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Los Indios Tabajaras

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This pair of brothers, members of the Tabajara tribe of northern Brazil, were one of the most unlikely successes of the space age pop era. Nearly 20 years after they first began recording professionally and in the midst of the twist craze, they had a Top 10 pop hit with their cover of “Maria Elena,” a Mexican folk tune first popularized in the U.S. by Jimmy Dorsey.

RCA and their promoters have always drawn a veil of mystery around Los Indios Tabajaras, so it’s tough to trace their early years accurately. Their literature claimed they discovered a guitar in the jungle near Ceara, Brazil, and, after making sure it wasn’t going to explode like other firearms their tribesmen had found, began to examine it. Eventually, they both mastered the instrument and came to the attention of townspeople, one of whom took them to Rio de Janeiro to play.

Dressing up in ceremonial Indian costumes, the brothers perfected a nightclub act in which they sang and played Brazilian and Latin folk songs. They changed their names to Natalicio and Antenor Lima and began touring throughout South America. In 1943, RCA’s Latin American arm signed them to a contract, but it wasn’t until the late 1950s that they were released in the U.S., and their first album was on a minor label, Vox, rather than RCA.

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  • Richex

    A sanctuary for the heart......Smooth sooth!

    4 Oct 2012 Reply
  • brun-o

    I'm speechless. their renditions of Chopin are beyond amazing.

    3 Jul 2012 Reply
  • nightman_cometh

    Anyone have/heard their album, Dreams of Love? Can't find much information on it.

    13 Jun 2012 Reply
  • plautosilva

    MÚSICA MUITO BOA

    22 Sep 2011 Reply
  • fabiansirni

    Muy buenos

    20 Jan 2011 Reply
  • Toczeek

    - Witamy w Kuchni Pełnej Niespodzianek. - Witamy Pana Wacława. - Dzień Dobry.

    4 Oct 2010 Reply
  • axelrot

    On est dans l'easy listenning, donc un peu dans la musique d'ascenseur, mais où est le problème??

    27 Aug 2010 Reply
  • Katie081990

    sublime.

    9 Jun 2010 Reply
  • vrockera

    son geniales!!!!!!!!!!!

    27 Mar 2010 Reply
  • Despair_waltz

    Leslie Cheung will be "Always In My Heart"

    23 Jul 2009 Reply
  • the_micah

    Found these guys through Wong Kar Wai's classic film, Days of Being Wild. Fantastic movie and this music playing over Boyle's amazing footage of the Filipino jungle is magic...

    18 Jun 2009 Reply
  • cmurgueitio

    There is much more than just Maria Elena played by this guys. Anyone who has the chance to hear the album Casually Clasic, JUST DO IT... it's their best.

    27 Jan 2009 Reply