I dig old stuff.

My interview with Marcos Valle: An important figure in 1960’s-1970’s Brazilian music

At the beginning of the year I put together a wish list of musical heroes I wanted to interview in 2013. It’s a pretty high class list, I must say, and includes the likes of Lou Donaldson, Lalo Schifrin, Alan Hawkshaw and Jorge Ben. However, after much deliberation, I decided that none of these names were worthy of Poll Position. Sure – the prospect of interviewing any one of them would    thrill my cotton socks off, but there was someone else I desperately wanted to speak to; Someone whose music I never tire of; Someone who is one of the most important figures in 1960s/70s Brazilian music, up there with the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto – That someone is Marcos Valle.

Now, you might be sitting there thinking: “who the hell is THAT?” The fact is, you’ve probably heard some of his tunes before – you just don’t know it.  One of his most recognisable compositions is a song called Summer Samba, which was released in 1963. It was a huge hit for him and is now considered a Brazilian ‘standard’. Have a listen to it here.


A young Marcos Valle posing on the cover of his debut album, 1964

To cut a long story short, Marcos Valle is no small fry, so when I wrote down his name as number 1 on my interview list, I also wrote “AS IF!!!!!” in huge letters next to it. It seemed unlikely that someone of his caliber would be interested in being interviewed by a Dweeb from Down Under (i.e: me).

Luckily, I was wrong.

Marcos Valle's "Bed Album", 1970

Marcos Valle’s “Bed Album”, 1970

I interviewed Marcos in early June and we spoke for close to two hours. He spoke about what Brazil was like in the 50s/early 60s during the height of Bossa Nova. He spoke about the change in mood in Brazil once the military dictatorship was in full-swing and the impact it had on his songwriting. On a lighter note, he told the most hilarious tale of his run-in with actor Marlon Brando – It’s a corker!

If you want to hear all of the above and much more – including a big serve of Marcos’ music, then please tune in to my radio show, Switched On, this Saturday 6 July from 1pm AEST. If you’re in Melbourne, you can listen at PBS – 106.7FM. For everybody else, stream it at: http://www.pbsfm.org.au/switchedon

While you’re waiting, perhaps you can also check out one of my favourite tracks of his here. WARNING: IT IS FUNKY

*****UPDATE: Wednesday 10 July 2013*****

If you missed the show, you can now listen back to the entire thing via the PBS FM website here



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