Monday, 10 July 2017

Claudette Soares

Revista do Radio chronicles the lives of a few young singers who entered a new radio show sponsored by Casa Neno, a major electric appliances outlet in Rio de Janeiro. The idea of sponsoring a radio show that would not bind itself to a specific radio station but would move around buying air-time from the major broadcasting companies was something completely new. Casa Neno's director Mr Claudio Ramos had this novel idea when he spotted young Claudette Soares singing at Radio Tupi and was impressed with her talent. He signed Claudette to a contract to his company immediately.

Soon, the businessman associated himself with radio-man Renato Murce and signed enough rookie crooners to start a live radio show named P.R.E-Nenoo prefixo da esperança - which gave the idea it was a radio station within a radio station - PRE being the most common radio-prefix in Brazil corresponding roughly to W in the US East Coast or K in the West Coast.

'PRE-Neno, o prefixo da esperança' started at Radio Mauá on Sundays but soon branched out to other radio stations like Thursdays at 8:10 PM at Radio Globo; on Saturday at Programa Cesar de Alencar and on Sunday at 10:30 at Programa Manoel Barcelos on Radio Nacional.


Revista do Radio, 26 February 1952; Carlos Augusto (19 years old), Claudette Soares (14), Norma Suely (18 years old) & MC Cesar de Alencar; nearly 2,000 people crowded Theatro João Caetano at Praça Tiradentes cheered the talented performers.

Claudette Soares nee Claudette Colbert Soares, born on 31st October 1937, Norma Suely nee Vita de Araujo Santos, born on 26 June 1934 in Ponte Nova-MG, Carlos Augusto nee Carlos Antonio de Souza Moreira, born on 10 July 1933, Roberto Luna nee Waldemar Farias, born on 1st December 1929, in Serraria-PB, Rogeria nee Rogeria Pestana, born on 19 June 1935 in Rio de Janeiro-DF.

These young hopefuls had each a different style: Norma Suely had a classically-trained voice and sang romantic numbers from Dalva de Oliveira's repertoire, for instance. Claudette Soares' specialty were the up-tempo numbers like baiao, mambo, sambas and maybe due to her diminutive height she was a favourite with the crowd and it's easy to see Claudette's smiling face on almost every photo reacting to the public's approval.


Martha Janete, Roberto Luna (22 years old), Norma Suely & Renato Murce, Claudette Soares; even before PRE-Neno was over Norma Suely and Roberto Luna were signed by Radio Clube, Claudette Soares by Radio Tamoyo.


Claudette starlet; Revista do Radio, 25 August 1953 chronicles the ups & ups of Norma Suely who had alredy flown to Italy and was singing at RAI somehow; Mione Amorim e Terezinha Magalhães who were free-lance at various radio-stations; Martha Janete was signed by Radio Mayrink Veiga; Rogeria and Carlos Augusto belonged to Radio Nacional and Roberto Luna was at Radio Clube. 


Revista do Radio, 4 September 1954; by then Claudette Soares had been signed by Columbia Records and would appear at Revista do Radio pages as a celebrity beside Ismael Neto, Heleninha Costa, Abelardo Barbosa & Chocolate. 


Claudette’s father named her after Claudette Colbert because he was a great fan of the US movie actress. So there you are: Claudette Colbert Soares, born on 31st October 1937. She went through Junior and Senior High School (Cientifico) at Educandario Ruy Barbosa and now is taking English at the same school.

Claudette sang at ‘Papel Carbono’ in 1947, when she was 10 years old. She moved on to Silveira Lima’s ‘Programa do Guri’ on Radio Mauá, then to Arnaldo Amaral’s ‘Pescando estrêlas’ on Radio Clube to go back to ‘Papel Carbono’ where she was spotted by business-man Claudio Ramos who thought Claudette would be a star at ‘PRE-Neno’.

Miss Soares was signed by Emissoras Associadas comprising of Radios Tupy and Tamoyo and finally got the chance to record 2 discs at Columbia Records in 1954: 'Você não sabe' b/w 'Trabalha, Mané' and the one shown below: 'Ping-pong' b/w 'Baião da despedida'.

Journalist song-writer René Bittencourt (1910-1979) was so impressed with Claudette's performance at 'Pescando estrêlas' that he accorded her the title 'Princess of Baião' (Princezinha do Baião). Luiz Gonzaga and Carmelia Alves both agreed with that sobriquet. It turned out to be a double-edged sword for when baião fell out of fashion Claudette had a hard time to shake it off.

Claudette made a name for herself as a great dancer too for she danced not only the baião but also the frêvo (from Pernambuco) which is a most intricate dance and requires a lot of training.

Claudette Soares had only just begun but she had a fan club in Anapolis-GO, another one in Gouveia-MG and the one at the Distrito Federal. By the time of this article at Revista do Radio (1954) Claudette had been singing with the orchestra of Fernando Ferreira at functions at the Fluminense Football Club the poshest in town. Even though Mr. Ferreira had died the ochestra kept his name but it was directed by trombonist Waldomiro. Bill Farr was the male crooner. 


Claudette Soares 2nd release by Columbia Records in 1954: 'Ping pong', a mambo written by Nilo Ramos on the A side and 'Baião da despedida' (Americo Castro & Ary Vieira) on the B-side. 

Revista do Radio, 9 January 1951, tells the story of how Casa Neno was established at Rua Buenos Aires, 151 in 1947 by three brothers, Major Paulo Ramos, Claudio Ramos & Braulio Ramos. A fourth brother, Fabio Ramos joined in later when Casa Neno had its headquaters on Rua Republica do Libano, 7. They sold mainly electrical appliances having a huge record-shop just opposite their main store on Republica do Libano, 14-B & 16.  

Casa Neno's sponsored 'PRE-Neno' was so successful that its director Mr. Claudio Ramos decided to run for city-councillor at the next election. 

Casa Neno at Rua Republica do Libado, sold records & electrical appliances. 
Casa Neno sold better than the others because it had a credit system in which the customer could pay in instalments.
'Radiolandia', 1st August 1963 tells Claudette Soares story.

Claudette Soares much later in 1964 at Juan Sebastião Bar in Sao Paulo.



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