Wednesday, 9 August 2017








Hi Carlus,
Thanks for all the information. 

I found Summer Holiday on YouTube and that played OK so Ikbow it was a different song. Also Pretty Woman which is not the Roy Orbison song. 

I presume the Supremes single you referred to is a Brazilian issue. I don't know how many records they issued before they finally made the charts, but their first UK hit was Where Did Our Love Go which was followed by Baby Love which was their first UK number 1. I don't know what was on the other side, but Come See About Me was the follow-up single inthe UK. I don't know a lot about their early years, but they were around for quite a while before they finally had a hit. Initially they were called The Primettes in homage to a male group called The Primes which eventually evolved into The Temptations. I don't know if they made any records under that name. No doubt Google will have the answer. I also don't know why the name change, but Berry Gordy probably thought it a good move.

I was introduced to Melanie in 1971 by a fellow student who was a big fan and played her first 4 albums (total output at that time) constantly. Unfortunately I eventually lost touch with him but I still like Melanie a lot. I agree with you that her version of Ruby Tuesday is better than the Rolling Stones' original. She also did a brilliant version of another Stones' song, Wild Horses. Most of her recordings are her own songs but she usually includes a couple of covers on each album which are always adapted to her own style and excellent in my opinion.

I got to see her live in the Royal Albert Hall in 1975 where she was the only act and was accompanied by a single guitarist whose name I can't recall. I still have the concert programme but he doesn't get a mention unfortunately. She was on stage for around 3 hours, running well over the scheduled finish time, eventually finishing when her eldest daughter came on stage, apparently unplanned but I suspect it was a ploy by her husband to call time.

I eventually got to see her again much later in 2010 at The Stables which is a small theatre in Wavenden, Just outside Milton Keynes, that is now an independent venue run by a trust but was originally created by the late Johnny Dankworth and his wife Cleo Laine on their property. It is an excellent theatre, obviously much more initiate than The Royal Albert Hall and she was able to hold conversations with members of the audience during her show which was nice. This time she had a support act her then continued as her accompanying guitarist, her son Beau Jared who is billed as a guitar virtuoso and I won't argue with that. Afterwards they sat at the merchandise table in the theatre reception and signed autographs. I dashed out to my car and returned with my 1975 programme for her to sign. She was very happy to see that and looked through it before asking if Beau Jared could take a photo of it. Obviously that was no problem and I was impressed that she asked permission, after all she is the star and I just happen to have kept an old concert programme. 

Concert programmes seem to be a thing of the past. I had a small collection which I put on eBay when I was having a big clear out in preparation for emigrating to Brazil, but this signed one is not for sale. 

I'm guessing that you don't know the story of how she got started in the music business. The programme includes a short biography including the story of how she trained to be an actress. One day she went for an audition and went to the wrong office which was that of music producer Peter Schekeryk. As it happened, she was carrying a guitar case and he asked her to play something seeing as she was there. I don't know what song she performed for him but the result was a recording contract and later marriage which lasted until he died which sadly was not long after I saw her at The Stables. 

She never planned to be a recording star and always gives me the impression that she never really thought of herself as a star, just a singer performing for friends. Even though she obviously doesn't know her fans personally and their are thousands of us, she behaves as though she knows us all and as if she doesn't believe how successful she is. It's like she is still playing for fun in a Greenwich Village folk club. What's more, her voice is still as good as ever.

Time for bed now. I hope I haven't bored you too much.

Cheers,
John

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Mario Benvenutti in 1962 by 'Correio da Manhã'

Mario Benvenutti, born in Sao Paulo in 1926, from an Italian family of restauranteurs was discovered or 'spotted' by movie people while working as in one of his father's restaurants in downtown São Paulo in 1953, having got a bit-part on Armando Couto's 'O homem dos papagaios' starred by Procopio Ferreira.

The fact is, Mario was an extremely good-looking young man and had to be in the pictures whether he had talent or not. Benvenutti happened to be talented on top of his good looks. By 1962, he had already been featured in couple of good flicks, and had just finished playing a major role on Walter Hugo Khoury's 'A ilha' (The island) that was still in the stage of post production. 

Here's an interview Mario Benvenutti gave to Rio de Janeiro's 'Correio da Manhã' published on 14 October 1962 in which he is candid about his private life and his career. Here are some excerpts of the interview he gave to a female journalist who visited him in São Paulo.


- 'Escute, Mario, conte-me sobre você...

‘Sou muito vaidoso, e acho isso muito bom, estimula, a gente tem sempre vontade de fazer alguma coisa boa para que seja elogiado e agrade...’

- ‘Sou filho de italianos. Aliás, você reparando bem, sou completamente italiano com mais de 3.000 anos de civilização pelas costas. Para ser mais explícito, digo que sou filho do Papai (uma double-entendre referindo-se ao nome Restaurante do Papai, de propriedade do pai de Mário). Não, minha cara, não estou dizendo que sou ‘filhinho-de-papai’, mas sim do dono dos restaurantes de São Paulo que tem esse nome. 

- 'Por isso que você parece tão bem nutrido... Mas como foi que deixou os comes-e-bebes paternos para enfrentar o cinema brasileiro?

- 'Foi trabalhando no ‘Restaurante do Papai’ da Praça Julio Mesquita, que entrei em contato com artistas que ali iam comer seus macarrãozinhos. Armando Couto deu-me o primeiro papel e como todo mundo comecei em ‘pontas’. Apareci em ‘Conceição’ com Norma Benguel, depois ‘Mulheres e milhões’, onde fiz o papel de um manco considerado bem bonzinho por todo mundo e excelente por minha família.

Mario solta uma de suas risadas formidáveis, fala de outros assuntos que nada tem a ver com o cinema ou nosso encontro e volta depois às minhas perguntas.

- ‘Recentemente terminei ‘A ilha’, onde apareço como um play-boy típico cheio de deslumbramentos fictícios. Agora, preparo-me para um filme ousadíssimo de Jorge Ileli cujo título provisório é ‘Os vivos estão mortos’. Ai represento um milionário blasé, frustrado, inquieto e possivelmente cruel. Como você vê sou muito versátil e talentoso. 

Quando pergunto do que gosta, responde com ímpeto que ‘de tudo e muito de tudo’, passando a enumerar as coisas mais divertidas possíveis.

- ‘Gosto da vida. De Papinni , de nadar, da noite até se tornar dia, e do dia também. Às vezes de Somerset Maugham, mas antes de se tornar ‘chato’. De meus amigos, adoro! E de minha mulher, que é a índia mais bonita do Brasil. De meus 3 filhos, um de 14 anos (nascido em 1948) e os outros dois ‘mamelucos’, com 9 e 8, que são verdadeiras ‘obras-primas’, com todas as virtudes maternas e paternas. Gosto de fazer blagues e de ‘pregar peças’  nas pessoas. Gosto de cantar, depois dos 40, vou me dedicar ao canto, dizem que tenho ‘uma bela voz’ de tenor. E de cozinhar: sou um verdadeiro artesão dos temperos. Mas não fumo e sou ambidestro.

'Correio da Manhã' 13 July 1961: Jorge Ileli's 'Mulheres & Milhões'.
Moniz Vianna writes the review: 'Mulheres & Milhões'; Correio da Manhã, 16 July 1961.
Walter Hugo Khuory's 'Noite Vazia'; 'Correio da Manhã', 25 March 1965
Moniz writes about Walter Hugo Khuory at 'Correio' on 22 January 1967.
Moniz Vianna compiles Walter Hugo Khuory's ouevre; 22 January 1967.