Thursday, June 1, 2017

Heleninha Costa

Heleninha Costa was popular in a time known as radio-auditorim-era - that spanned from the mid-1940s to late 1950s. It was a time when Radio was King in Brazil and most of the broadcasting was done from Rio de Janeiro, the capital of the nation.

Weekly magazine 'Carioca' sent journalist Miguel Cury to interview Heleninha at home, in 1950 and she tells him she earned enough money to buy an apartment for herself; even though she sang Carnaval hits she was a really private person to go out and enjoy herself during those festivities. She confessed she fancied actor Burt Lancaster and would welcome his kisses.

This interview was done a few weeks before she met her own Prince Charming in the person of Ismael Netto. At first they would not see eye-to-eye but eventually he would write 'Afinal' that shot to Number One in the charts in June 1951.

Heleninha recorded 'Barracão' written by Luiz Antonio & Odemar Teixeira Magalhães on 20 August 1952. The disc was released in November and was a hit during Carnaval 1953 - being recreated in the 1970s by Elizeth Cardoso and Jacob do Bandolim.

Heleninha Costa was born on 18 January 1924, in Rio de Janeiro but moved to Santos-SP when she was still a baby.

Helena sang at ‘Hora Infantil’ on Radio Club de Santos in 1938, when she was only 14 years old and became a regular performer at the radio station until she moved on to Radio Atlantica in 1939

At her school holidays, Heleninha would visit her grandparents in Rio and ended up singing at Radio Mayrink Veiga in one of those times.

After  Heleninha graduated as an accountant, she was signed by Radio Tupi in São Paulo but after 6 months had to leave because her father, who was a Federal public servant was re-assigned to Rio and the whole family moved back to their original place.

Helena performed at Radio Nacional and Rio de Janeiro’s Radio Club while also singing at the Casino at Urca – the poshest in the country. She was lucky enough to have been given ‘Exaltação à Bahia’ written by the Casino’s pianist Vicente Paiva to record. As the song became popular Heleninha’s star also moved up.

Heleninha also travelled the country singing at radio stations in Bahia, Pernambuco and Pará. She was invited by Cesar de Alencar to join Radio Mayrink Veiga staying there for 3 years before she moved finally to Radio Nacional where she'd meet her future husband Ismael Neto.  

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