Saturday, 22 April 2017

DICK FARNEY at Carioca - 29 June 1950

Dick Farney nee Farnesio Dutra e Silva was born on 14 November 1921, in Rio de Janeiro. In a land where piano playing was not common, the boy went far when he started playing his piano at family parties. He not only played the ivories but also had a beautiful voice.

In 1937, when Farney was 15 years old he appeared at ‘Hora Juvenil’ (Youthful Hour) at Rio de Janeiro’s Radio Cruzeiro do Sul where he was acclaimed for having played Deep purple’ in the piano. He was signed by the station to play piano and accompany a particular singer who - one day - fell sick. Dick had to substitute him and after singing 'Pennies from heaven' he was acclaimed in such a way that the audience that a star was born right there and then.  

Later on, Radio man Cesar Ladeira heard about him and signed him for ‘Dick Farney, sua voz e seu piano’ (His voice & his piano) a weekly show at Radio Mayrink Veiga which was the most popular station at the Federal District in the 1930s.

Farney also worked at Casino da Urca from 1941 until 1944, playing piano with the Orchestra of Carlos Machado. 

Carioca's music columnist Daniel Taylor pays a visit to Dick Farney at his house in Rio de Janeiro and tells a few things about him: Farney's favourite composers are Frédéric Chopin and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Dick talks about his time in the U.S.A. saying that in 1946, after having lived in New York for some time he decided to sell his car and head to the West Coast. "I went to visit a friend of mine who worked as a musician at the NBC - National Broadcast Company. During a rehearsal he asked me to sing a fox called 'I don't know why'. Suddenly I saw myself under contract with that radio network and would sing a number every week at the 'Philip Morris Hour' getting paid $ 1,000 per week".

"I made quite a lot of money in the U.S., but I longed to return to Brazil and here am I working at Radio Nacional. I have just made a movie called 'Somos dois' (We're two) with lovely Marina Cunha, directed by Milton Rodrigues in which I sing six new tunes written by Klecius Penafort Caldas & Armando Cavalcanti".

I have also recorded 'Speak low' backed with 'That old black magic' plus 'Não tem solução' b/w 'A lembrança do passado' for Sinter. And it seems we'll have all my U.S. records on Brazilian  market very soon. They'll release 'Copacabana' b/w 'Marina' (both sung in English); 'Tenderly', 'My melancholy baby', 'Too marvelous for words', 'Somebody loves me' etc.

revista 'Carioca' #769 - 29 June 1950

Dick Farney tells Daniel Taylor his favourite jazz singer is the late Buddy Stewart (died in a car crash on 1st February 1950) who used to sing with the Charlie Ventura Orchestra. Ella Fitzgerald is my favourite female jazz crooner... and Woody Herman and Les Brown are the big bands I favour. 

As to pop music I like Frank Sinatra and Dick Haymes plus Warren and Doris Day. As to 'melodic' orchestras I like Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston

Farney also talks about how pleased he was when he came back to Brazil in February 1949 and was apprised of the existence of the 'Sinatra-Dick Farney Fan Club'. He said he was invited to be the Club's patron and had the chance to sing at one of the Fan Club functions at the Fluminense Football Club in which he took part in the 'That old black magic' sketch. He said the F.C. young members really know how to put on a show...   

Dick Farney recorded for smallish Sinter circa 1950.
Dick Farney conquers Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Dick Farney visits Eladyr Porto at Radio Nacional, Rio de Janeiro; Eladyr livede in Buenos Aires for quite some time in the late 40s and early 50s... 

Dick Farney, Cyl Farney & Bill Farr... three handsome men... 

Dick Farney in person at Sears Roebuck in Rio de Janeiro on 1st January 1950.

'Correio da Manhã' 1st January 1950

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