The Amazing Musical Life of Cauby Peixoto

Remembering the multi-generational talent of a Brazilian legend.

It is said that, at the very beginning of his career, Cauby Peixoto hired a manger. “You just show up on stage and sing,” he was told. “I’ll do the rest.”

That piece of good advice brought his fans a lifetime of great music and helped to insure that Cauby Peixoto would remain a household word in Brazil for the next six decades.

Renowned Brazilian crooner Cauby Peixoto died of pneumonia while on tour in the city of Sao Paulo, on Sunday May 15th. He was 85.

Throughout his career, Cauby Peixoto recorded and performed hit songs by many the top composers of the day. His first radio hit came in 1955 when he covered Nat “King” Cole’s ‘Blue Gardenia’ with Portuguese lyrics. Later that year, he arrived in the U.S., performing as Ron Coby (or Coby Dijon) with the likes of Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Carmen Miranda and Cole, his musical idol. Time and Life magazine dubbed him “the Brazilian Elvis Presley” due in part to his extravagant style of dress.

The picture above (provided to us by Nancy Lara) shows off his celebrity status and the value of having a great manager looking after things for you: Arriving in New York City on the maiden flight of Varig Brazilian Airlines’ Super Constellation passenger plane. Note the bag, in English and the carefully positioned photographer.

You can’t help but be impressed. It would be nearly two decades before Roberto Carlos would follow in Peixoto’s footsteps as a legendary performer.

That was Cauby. He, along with vocal star Angela Maria was in the middle of their “120 Years of Music” concert tour when he was called home.