Hello, Hello Brazil

Popular Music in the Making of Modern Brazil

Hello, Hello Brazil

Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: 16 b&w photos Published: May 2004

Author: Bryan McCann

History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies > Brazil, Music > Popular Music

“Hello, hello Brazil” was the standard greeting Brazilian radio announcers of the 1930s used to welcome their audience into an expanding cultural marketplace.  New genres like samba and repackaged older ones like choro served as the currency in this marketplace, minted in the capital in Rio de Janeiro and circulated nationally by the burgeoning recording and broadcasting industries. Bryan McCann chronicles the flourishing of Brazilian popular music between the 1920s and the 1950s. Through analysis of the competing projects of composers, producers, bureaucrats, and fans, he shows that Brazilians alternately envisioned popular music as the foundation for a unified national culture and used it as a tool to probe racial and regional divisions.

McCann explores the links between the growth of the culture industry, rapid industrialization, and the rise and fall of Getúlio Vargas’s Estado Novo dictatorship. He argues that these processes opened a window of opportunity for the creation of enduring cultural patterns and demonstrates that the understandings of popular music cemented in the mid–twentieth century continue to structure Brazilian cultural life in the early twenty-first.


Hello, Hello Brazil is a welcome contribution to English language scholarship in Brazilian cultural history. While a Brazilian readership may already be acquainted with many of McCann’s observations, this audience would nevertheless appreciate the discussion of little-known archival material that has been unearthed by the author. For an international audience, this book provides a detailed and clearly expressed account of a particularly important era for the development of contemporary Brazilian musical, social and political life.”
— Dan Bendrups, Perfect Beat

“[A] good story peopled with colourful characters, and Bryan McCann tells it with scrupulous care. . . . McCann offers food for thought about any country where popular music is concerned with its integrity under American influence, which I guess is just about everywhere.”
— Clive Bell, The Wire

“[A] sensitive, pioneering analysis that will be required reading for any serious student of Brazilian music, the culture of the era, and the larger issues of Third World popular culture in the twentieth century.” — Jeffrey D. Needel, Hispanic American Historical Review

“[S]ensitivity to the complexities and contradictions of the period not only makes of Hello, Hello Brazil a fine piece of scholarly research, but also marks McCann’s emergence as one of the most authoritative new commentators on Brazilian popular music history. A voice to listen out for.” — David Treece, The Americas

“All in all, McCann presents a nuanced and eloquent account of the role of Brazilian popular music in the construction of national identity. . . . This book will be an important contribution to discussions about the genesis of ‘invented traditions’ and ‘Americanization’ in the western hemisphere, and its multi-faceted approach should assure the wide readership it deserves.” — Corinne A. Pernet, Canadian Journal of History

“McCann has written an important book, destined to become a classic in the field of modern Brazilian cultural history.” — Christopher Dunn, Luso-Brazilian Review

"[A] colorful book about the changes in Brazilian popular music from the 1920s through the 1950s. . . . The book is very detailed, and incredibly informative and interesting, even for somebody with little background knowledge of Brazil. . . . This would be a great book for anyone interested in Latin America and music." — Morgan Anne, Altar Magazine

"A thorough, fascinating overview. . . ." — Library Journal

"[A]n entertaining and convincing work that provides new insights on an area of study that has become increasingly familiar in recent years. . . . The book is eloquently written in a lively style that will almost certainly appeal to anyone interested in this fascinating period of Brazilian history." — Sean Stroud, Journal of Latin American Studies

"McCann's attention to historical detail is stunning. The sheer magnitude of his archival research at the Museum of Image and Sound . . . is a feat that music scholars with an interest in this period of Brazilian music history will admire." — Kariann E. Goldschmitt, Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology

"This could be the definitive book about samba. . . . The book reads with the compulsive insistence that is the stuff of its subject. It is highly recommended and it will have you out there yearning for the clatter and bang, the wiggle and shake, and the irresistible charm that is samba." — Lawrence Brazier, Jazz Now

"This is an extremely well-conceived study that effectively considers the central yet complicated role of popular culture in the construction of modern Brazilian identity. It will appeal to a wide readership interested in radio, music, ethnic identity, and the myriad forms of 'invented tradition.'" — Andrew G. Wood, American Historical Review

"This volume is both a serious treatment containing firsthand information sustained by reliable documentation and a pleasantly written presentation couched in subtle humor. . . . An informative and excellent read. Highly recommended." — Kazadi wa Mukuna, Choice

"Well researched and presented in plain, non-academic language, Hello, Hello Brazil is a fascinating study of popular music as both chronicler and instrument of change." — Fernando Gonzalez, Jazziz

Hello, Hello Brazil is a fascinating discussion of Brazilian popular culture based on a set of documents virtually unmentioned in English-language scholarship. The topics covered—music, the music market, advertising, and fans and fan clubs—are crucial to understandings of Brazil.” — Jeffrey Lesser, author of Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil

“No Latin American country offers more for the study of popular culture through music than Brazil. Bryan McCann’s revelation of this neglected source will delight both Brazilian and non-Brazilian readers.” — Thomas Skidmore, author of Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought


Availability: In stock
Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Bryan McCann is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Georgetown University.

Table of Contents Back to Top

Introduction 1

1. Radio and Estado Novo 19

2. Samba and National Identity

3. The Rise of Northeastern Regionalism 96

4. American Seduction

5. Inventing the Old Guard of Brazilian Popular Music 160

6. Fan Clubs and Auditoriam Programs

7. Advertising and Audience Fragmentation 215

Conclusion 235


Bibliography 281

Index 291
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing

Winner, 2005 Roberto Reis Prize, Brazilian Studies Association

Winner, 2005 Woody Guthrie Award, International Association for the Study of Popular Music

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3273-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3284-8
Publicity material