In the 1960s the waves of Bossa Nova traveled far away, from the Americas to Europe and Asia, like a gentle tsunami. In 1962, it would be no surprise to hear that the first lady of USA Jacqueline Kennedy was whistling the melodic notes of the song Maria Ninguém, after an event she hosted in the White House, on which Paul Winter’s group performed Bossa Nova tunes. Back then she claimed to have Maria Ninguém as her favorite tune. This song was composed by the Brazilian musician Carlos Lyra in 1956 and the lyrics express his love for Maria, such a unique woman despite her common name.
Far away from the White House, in Paris 1964 la belle Brigitte Bardot, French actress and sex symbol, loved so much Bossa Nova that ended up staying for some weeks in Búzios, a beach town near Rio de Janeiro. During her time in Brazil she met some of the main composers of Bossa Nova, including Tom Jobim & Vinícius de Moraes. Upon her return to France, Bardot recorded an album in Portuguese singing Maria Ninguém. See for yourself in the video below.
For more curious anecdotes and historical facts about Bossa Nova, and to listen to a live performance of its standards, please check my upcoming lecture-concert Bossa Nova Way, December 3rd, 2011, 8pm, $20, at Subterranean ArtHouse, Berkeley.
Celebrities apart, what is your favorite Bossa Nova tune? Mine is Dindi and yours is…