The Sounds of Brazil’s ‘Meet & Greet’ With Sergio Mendes came during those first few weeks with WNUA, and they were busy ones. Looking back, it’s become one of the best stories from those early days in 1992:
The Sounds of Brazil’s July 25th, 1992 debut was enough of a success for the station and listeners that only a few days later, I was approached by Program Director Lee Hansen with news of an event that the station invited me to host.
“It’s a ‘meet and greet’ for Sergio Mendes and a chance to give The Sounds of Brazil a proper introduction,” he said (or something like that because honestly, my memory isn’t that good, two and a half decades later). “We’ll promote it and invite your listeners to attend. It’s a great tie-in.”
I recall that last part, because it really was a great tie-in. Twenty-eight and a half years earlier, Sergio Mendes discovered Lani Hall singing in a Chicago nightclub and he invited her to join his new band, set to record in Los Angeles with A&M Records in the early months of 1966.
Sergio’s ‘homecoming’ was in honor of his then-current album ‘Brasileiro’ which was already a familiar part of The Sounds of Brazil’s early playlists. It would go on to win a Grammy for Sergio Mendes and Elektra Records: well-deserved.
Nearly 200 listeners showed up at Café Ba-Ba-Re-Ba to meet Sergio that Monday night and he was gracious to a fault: introducing me to each autograph-seeking fan and telling them about my new Brazilian music show.
The date for The Sounds of Brazil’s ‘Meet & Greet’ With Sergio Mendes was August 3rd; WNUA’s 5th anniversary and in 1992: The Sounds of Brazil’s ‘Meet & Greet’ With Sergio Mendes is remembered as a special moment for Brazilian music fans here in Chicago.
Here are a few pictures from the historic evening courtesy of the Chicago Tribune’s Walter Kale, and at the very bottom… a reunion surprise!
Thanks for listening.