By Bad Seed
Amália Rodrigues was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal and in her adult life reigned as "Queen of the Fado". There'll only ever be one Amália, although it is imperative that the Fado tradition be carried on by such artists as Mariza and others. It may seem odd, but Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones know the Fado well, as do Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Ian Moss, Jimmy Barnes to name but a few, and from yesteryear, "Blind" Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie McTell, Robert (Leroy) Johnson, Lead Belly, and so many more... B.B. King continues to practice it also.
"Her father was a trumpet player and cobbler from Fundão who returned there when Amália was just over a year old, leaving her to live in Lisbon with her maternal grandmother in a deeply Catholic environment until she was 14, when her parents returned to the capital and she moved back in with them.
"She was known as the "Rainha do Fado" ("Queen of Fado") and was most influential in popularizing the fado worldwide. She was unquestionably the most important figure in the genre's development, by virtue of an innate interpretive talent carefully nurtured throughout a 40-year recording and stage career. Rodrigues' performances and choice of repertoire pushed Fado's boundaries and helped redefine it and reconfigure it for her and subsequent generations. In effect, Rodrigues wrote the rulebook on what fado could be and on how a female singer—or Fadista—should perform it, to the extent that she remains an unsurpassable model and an unending source of repertoire for all those who came afterwards. Rodrigues also remains the sole truly international star to have ever come out of Portugal, with an extensive international career between the 1950s and the 1970s, although in an era where such efforts were not as easily quantified as today. Other well-known international artists such as Madredeus, Dulce Pontes and Mariza have come close, however.
"Rodrigues' parents had nine children: Vicente and Filipe, José and António (who both died in childhood), Amália, Celeste, Aninhas (who died at sixteen), Maria da Glória (who died shortly after birth), and Maria Odete. In 1940 Amália married Francisco Cruz, a lathe worker and amateur guitar player. They separated in 1943 and were divorced in 1946. In 1961, in Rio de Janeiro, she married César Seabra, a Brazilian engineer; they remained married until his death in 1997. She had no children."
Credits at start:
1.) Statue of King Afonso Henriques, conqueror of the city in 1147.
2.) Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), a monument to Prince Henry the Navigator and the Portuguese Age of Discovery, Lisbon.
3.) Belém Tower, built in the 1510s and a symbol of the Age of Discovery.
4.) Vasco da Gama Bridge over the Tagus river.
6.) Porto, Portugal. Douro River
7.) 25 de Abril Bridge
8.) Castelo Sao Jorge
9.) Monasterio dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery)
10.) National Palace, Sintra
11.) Velhas da Praia (Old women of the Beach) by Pedro Ferreira
Paintings of Amália in random order by: Pedro Leitao, Henrique Ribo, Fernando Carlos Lopes, Edwardo Malta, and Maluda.
NB. At frame 03:14.05 is a picture of Amália's family. Presumably that is her father in the pic. And at frame 03:50.06 is Amália's mother.
Thanks to my late father for introducing me to Amália, and now understand only too well why his "tears they fell like rain" when this lady sang.