Master Composers: Crooner Dick Farney carved out some classic melodies

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Farnesio Dutra e Silva (better known as Dick Farney) lived from November 14, 1921 to August 4, 1987 (almost the same time that LSU basketball star from the late 1960’s, “Pistol” Pete Maravich lost his life, but I digress).

Learning how to play classical music on the piano as a child growing up in Rio, he would later take his talents to NBC Radio where he would perform periodically on Milton Berle’s show, which was one a handful of popular programs of the period between 1947 and 1948.  This was all set up in 1946 when he accepted an invitation to visit the United States after meeting in the Copacabana Palace Hotel with arranger Bill Hitchcock and pianist Eddie Duchin.

His biggest fame came twice in a six-year span having his own television shows in Brazil:

1959, Dick Farney Show – TV Record, Channel 7 in São Paulo

1965, teaming up with popular actress Betty Faria (still alive today) for The Dick and Betty Show, TV Globo – Channel 4, Rio de Janeiro

He also owned a pair of nightclubs during most of the 1970’s, but perhaps the best way to describe his unique style as a cross between Frank Sinatra and a little Stan Kenton in between is in the first page of the liner notes on the album cover highlighted above.

Quoting from the last paragraph, “1954 marked the beginning of Farney’s association with Tom Jobim and the success of “Tereza Da Praia” (or “Teresa of the Beach”), performed with Lucio Alves.  Co-written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Billy Blanco…developed the singers professional rivalry into a dispute over the affections of a girl at the Leblon beach named Teresa.

How romantic, LOL:).

Here is that June 1954 hit, along with a nice hit to put most people in true holiday spirit with the hustle and bustle of many people hitting the malls to find that perfect gift to fit underneath the Christmas tree, this is the very first song on the Cherry Red Records label, “Copacabana”:


Only a few more musical blogs for 2013 before I dive into the final (according to online searches) holiday albums done by Brazilian artists.  And yes, I will try my very best to secure that one reply from the online questionnaire and maybe sprinkle in a heavy dash of Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 with their lone yuletide hit, “The Christmas Song (aka, “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”).

Just before it is Gobble Gobble, Crunch Crunch time in the United States, I think one of the most appropriate things after diving into another Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing (my favorite dish), cranberry sauce, and tons of biscuits…I will feature my second Movie Break installment.

This romantic comedy from 1998, albeit it was filmed primarily in Boston, features an up-and-coming actress at the time–who would go on to slightly bigger roles in movies such as About Schmidt and American Splendor.  The primary reason why I am choosing this movie to relax to after eating your pumpkin pie is that it features an all-Brazilian music soundtrack–including a song performed by one of my blog subjects in 2013, Bebel Gilberto.

Please look for my honest review early next week in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.

Stay dry, let alone stay warm with the chilliest air to arrive in most of the United States since March to settle on this coming weekend.

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