Carlos Lyra was born on May 11, 1939 in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His first song to be recorded was Menina (Girl) in 1954, released as a single by Sylvia Telles in 1955, with Foi a noite (It Was The Night)by Antonio Carlos Jobim on the other side of the record. The composers met for the first time because of this single, when Jobim called Lyra, the other side of the record. Both were composing their own music and writing lyrics and created a colloquial and completely new style. Writing about their own experiences and feelings was a completely different lyrical style from most songs written at that time.
His first compositions from 1954 to 1956 included Quando chegares (When you Arrive), Barquinho de Papel (Paper Boat), Ciúme (Jealuosy), Criticando (Criticizing) and Maria Ninguém (Maria Nobody). By 1957 Carlos began collaborating with the lyricist Ronaldo Bôscoli, songs such as Lobo bobo, Saudade fez um samba (Saudade Made A Samba) and Se é tarde me perdoa (If it’s Late Forgive Me).
In 1958 wrote Aruanda and Quem quiser encontrar o amor (Whoever Want To Find Love), with Geraldo Vandré. In 1960 he started to compose together with Vinicius de Moraes, songs as Você e eu (You And Me), Coisa mais linda (Most Beautiful Thing), Sabe você? (Do You Know), Samba do Carioca (Samba From Rio), Maria Moita (Maria Bush) and many others. They wrote together a musical play in 1962 called Pobre Menina Rica (Poor Little Rich Girl Blue).
In 1959 Carlos and Antonio Carlos Jobim, were the first two music composers, together with lyricists Vinicius de Moraes and Ronaldo Boscoli, to be recorded by João Gilberto on his first LP titled Chega de Saudade, (Enough Of Saudade) which was called the first generation of Bossa Nova.
1961 saw Lyra as one of the five founders of Center of Popular Culture aka CPC, where he started to write songs for cinema and theater. He also wrote the song Influência do Jazz (Influence Of Jazz), one of the songs he sang at the Bossa Nova Concert at Carnegie Hall in 1962.
Composer, lyricist, guitarist and vocalist Carlos Lyra, who penned many bossa nova and Música popular brasileira classics, continues to compose, record, and perform today.
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