Tune in to First Take with Lando and Chavis – weekdays from 6-9 am MT – for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!

“Manhã de Carnaval” (“Morning of Carnival”) by Luiz Bonfa (1922 – 2001) was featured in the 1959 movie “Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus)”, a retelling of the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, reset in 20th century Brazil. Marcel Camus directed the film, based on a play by Vinícius de Moraes. In the United States, the song greatly influenced the Bossa Nova movement of the late 1950s. The Guinness Book of Records ranks “Manhã de Carnaval” as one of the top ten songs played around the world.  Antonio Maria wrote the original lyrics, while Carl Sigman produced English lyrics.

Luiz Bonfa (1922 – 2001) taught himself to play guitar as a child and impressed Uruguayan instructor Isaías Sávio sufficiently to provide lessons when Bonfa was just 12 years old. By the time he was 24 years old he played the guitar in  “Orfeu da Conceição”, the play which formed the basis for “Black Orpheus”. In the early 1950s he and Dick Farney produced the foundational songs for bossa nova.

Antonio Maria (1921-1964) worked in Rio de Janeiro first as a sports commentator for Radio Ipanema, then as a journalist, writer of advertising jingles and pop music before his partnership with Luiz Bonfa produced “Manhã de Carnaval” and “Samba de Orfeu”. A heart attack felled him at the age of 43.

Carl Sigman (1909-2000) was best known as a lyricist, composer and pianist. Although he completed law school his friend Johnny Mercer wrote “Just Remember” with him in 1936 and encouraged a focus on music. His lyrics to the melody of “Manhã de Carnaval” as “A Day in the Life of a Fool” were recorded by Frank Sinatra, among many others.

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