Thursday, September 16, 2021

Perla Paraguaya do Brasil, A Eterna Pequenina

A 2008 Eurocovers post updated here and there with new links etc.

Brasil, Brazil, a famous one point song from the 1991 contest (Bebi Dol - Yugoslavia) but also the country with more Eurocovers recorded than any other non-Eurovision country.
I don't want to sell Football short, but music is probably the cornerstone of Brasilian life.
So it's not surprising that many Eurovision songs have found their way to Brasilian singers. From the first contest in 1956 (with at least 3 songs covered in Brasil) to well into the 70's Eurovision songs have been covered by artists from the home of Samba.
About every Italian entry, most of the songs from the U.K. and many of the winners and hits from other countries. Only Portuguese songs seem a bit underrepresented.

So here's a bit of Brasilian Pop History, mixed with a bit of Paraguay and a touch of Sweden and of course Eurovision songs.

Perla was born Ermelinda Pedroso Rodriguez d'Almeida in 1952. She was raised in a musical family in Caacupé, Paraguay but she left the family in the early 70's and headed to Rio where she started performing and was soon welcomed as an international attraction.
Appearances on popular TV shows got her a record deal soon and she released her first LP Perla* in 1972 with mainly Spanish language evergreens.

The first LP was in Spanish but her second album titled Perla was released in both a Portuguese language version and a Spanish language version, catering for the complete latin American market. It includes the first Eurovision cover, but I'll get to that later. It also includes her first hit Estrada do Sol.
Her 1976 album Palavras De Amor was also recorded in two languages and it includes what was probably her biggest hit Fernando, of ABBA fame.

Productive Perla released an album every year from 1975 to 1982 and sometimes even two, and the ABBA cover formula worked well for her. Chiquitita for example was another of her top hits as Pequenina. Later on she occasionally released an album, often sponsored by her fan club.
Most of her early songs are coverversions of popular hits and her popular ABBA covers were all re-issued on a 2002 CD 50 Perla Canta ABBA E Outros Hits (in Portuguese). Her version of S.O.S.: Paz De Um Grande Amor is as melancholy as the original and one of the best ABBA covers ever recorded (IMHO of course).
An extended version of the Canta ABBA album (also including Livre, see below) is on Spotify and other digital sources. 
Perla's more recent work is Perla, Nossas Canções from 2002 (Spanish version Perla, Nuestras Canciones was released in 2003)

Italy 1966 - Dio Come Ti Amo

You may think Eurocovers is overdoing it a bit with this one, but it's Perla's first Eurocover recorded in 1975, so it's here. It's also the most covered Eurovision entry by Brasilian artists with almost half of the covers I know of it coming from Brasil.
Perla recorded three versions:
Deus Come Te Amo (Portuguese)
- on EP Perla (RCA 1010143, 1976) and LP Perla (RCA - 1030152, 1975)
Dios Como Te Amo (Spanish)
- on LP Perla en Espanol (RCA - 9910393, 1975)
Dio Come Ti Amo (Italian, recorded in 1999)
- on CD Especialmente Para Você (Brasidisc BRCD 1005, 1999) (also on digitalia)

Italy 1977 - Libera (Mia Martini)
A disco era Eurovision song that doesn't have many covers to its name, but Perla takes care of two.
Livre (Portuguese)
- on LP Perla (RCA 1030219, 1977) (song also on digitalia)
Libre (Spanish)
- on LP Perla, Para Los Que Han Amado (RCA 99111319)

United Kingdom 1978 - Bad Old Days (Coco)
Meu Querido Pai (Portuguese)
- On LP Perla (RCA 103.0266, 1978)
Viejo Papa (Spanish)
- on LP Perla* (RCA Victor ILP 015 (Bolivia) & RCA 1836 (Venezuela)

Israel 1979 - Hallelujah (Milk and Honey, 1979 winner)
Alegria (Portuguese)
- on LP Pequenina (RCA Victor 1030309, 1979)

* As you may have noticed, several (different) LP's are just called Perla

Links and Sources:
Perla, A Eterna Pequenina is a biography from 2021 by Marinaldo Da Sila E Silva (in Portuguese)
  Perla website - This site has an extensive discography and also Perla CDs for sale. And of course pictures, lyrics and videos.
Clique Brasil and Special Thanks to João.

In previous Brasil posts you can find Puppet On A Strings and Eurocovers by My New Favorite singer Leny Eversong.


Anonymous said...

WOOWWW She is amazing!
I love all songs of PERLA.
We can hear most of her song in YOU TUBE. by Perlaradio.
She is a great talent. Wonderful voice.
I LOVE PERLA paraguaia.

erk said...

"E Depois do Adeus" is the most covered portuguese eurovision song by brazilian artists. But two of them were from the soap opera "Meu Rico Português".

E Depois do Adeus (Luiz Arruda Paes e Orquestra / Sebastião Manuel / Grupo Verde Vinho / Moacyr Franco / Ester de Abreu* / Márcio José)

Nóbrega e Sousa was covered by some brazilian artists mainly in the 60s.

Sol de Inverno (Francisco Petrônio)
Bem Bom (Sabor De Mel)
Amar Pelos Dois (Lilian)

Rosa QUe Te dei (Fred Rovella)
Trocas Baldrocas (Harmony Cats)
O Dia Em QUe o Rei Fez Anos (Roberto Leal*)
Ali Baba (Roberto Leal*)