Zurita De Oliveira

Rock pioneer in Portugal, Zurita de Oliveira was born on January 19, 1931, in Torres Novas, Portugal, and died in 2015, aged 83.

In 1960, the spotlight fell on Zurita de Oliveira, half-sister of actor Camilo de Oliveira. Granddaughter of Júlia Arjona, also known as Julieta Rentini and owner of the theater company with the same name, the artistic world was therefore in her blood.

In the mid-1950s, Zurita recorded some 78 rpm records at the Estoril label, owned by businessman Manuel Simões. Accompanied by Belo Marques, it includes compositions by maestro João Aleixo, also a conductor and husband of his cousin Leónia Mendes. This was in fact one of the appearances in the film “O Cantor e a Bailarina”, by director Armando de Miranda, where Zurita participated alongside other singers, such as the then couple Domingos Marques and Maria Adelina.

In 1960 Zurita saw her most significant work published, which earned her a rightful place in the History of our Music, “O Bonitão do Rock”, a composition with lyrics and music by the singer herself. In this year in which the first album associated with new youth languages is published – the EP “Caloiros da Canção 1”, by Daniel Bacelar and dos Conchas – and despite the almost naivety of the lyrics, which portray a youthful crush on a rock musician, This authorial credit is by no means a minor factor. During the 60s, the presence of women as soloists in rock languages was practically non-existent and as composers the scenario was null – it would be necessary to wait for the 80s generation for things to change.

However, pioneering spirit did not lead to a successful career for Zurita de Oliveira, who left us in 2015. As a performer, she would not record again, her name emerging throughout the 60s as the author of several fados for Ada de Castro.

Singles & EPs

Fado is not always sad / I Knocked at the Door of Life ‎(Shellac, 10″) Records Estoril D 18526 1954
O Bonitão do Rock ‎(7″, EP) Alvorada MEP 60290 1960
O Bonitão do Rock / Lagarta Da Couve ‎(7″, Single) Alvorada MN 97.017


Zurita de Oliveira, Maria Antonieta, M. Amélia Marques – Sois Inéditas ‎(CD, Comp) Discos Estoril 20016-2 1993

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