C a r m e n Miranda died in 1955. In 1957, the recordings she m a d e before she came to the United States in 1939 sounded archaic to our ears, and those she m a d e in the Uni ted States seemed ridiculous: "Ch ica chica boom chic,"
" C u a n t o le gusta," and "South Amer ican Way" were the opposite of our craving
for good taste and nat ional identity. We were listening to female vocalists who
have perhaps never been heard of here [in the United States] bu t who to us s e e m e d — a n d in some ways indeed were —superior to her: Angela Maria, Nora
Ney, Elza Soares, Maysa. We could almost sense the advent of bossa nova. Yet
Carmen Miranda, ca. 1940. Courtesy of FUNARTE, São Paulo.