“Exciting Portuguese Songs Actually Recorded ‘Live’ At the Viela, Rua das Taipas, 14.”
Born in Lisbon in 1923, Celeste Rodrigues’s professional singing career did not start until 1951. As good a singer as she was, her name always stood in the larger-than-life shadow of her older sister Amália, with whom she remained very close through the years. Although she did have a few hits (“Fado Celeste,” “Lenda das algas”), she did not record very extensively, preferring the warmth and intimacy of live performances. She spent some time in Canada in the 1970s, and throughout her career, she appeared at important concert halls in places like Paris and Rome. Unlike Amália, whose singing style was more commercial, Celeste will always be associated with a more traditional kind of fado, the so-called fado castiço: “It was [in Lisbon] that Portuguese ships set out in the fifteenth century to navigate the world,” she says, “and it was in the heart of a sailor that fado was born.” (All This Is Fado)
An intimate live performance of Celeste Rodrigues’ mournful and romantic fado, recorded beautifully in Lisbon by Rui Valentim in 1958. Has a handful of charming audience sing a long moments, too. Wonderful stuff. 320 vinyl rip by yours truly.