Nelson Gonçalves

Nelson Gonçalves (June 21, 1919 – April 18, 1998) was a Brazilian singer and songwriter.

Born Antônio Gonçalves Sobral in Santana do Livramento, Rio Grande do Sul, he was raised in São Paulo. As a young man, he worked at a variety of menial jobs, including boxing, before embarking on a career in music that saw him become one of the most popular Brazilian radio singers of the 1950s.

Nelson Gonçalves had a very productive collaboration with lyricist Adelino Moreira and recorded numerous successful albums. One of the great crooners of the day, he gained an international following and appeared at venues such as Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Nelson sold more than 62 million albums around the globe and is the second best-selling Brazilian artist of all time, behind Roberto Carlos (77 million).

His personal life was sometimes filled with turmoil and at one time, a cocaine addiction almost destroyed his career. Having an outstanding singing voice, he was known to suffer from severe stuttering in his regular speech.

Nelson Gonçalves died of a heart attack at the age of 79.

On his passing, Nelson Gonçalves was buried at Cemitério São João Batista in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2001, director Elizeu Ewald filmed a docu-drama about his life.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 21st, 1919 (Santana do Livramento), Died April 18th, 1998 (Rio de Janeiro)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, composer


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor S-052405 10-in. 11/6/1941 Podia ser pior Nelson Gonçalves Male vocal solo vocalist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Gonçalves, Nelson," accessed January 27, 2021,

Gonçalves, Nelson. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 27, 2021, from

"Gonçalves, Nelson." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 27 January 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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