Rainha do Radio (Radio Queen) was a contest among the leading lady crooners who sang on the many radio stations in Rio de Janeiro. Radio was the most popular means of communication in the 1950s. Contestants were supposed to sell votes to fans. She who sold the most votes would be crowned Queen of Radio.
Accordion-player Adelaide Chiozzo and 'baião's queen' Carmelia Alves were the two top contenders in 1952. Poor Mary Gonçalves from lacklustre Radio Clube do Brasil was on 3rd or 4th place.
When Carmelia Alves realized at some stage she would not make it to the top she 'donated' (dumped) all her votes on to Mary Gonçalves who unexpectedly beat Adelaide and was elected Radio Queen of 1952 with 744.826 votes.
The Radio Queen contest started in 1934, when Carmen Miranda was elected in a competition held by newspaper 'A Hora' (The Hour). Three years later, in 1937, Linda Baptista was chosen the new Radio Queen by some newspapermen association.
Then, for reasons unknown to us mere mortals, nobody ever talked about the Radio Queen contest anymore. Maybe people were turned off from monarchical institution. God only knows.
Eleven years later, in 1948, A.B.R. (Brazilian Association of Radio) an association of radio people, decided to promote a new Radio Queen contest. Dircinha Baptista, Linda's kid sister was the winner with 30,000 votes.
Then, in 1949, all hell broke lose when popular Emilinha Borba was cheated out of a certain victory as the new Radio Queen by the sponsorship Marlene received from Antarctica, a soft-drink factory that bought more votes for Marlene that any fan club could ever match. One can check it out the numbers of votes. Between 1948 and 1949 there was an increase of more than 200% in the number of ballots. Marlene was duly crowned Radio Queen of 1949 and 1950, as there was no contest the following year.
In 1951, Dalva de Oliveira won the contest maybe because she was really the most popular Brazilian female singer from 1950 through 1953. Dalva was on the top of charts most weeks of the year. Actually, Dalva de Oliveira may be said to be the best Brazilian female singer that has ever existed. I maybe am the right person to state that because I have never been partial to her, but I must recognize that Brazilian pop music is devided in Before and After Dalva de Oliveira.
Now we come to 1952, when Mary Gonçalves, a Dark Horse ends up winning the contest due to Carmelia Alves disgruntled dumping of all her votes on to Mary's candidacy.
Finally, in 1953, Emilinha Borba's fans were vindicated. They had to work a lot to get more than half-a-million votes sold. Emilinha was on top of the world.
The Radio Queen contest continued up to 1958, when radio itself was losing its ascendancy to TV the new medium that would almost wipe out Radio from the map.
Radio Queens from 1934 to 1958
1934 - Carmen Miranda is elected Radio Queen in a contest organized by newspaper 'A Hora'.
1937 - Linda Baptista is chosen Radio Queen by some newspapermen association.
1948 - Dircinha Baptista - 25.914 votes
1949 - Marlene - 529.982
1950 - there was no contest
1951- Dalva de Oliveira - 311.107
1952 - Mary Gonçalves - 744.826
1953 - Emilinha Borba - 691.515
1954 - Angela Maria - 1.464.996
1955 - Vera Lúcia - 565.636
1956 - Doris Monteiro - 875.605
1958 - Julie Joy - 111.020
We're looking for a Queen - 1949 was the year all hell broke lose...
'A Noite Ilustrada' 8 February 1949. Clockwise from upper left: Dora Lopes, Emilinha Borba, Marlene, Carmelia Alves, Violeta Cavalcanti, Diva Helean, Heleninha Costa & Julie Joy. The man in the middle is Victor Costa, A.B.R.'s president.
until 1949 there was a convivial harmony among the many would-be queens. One can see that they posed for photographs in a friendly way. But after Antarctica Softdrinks bought Marlene her crown there was bickering and bitching among the various fan-clubs especially between Marlene's and Emilinha's fans. A bitter rivalry that would last more than 40 years until one of them died... or all the fans died.
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Adelaide Chiozzo mal consegue esconder sua decepção ao saber que vencedora do concurso de Rainha do Radio 1952 é Mary Gonçalves.
Controvérsia na Eleição da RAINHA DO RADIO 1952
Revista do Radio - 10 Fevereiro 1953.
da esquerda à direita: Adelaide Chiozzo, Mary Gonçalves, Cacilda Lanuzza [do Rio Grande do Sul], Doris Monteiro, Olivinha Carvalho e a 'malvada' Carmélia Alves.
Em 1952, a luta pela coroa de Rainha do Radio foi dramática! Adelaide Chiozzo perdeu, à última hora, para Mary Gonçalves. Carmélia Alves chegou a ser acusada de ter propriciado a vitória à Mary, prejudicando a colega de emissora.
Não sei detalhes da briga, mas apenas que quando Carmelia percebeu que não tinha possibilidades de ganhar, ela transferiu todos seus votos para Mary Gonçalves, a segunda colocada, e essa, foi elevada à condição de Rainha, deixando a acordeonista com o dedo na boca e um sorriso falso nos lábios, como muito bem infere a foto no alto da página.
MARY GONÇALVES 1952 crowns EMILINHA BORBA 1953
Mary Gonçalves, Rainha do Rádio de 1952 corôa Emilinha Borba, Rainha do Rádio de 1953.
Emilinha Borba recebe de Mary Gonçalves faixa de Rainha do Radio de 1953, tendo Bill Farr como scort.reportagem da revista Carioca focaliza o baile da A.B.R. onde Mary Gonçalves coroa Emilinha Borba como a Rainha do Radio de 1953. Muitos beijos e sorrisos e o rufar de sêdas, paetês e tafetás. Rainhas e princesas não faltaram!
Lourdinha Bittencourt, Nelson Gonçalves, Dolores Duran, Mary Gonçalves, Emilinha Borba, Herivelto Martins e Chocolate no palco auditório da Radio Nacional.
Rainha do Radio 1955, Vera Lucia with João Dias and Carmen Miranda among other princesses & stage mothers.
Carmen Miranda in a public function in the same 1955.