October 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Carmen Miranda South American Way  Original Recordings 1939-1945
  Available on Naxos Nostalgia 8.120719
  Running Time: 54:45

carmen miranda

Those old enough to visit the cinema in the 1940s, will recall the exotic, OTT Carmen Miranda the Brazilian firecracker who mangled her English dialogue and caused all sorts of plot complications in some memorable 20th Century Fox musicals. But it was her colourful costumes the towering headgear full of exotic fruits, her nine-inch platform shoes, swirling skirts and her many baubles and bangles - that will be remembered best. She began her career in 1939, as Carmen Da Cunha on Broadway in Streets of Paris with comedians Olsen and Johnson and she quickly became the toast of the town. Her big number in this show was 'South American Way' which soared to the top of the charts and was never off the radio. It spread her fame all over the U.S.

When as a result America went Latin crazy Hollywood beckoned and she was given her film star name Carmen Miranda the Brazilian bombshell and appeared first in Down Argentina Way the film that launched her film career and incidentally boosted that of Bette Grable.

Carmen had signed a recording contract with Decca before going to Hollywood from Broadway and so she was able to escape the 20th Century Fox edict forbidding their stars to record as well as appear in Fox films. So we can enjoy her popular Latin hits that make up this 21 number album. Hits include her quick-tempo, tongue-twisting 'Bambu-Bambu' and 'Mama Eu Quero' and the new Harry Warren and Mack Gordon songs for the Fox films including 'Yi Yi Yi Yi (I like you very much) and 'Chica Chica Boom Chic'. Great fun.

Ian Lace

**** 4

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