor era composto de discos italianos. Aí está a lista imensa de discos lançados aqui no Brasil pela gravadora norte-americana, que através de sua subsidiária RCA Italiana, dominava o mercado lá na Península.

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Here's a partial list of foreign singles released by Brazilian RCA Victor between 1963 and 1967, a four-year-period that I characterize as the peak years of Italian music influence in the Brazilian charts. Note that the singles' complete series numbers were: LC-16.000. To avoid repetition I chose to discard LC-16,000 to only the last three digits. But, bear in mind that when you see such a number as 022, it really means LC-16.022.


Partial list of singles - compactos-simples - released by RCA Victor between 1963 and 1968
the actual numbering is LC-16000 but I simplified to 000



008  -  It's now or never / Make me know it  -  Elvis Presley

021  -  Just for the night / Baby elephant walk  -  Henry Mancini 
022  -  Legata a un granello di sabbia / Tornerai Suzie  -  Nico Fidenco  1962
023  -  Love (makes the world go round) / Crying in the wind  -  Paul Anka
026  -  Let's go / Java  -  Floyd Cramer
028  -  One broken heart for sale / They remind me too much of you (from 'Girls...' -  Elvis Presley
029  -  Tutta la gente / Mondo meraviglioso  -  Nico Fidenco

032  -  Remember Diana / At night  -  Paul Anka
033  -  La terza luna / Let's steady again  -  Neil Sedaka
034  -  I will follow him / Wind-up doll  -  Little Peggy March

042  -  Cuando nadie te quiera / El mundo sin guitarras  -  Miguel Aceves Mejia
041  -  Bye bye birdie / Take all the kisses  -  Ann-Margret
043  -  Io che amo solo te / Se le cose stanno così  -  Sergio Endrigo  -  October 1963
044  -  Cuore (Heart) / Il ballo del mattone  -  Rita Pavone
047  -  Adventure in Rome (from film 'Rome Adventure') / Be my love  -  Della Reese
048  -  You're the devil in disguise / Please, don't drag that string around  -  Elvis Presley

050  -  Goccia di mare / Se mi perderai  -  Nico Fidenco
051  -  Abbronzatissima / Guarda come dondolo  -  Edoardo Vianello
052  -  Sapore di sale / La nostra casa  -  Gino Paoli
055  -  Witchcraft / Bossa Nova baby  -  Elvis Presley (from 'Seresteiro de Acapulco')
058  -  Non è facile avere 18 anni / Son finite le vacanze  -  Rita Pavone  -  1964
059  -  'N'ata vota (Outra vez) / Che te costa  -  Pierfilippi  - Bossa Nova sung in Neapolitan

060  -  Se mi vuoi lasciare / Cosa vuoi da me?  -  Michele  -  March 1964
061  -  Maria Elena / Jungle dream  -  Índios Tabajaras
062  -  Pissi pissi, bao bao / Il pullover  -  Gianni Meccia
063  -  Did you have a happy birthday? / For no good reason at all  -  Paul Anka
064  -  The high life / Hanky panky  -  The Phil Bodner Sextet
065  -  La rosa bianca / Basta così  -  Sergio Endrigo
067  -  Ciò che rimane alla fine di un amore / Hud  -  Nico Fidenco
069  -  Charade / Latin snowfall  -  Henry Mancini

070  -  I Watussi / Umilmente ti chiedo perdono  -  Edoardo Vianello
071  -  Ridi (Free me) / Ma neanche per idea  -  Michele
073  -  Java / I can't get started - Al Hirt
072  -  Non te ne andare / Pussy  -  Jimmy Fontana
074  -  Datemi un martello (If I had a hammer) / Che m' importa del mondo  -  Rita Pavone
075  -  Non mi chiedi mai / Cleopatra  -  Nico Fidenco
076  -  Ricordati / Ieri ho incontrato mia madre  -  Gino Paoli
077  -  Suspicion / Kiss me quick  -  Elvis Presley
078  -  Orange tamouré / Bistro  -  Henry Mancini
079  -  Little Betty falling star / Those were the good old days - The Cascades

080  -  La mamma / Viejo rio  -  Antonio Prieto
081  -  O mio Signore / Ti ho conosciuta  -  Edoardo Vianello
083  -  Elle était si jolie / Adio Karamou  -  Alain Barrière
084  -  Bienvenido amor / Dejala, dejala  -  Palito Ortega
085  -  Viva Las Vegas / What'd I say? - Elvis Presley (from 'Amor à toda velocidade')
086  -  Scrivi / Ti vorrei parlare  -  Rita Pavone
087  -  Idolo nero / Basta chiudere gli occhi  -  Gino Paoli
088  -  Con te sulla spiaggia / Mi devi credere  -  Nico Fidenco
089  -  Fini de pleurer / Résponds-moi  -  Sylvie Vartan

090  -  In ginocchio da te / Se puoi uscire una domenica sola con me  -  Gianni Morandi
091  -  Bianco Natale / Sul cucuzzolo  -  Rita Pavone
092  -  Un uomo che ti ama / Il mio mondo  -  Umberto Bindi
093  -  Such a night / Never ending  -  Elvis Presley
094  -  Se ti senti sola / Io non ti ho saputo amare  -  Giancarlo Guardabassi
095  -  Nessuno sa / Santi di cioccolata  -  Donatella
096  -  L'amore mio (Remember me) / San Francesco  -  Rita Pavone  -  1965
097  -  La cabina / I giorni caldi  -  Gianni Meccia
098  -  Ti ringrazio perchè / Vado da lei  -  Michele
099  -  Vestida de novia / Sabor a nada  -  Palito Ortega

100  -  Kissin' time / Big deal  -  Rita Pavone
101  -  Ogni volta / Stasera resta con me  -  Paul Anka
102  -  Non son degno di te / Per una notte no  -  Gianni Morandi
104  -  Ce que tu chantes / La saison d' amour  -  Marianne Mille
105  -  Lo mismo que usted / Notas sueltas  -  Palito Ortega
106  -  Viva la pappa col pomodoro / Sei la mia mamma  -  Rita Pavone
107  -  Da molto lontano / Tremarella  -  Edoardo Vianello
108  -  L'uomo che non sapeva amare / A casa d' Irene  -  Nico Fidenco
109  -  LetKiss / Mossel Jonka  -  Ronnie Kranokin

110  -  Do the clam (from 'Girls, girls, girls'/'Louco por garotas' / You'll be gone  -  Elvis Presley
111  -  Ma vie / On m'a battu  -  Alain Barrière
113  -  Dear heart / How soon  -  Henry Mancini & Orchestra
114  -  Crying in the chapel / I believe in the man in the sky  -  Elvis Presley
115  -  Do re mi / The sound of music  -  Julie Andrews
116  -  Solamente mia / Ma sei mia  -  Giancarlo Guardabassi
117  -  Dopo i giorni dell' amore / Parliamo di donne  -  Michele
118  -  Sugar lips / Cotton candy - Al Hirt
119  -  Celestina / La voglia di ballare  -  Nico Fidenco

121  -  Il mondo / Allora si  -  Jimmy Fontana
122  -  El vestido blanco / El retrato de Maria (Ivon Curi)  -  Antonio Prieto
123  -  The shadow of your smile (Love theme from 'The sandpipers') / Il silenzio - Al Hirt
124  -  C'è una strana espressione nei tuoi occhi / Beautiful Delilah  -  The Rokes
125  -  ... E più ti amo (Plus je t'entends) / A nos amours  -  Alain Barrière
126  -  Se non avessi più te / I ragazzi dello shake  -  Gianni Morandi
127  -  Si fa sera / È colpa mia  -  Gianni Morandi
130  -  Supercalifragilistic-espiralidoso / Plip  -  Rita Pavone

131  -  Sarà come una volta / Le cose più importanti  -  Pierfilippi
132  -  Sarei felice / Ditemi voi  -  Gianni Mazza
138  -  Pensiamoci ogni sera / Un regalo  -  Jimmy Fontana

141  -  Parlami di te / Patatina  -  Edoardo Vianello - 1966
147  -  Fortissimo / Il geghegè  -  Rita Pavone

150  -  Piangi con me / Che colpa abbiamo noi?  -  The Rokes
151  -  Winchester Cathedral / Bend it - Palm Beach Band Boys
154  -  L' amore se ne va / Questa volta  -  Carmelo Pagano
155  -  Ciao amore ciao / E se ci diranno  -  Luigi Tenco
157  -  Quando dico che ti amo / Mi perderai  -  Tony Renis

161  -  Gira gira / Qui ritornerà  -  Rita Pavone -  1967
162  -  La mia serenata / Per vivere insieme  -  Jimmy Fontana
165  -  Eccola di nuovo (Here comes my baby) (Cat Stevens) / Che mondo strano  -  The Rokes
170  -  Live for life (Francis Lai-Gimbel) from Claude Lelouch's film / That tiny world - Jack Jones
175  -  Il posto mio (Testa-Renis) / Mi sei entrata nell'anima - Domenico Modugno
180  -  Todo es mentira / Digan lo que digan  -  Palito Ortega
181  -  Master Jack / I looked back  -  Four Jacks & a Jill
182  -  Mon amour (Dai la mano, non amour) / Tutto o niente  -  Udo Jürgens
183  -  If you loved me / Thinking through my tears  -  Peggy March  -  1968
185  -  If you ever leave me / Follow me  -  Jack Jones
187  -  Baby, come back (Eddy Grant) / Hold me closer - The Equals

208  -  In the ghetto / Any day now - Elvis Presley - 1969
215  -  Suspicious minds (Mark James) / You'll think of me (Mort Shuman) - Elvis Presley
219  -  Rubberneckin' / Don't cry daddy - Elvis Presley - 1970


'Legata a un granello di sabbia' (022) was RCA's first Italian record to get into the Brazilian charts in 1963. Along with Emilio Pericoli's 'Al di là' (from the sound-track of 'Rome Adventure') it was the spearhead of the Italian invasion.
Paul Anka (023) who was a superstar in 1959-1960 was on the wane in 1963.
'One broken heart for sale' (028) from the flick 'Girls, girls, girls' (Louras, morenas e ruivas) showed an Elvis Presley that no one was interested anymore since his films were dreadful and boring. His music was repetitive and unimaginative. It would take another 5 years for Elvis to be re-energized and come up with something popular again. 
'Tutta la gente' (029) was one of the 1st Italian songs I heard on the radio; Nico Fidenco's album 'Per noi due' back-cover.
Paul Anka (032) tried as much as he could to 'Remember Diana', but to no avail. Anka would have to wait for another 12 years to get into the Brazilian charts again. Actually, Paul Anka was making a steady career for himself in Italy, of all  places, living in Europe and  recording in their language.
Little Peggy March (034) was huge with 'I will follow him' everywhere but in Brazil. Somehow it never struck a chord with Brazilians in 1963. It took 30 years for Brazilians to see Woopi Goldberger sing it in 1992's 'Sister Act'...
'Io che amo solo te' (043) by Sergio Endrigo was #1 for many weeks in early 1964. Italians really meant business in South America.
'Cuore' (044) was Rita Pavone's 1st hit in Brazil; released in late 1963 it played all through 1964 and further.
Della Reese (047) sings ''Adventure in Rome' from 'Rome Adventure' (Candelabro Italiano) the movie that spearheaded the Italian invasion in Brazil in 1963.
Elvis (048) was still good with 'Devil in disguise' but DJs prefered Italian hits now.
'Se mi perderai' (050) was Nico Fidenco's 3rd hit in a row.
Ennio Morricone's arrangement of 'Abbronzatissima' (051) resembled Ray Conniff's blending of male & female voices with brass instruments. Brazilians got used to listening to Italian hits on the radio; 'Abbronzatissima' was on the sound-track of  'Il sorpasso' (Aquele que sabe viver).

'Sapore di sale' (052) was huge; one of the best Italilan songs ever!
Pavone's 2nd single 'Non è facile avere 18 anni' (058) a slow ballad not suitable to get to the top of the charts.
Pierfilippi's ''N'ata vota' (Outra vez) Italian original sleeve
Pierfilippi (059) sings Bossa Nova in Neapolitan.
'Se mi vuoi lasciare' (060)was big in Italy in 1963; in Brazil it went up the charts in 1964.
back sleeve of  Brazilian release 'Se mi vuoi lasciare' by Michele (pronounced Mikele which translates as Michael)
'Maria Elena' (061) was a world-wide instrumental-hit for Indios Tabajaras, a Brazilian duo made up of two brothers who performed around South America since the 1930s.
Gianni Meccia's 'Pissi pissi, bao bao' (062) is a non-sense title but it played well on the radio.
even though 'Basta così' (065) was B-side it was the song that played on the radio, being also in the EP 'Annamaria' that sold like hot cakes; 'La rosa bianca' is such a beautiful song. 
'Ciò che rimane alla fine di un amore' (067) is such a wistfully beautiful song; Nico Fidenco at his best. The Brazilian sleeve was a little different from the original Italian.
oops! Henry Mancini's 'Charade' (069)  is not quite an Italian record...
Vianello's 'I Watussi' (070) is brilliant... even though some consider it racist.
(071) Michele's 2nd hit 'Ridi' (Free me)
(072) Jimmy Fontana with 'Non te ne andare'
'Datemi un martello' (074) was the biggest hit of the Italian invasion by far; #1 for 1964.
'Non mi chiedi mai' (075) like Fidenco's previous 'Se mi perderai' were balladas where Nico doubled-up with himself. Nice melodious tunes.
(076) 'Ieri ho incontrato mia madre' (I met my mother yesterday) a gloomy tune Gino Paoli presented at San Remo in early 1964. The original Italian sleeve is on the right. As one can see Brazilian graphics didn't measure up to the European standards in the 1960s.
 'Kiss me quick' (077) was Elvis Presley's last entry in the Brazilian charts (as far as I know).  
Henry Mancini (078) 'Orange tamouré' is the 2nd single from the 'Charade' sound-track.
The Cascades (079) were poached away from WB Records but lightening hardly ever strikes in the same place twice. 'The rhythm of the rain' was a one-off never to be repeated.

'O mio Signore' (081) Edoardo Vianello's masterpiece no doubt.
Alain Barrière (083) was one of the best baladeers from France.
Palito Ortega's 'Bienvenido amor' (084) was actually a hit in Brazil, but not by Palito but sung by Orlando Alvarado, a Spanish dancer who lived here and recorded it for local label Continental Discos accompanied by The Clevers, a very popular Brazilian rock band. On the right the original Argentine sleeve

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret at the cover of 'Viva Las Vegas' (085).
Rita Pavone could do no wrong in 1964. 'Scrivi' (086) played night & day on the radio. 
'Idolo nero' (087) was the A side but 'Basta chiudere gli occhi' was the song played on the radio. See Paoli's autograph on the Brazilian sleeve? He must have signed it when he visited São Paulo in 1964.
'Con te sulla spiaggia' (088) had a very youthful Nico Fidenco singing a 'surf' tune.
'In ginocchio da te' (090) was up high in the charts.
'Sul cucuzzolo' (091) was Rita Pavone's 4th hit in a row. What a year 1964 was!
Umberto Bindi's 'Il mio mondo' (092) is a wonderful song. 
Giancarlo Guardabassi like Nico Fidenco was not handsome enough to be seen on RCA's single-sleeves. 'Se ti senti sola' (094) was recorded by Peppino Di Capri at Odeon too. 
Donatella Moretti (095) with 2 tracks culled from her conceptual album 'Diario de uma adolescente'.
'L'amore mio' was side-A but 'San Francesco' (096) was the track that played on the radio; Rita's 5th hit.
La cabina (097) was another Gianni Meccia's tongue-in-cheek tunes. 
'Ti ringrazio perchè' (098) is a plaintive ballad that kept Michele on top. 
'Vestida de novia' (099) is a sad song about a bride who dies just before she gets married. Argentine Palito Ortega could not break into the Brazilian market no matter what.
Wait a minute! Italian Rita Pavone singing 'Kissin' time' (100) in English? Yes, that's exactly what everyone thought when RCA released Rita's English-language single backed with 'Big deal'. Although the record is pretty good, Brazilian record buyers preferred Pavone in her original Italian and let it pass!
It's a topsy-turvy world. Pavone in English and now Paul Anka in Italian. Yes, Anka sang 'Ogni volta' (101) at San Remo in 1965 and due to Italian acceptance in Latin America it was released here too. 
Non son degno di te' (102) Morandi's 2nd single was not as big as 'In ginocchio da te'; the original Italian sleeve on the right.
As the French were making in-roads in the Brazilian hit parade, RCA saw fit to release Marianne Mille (104) but to no avail. 
Palito Ortega (105) was huge in his native Argentina; he is photographed in Rio de Janeiro here. Some of his songs became hits here but performed with other artists. 
'Viva la pappa col pomodoro' (106) is a tarantella! Brazilian young people who bought Pavone records didn't quite understand what that exactly meant. Actually, 'Viva la pappa' is part of a TV series that was aired in Italy in early 1965, but no one bothered to tell the youngsters what it was all about and they voted with their feet... they abandoned Rita. Teen-agers started looking elsewhere for a role-model and Rita Pavone's following started to flag. This was the beginning of the end of Pavone's popularity in Brazil and Latin America. Some became Beatles' fans, others simply turned to Jovem Guarda, the local talent. That spelled the end of the Italian ascendency in our continent. 
'Tremarella' (107) is a 'funny' song. Edoardo Vianello had this peculiarity of making either 'funny' or 'serious' songs.
Nico Fidenco had the distinction of being one of the 1st RCA Italian act to hit in Brazil in 1963 with 'Legata a un granello di sabbia' and one of the last hit-makers with 'A casa d' Irene' (109) in 1965.  
As 1965 progressed Braziliansheard less of Italian hits on the radio and more French and English songs. Alain Barrière's 'Ma vie' (111) went straight to #1 and stayed there for a long time. On the right is the original French sleeve in which 'Ma vie' is not even featured. 
Elvis Presley (114) was back again with 'Crying in the chapel'
'Solamente mia' (116) was Giancarlo Guardabassi's 2nd release in Brazil. One can see that gradually RCA stopped printing coloured sleeves switching to two-colours only. Then they printed only B&W sleeves and finally they stopped printing photos at all and kept to the minimum of a paper sleeve with a whole in the middle. Cheap was the name of the game. Cheap, cheap, cheap!
Michele's 'Dopo i giorni dell' amore' (117) is one more of this melancholy songs. In the sleeve only a pencil sketch of the singer... it bode no good. This was Michele's last important release. 
'Il mondo' (121) went straight to #1. It could be thought as a perfect Italian song... starts slowly and soft and it grows to a pitch of desperation and triumph. That's a perfect pop Italian song. 
Anotnio Prieto (122) canta 'El retrato de Maria', Brazilian original by Ivon Curi. 
Al Hirt (123) plays 'Ths shadow of your smile' the Love Theme from 'The Sandpipers' (Adeus às ilusões).
'...E più ti amo' (125) is 'Plus je t'entends' translated to Italian by Gino Paoli. It was a hit in Brazil with at least 3 different performers. It sort of embodies the synergy between the Italian and the French music. 
'Se non avessi più te' (126) is Ennio Morricone at his best... the orchestration is monumental from the first note to the last bit... Gianni Morandi could do no wrong at this phase of his career. 
'Si fa sera' (127) was a big hit, even if I, personally, prefer 'Se non avessi più te'. Two Gianni Morandi records released one after the other which shows that Brazilian RCA was not really working well.
'Supercalifragilistic-espiralidoso' (128) is a dreadful song. It is discordant and irritable to the senses. It may have worked well as part of 'Mary Poppins' sound-track but was rejected straight out by the rocker-set. Rita Pavone hadn't had a hit in Brazil since early 1965 (San Francesco) and now, in 1966, RCA releases this trash... No wonder teens fled away from their former idol.  
Pierfilippi had a pleasant voice but never quite made it to the big time. Here he sings two nice songs that never played on the radio or sold much.
Singer-song-writer Gianni Mazza (132) a new talent who won 1965's Festival of Unknowns. The single never had any air-play in Brazil. On the righty is the original Italian colour-sleeve. Brazilian RCA stopped printing colour-sleeves for their singles in a prelude to abolishing picture-sleeves whatsoever very soon.   
Jimmy Fontana's 'Pensiamoci ogni sera' (138) was perhaps the last picture-sleeve printed out by Brazilian RCA in late 1965.
'Piangi con me' (150) by expatriate English band the Rokes was high at the charts. By 1966 RCA had definitely discontinued its printing of single-sleeves. Now they had only those hideous 'standard' covers with a hole in the middle for one to read the label content.
The Palm Beach Band Boys (151) was an American fake-band put up by RCA executives in New York to capitalize on the British hit 'Winchester Cathedral' by New Vaudeville Band.
'L'amore se ne và' / 'Questa volta' (154) a double-sided release with new-comer Carmenlo Pagano.
Luigi Tenco had to kill himself to have a colour-photo-sleeve at Brazilian RCA. Tenco shot himself through the head on 27 January 1967, because he noticed he had been snubbed by San Remo's brass at 1967's edition of the famous music festival. Poor Luigi, probably was depressed at the time. How could someone extinguish one's life concerning such a mundane and corrupt system? I guess Luigi Tenco had already decided he was going to kill himself no matter what. His 'Ciao amore ciao' is a suicidal's letter in disguise. 

Brazilian RCA broke its own rules not sparing costs with printing a photo-sleeve for Tenco's doomed 'Ciao amore ciao'. Luigi Tenco was barely known in Brazil up to his tragic death at 28 year of age. 'Ho capito che ti amo' - released in Brazil by Fermata had been his greatest hit butbeing his only mid-hit here... the news about his suicide in San Remo in February 1967 came as a big shock. RCA released the single and it got a lot of air play.
'Ciao amore ciao' (155) back cover was almost an elogy to Luigi Tenco written by Waldyr Santos... and the song was dubbed 'Balada do Adeus' (Ballad of adieu) instantly by someone at RCA with a flair for the tragic. Luigi Tenco went from unknown to a great hero in a matter of weeks.
The Rokes (165) covered Cat Stevens's 'Here comes my baby' as 'Eccola di nouvo' even though it is not stated in the label; Italians were a funny bunch; they usually didn't give credit to original song writers or even acknowledged they were doing a cover of some material made originally in a foreign country. When Adriano Celentano didn't pay royalties of 'Pregherò' which was a cover of Ben E. King's 'Stand by me', they sued the Italian company and they had to pay their dues through a court of justice.
Jack Jones (170) sings the theme from Claude Lelouch's 1967 film 'Live for life'.
Oops-a-daisy! a picture-sleeve as late as 1968. Palito Ortega (180);  Not only a picture-sleeve but a back-cover text too, even though it is a bit out of date when it says Nueva Ola (Argentine youth's New Wave) was 'new'... well, it started around 1962, well about 6 years earlier. 
Four Jacks and a Jill (181) was a South-African combo who managed to get as high as #18 at Billboard single charts and #5 at Cash Box with 'Master Jack'.
a Peggy March (183) release as late as 1968 is really mind-boggling... especially when one knows she had never had a single hit in Brazil. To top it all up they made a picture-sleeve for Peggy when they had been printing only 'stardand' sleeves since 1966. 
The Equals (187) hit with 'Baby, come back' written by Eddy Grant.

1968 Anglo-American Invasion in Brazil 

To understand the Rise and  Fall of Italian music in Brazil in the 1960s, one has to look for tips far and wide. Early in the decade, Italian recordings were really special due to their intense musicality and the special care which they had been produced. 

Italian industry received a major shot in the arm with the millions of dollars poured in by the Marshall Plan soon after the end of World War II. The 10 years since San Remo Festival started in 1950, showed that recording studios in Italy worked overtime eventually producing a world-wide hit in 1958, called 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' commonly known as 'Volare'. 

After 'Volare', Italian musicians worked harder still and a new 'modern Italian music' took shape always mirrored in the American model that had created rock'n'roll out of Black and Hillbilly music. Italians essentially 'mellowed' rock'n'roll with a lot of strings and bombastic arrangements originated in the opera.

I can only speak for myself. What I really liked in the Italian hits I kept on buying - I more or less bought an RCA Victor compilation-album every month - were the intricate arrangements the many 'maestros' did to simple pop songs. Argentine Luis Enriquez was a genius working full-time at RCA Italiana. Enriquez arranged all Rita Pavone's song. His arrangement of 'Bianco Natale' (White Christmas) still takes my breath away. Ennio Morricone arranged most of Gianni Morandi's songs. Listen carefully to, say, 'Se non avessi più te' or 'Notte di Ferragosto' and it is just like listening to a symphonic piece. Bruno Canfora's 'Soli' (by Mina), 'Fortissimo' (by Rita Pavone) or 'Quanto sei antipatico' (from 'La zanzara' sound-track) are masterpieces of high musicality. Italians knew how to manufacture one of the best pop tunes in the world... they were up there on top alongside with the Yankees. 

As the 1960s progressed things were really happening at break-neck pace. In 1963, Italians were unbeatable. In 1964, things started changing with the Beatles invasion of the USA and the world to boot. By 1965, the Motown sound was competing with the Liverpool sound and Bob Dylan was riding high with 'Like a rolling stone'. 1966 saw the California sound with the Mamas & Papas, Lovin' Spoonful & friends. 1967 was the peak of creativity with the emblematic 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Things were really humming...

Italians were actually caught in the middle. They could not keep abreast with what was happening in the Anglo-American world. Italians still made very good music but that was not enough anymore. After 1967's Summer of Love in San Francisco... and then 1968's Paris things got out of control. Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the bloody US war of aggression against South East Asia. 

In Brazil things were happening too, but unfortunately in a much  different way. After the Cuban Revolution, the USA started a policy of destabilizing democratic-elected governments in Latin America that would dare not to toe the official line laid down up by Washington. That meant that any government that did not follow Washington's dictates would be overthrown immediately. And that's what happened to poor Latin America. Brazil's democratic government was overthrown in 1964 and a military dictatorship was installed instead. The same happened to Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia etc. Chile was the last country to have a military dictatorship installed by Washington... as late as 1973. 

The first 4 years of military rule in Brazil were 'soft'. They only abolished elections of officials to state-government and cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. They closed a few newspaper and sent a few hundred people to exile. After 1968, exactly when the world was opening up (see Paris 1968), the military dictatorship turned really bloody and censorship was universal, not to say of torture as a matter of fact. 

Brazilian music was also changing in the 1960s. Differently from Italy, rock'n'roll was not accepted as 'serious' music by the Brazilian music establishment. If one dabbled in 'rock' one was immediately considered an outcast or simply not taken seriously. So Brazilian rock only lived in the periphery, with guys translating American hits into Portuguese and recording them for the local market. 

By 1965, Brazilian rock came of age and started writing their own material instead of only translanting foreign hits... and that was called 'Jovem Guarda' (Young Guard). 

In 1966, Brazilians, ironically imitating an old-fashioned idea from Italians and their famous San Remo Festival, had a national song festival which turned out to be revolutionary - the opposite of any San Remo thread-of-the-mill - new and fresh Brazilian music came out of this festival - Chico Buarque's 'A banda' and Geraldo Vandré's 'Dispara' were the winners. 

In 1967, Brazilians had a 2nd music festival and things were getting hotter politically and culturally. Italian music was getting less and less airplay due to Brazilians paying more attention to their own music. 

1968 would be pivotal not only around the world but for Brazilians especially. Tropicalia was a cultural movement that tried to 'integrate' rock and samba; 'serious' music and 'not-so-serious' music. People were tired of living under a military dictatorship and looked forward to things happening abroad as inspiration for change inside. But, the opposite happened. The reactionary regime reacted furiously and Brazil entered the Dark Ages of politics with a coup within the coup - that would only be lifted in the1980s. 

Gradually, Anglo-American hits started playing more and more on Brazilian radios. In 1968, Radio Excelsior and Radio Difusora, two São Paulo radio-stations switched to playing only Anglo-American hits which meant that 20% of radio-waves was filled with 'imported hits' sung in English. These stations imitated the  American-Top-40-radio-station format. They would only play hits that were in the Billboard, Cash Box or Record World lists.

By 1969 and 1970, Italian music was history in Brazil. I may say that 'Zingara' by Bobby Solo was a hit in 1969, but not much else. I tried my best to explain how it all happened. I lived in Brazil throughout those  years and I can still rely on my memory to tell the story.  
  

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