Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66

Lani Hall sang all the female vocals on Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 except "Aqua de Beber" performed by Janis Hansen.

"Mas Que Nada" peaked at #4 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart on September 24, 1966. It became the first song sung in Portuguese to become a worldwide hit.

In June 1967, Mendes' partner and manager, Richard Adler met with A&M sales and promotion personnel in London, Rome, Paris and Stockholm to discuss a concert tour of Europe.

The group toured as Frank Sinatra's opening act from July 2 through July 15, 1967.

Until the end of 1967, Mendes had a partnership with Richard Adler who managed the group. Effective January 1, 1968, Mendes Enterprises assumed management and booking with support from A&M.

In 1968, Sears refused to sell the Fool on the Hill album because it did not agree with the album cover art. The group is sitting on a woman's stomach and the back cover shows her nipple. In response, a sticker was placed over the nipple.


Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Fool On the Hill U.S. sticker


In February 1968, Mendes added Karen Phillip as the second vocalist and Sebastian Neto on bass.

From March 23 to April 6, 1968 Brasil '66 toured Japan. They returned for a second tour in March 1969. During May and June the group did a six-week tour of Brazil.

On November 21, 1968 in Great Britain, A&M started campaigning the single "Fool On the Hill/With a Little Help From My Friends" and the sampler "Introducing Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66" was released on December 5. The promotion included poster and window displays. 

A&M Records submitted a short film of Brasil '66 performing two songs to American Airlines.

The single "Scarborough Fair" was among Australia's Best Sellers and was ranked #7 on March 15, 1969. It was ranked the #39 Top Single of the year in Australia in 1969.

Fool On the Hill was a #3 best seller in Japan in March and July 1969.

Lani Hall left the group in 1970. With her departure, Mendes reorganized the group by adding Gracinha Leporace, Claudio Slon on drums and Laudir De Oliveira on conga. Gracinha's first vocals with Brasil '66 were "Lost in Paradise" and "Chelsea Morning" on the Stillness album.

Brasil '66 toured Japan from April 1-18, 1970. That tour was followed by a European tour from April 24 though May 16, 1970. The group toured Australia in September 1970. Billboard reported airplay and record sales were at an all time high.

In late September or early October 1970, the group re-signed with A&M Records. The deal was a four-year contract.

"Scarborough Fair" was used in the 1973 film "Heavy Traffic."

  1. From the Music Capitals of the World (New York). Mike Gross. Billboard, June 17, 1967.
  2. Concert and Waxing Projects Making Things Pop for Mendes. Eliot Tiegel. Billboard, June 15, 1968.
  3. Five Chains Ban Apple Album; Korvette 'Bites.' Bruce Weber. Billboard, December 14, 1968.
  4. From the Music Capitals of the Workd (Sydney). David Elfich. Billboard, September 26, 1970.
  5. Mendes' New Album Shifts to Purer Brazilian Sound. Billboard, November 28, 1970.
  6. Go-Set Charts
  7. A&M Puts Brasil ‘66 Into Am. Airlines Film Orbit. Billboard, January 4, 1969.
Recording Years / Label
1966-1971 -  A&M Records
Name Member Years Instruments
Bob Matthews 1966-1967 bass
Dom Um Romao 1968-1971 drums
Janis Hansen 1966-1967 vocals
Joao Palma 1966-1967 drums
Jose Soares 1966-1967 percussion
Karen Phillip 1968-1971 vocals
Lani Hall 1966-1971 vocals
Oscar Castro-Neves 1968-1971 guitars
Rubens Bassini 1968-1971 percussion
Sebastian Neto 1966-1971 bass
Sergio Mendes 1966-1971 keyboards, vocals
Name Birth Death
Bob Matthews 1935-04-13 2022-05-02
Dom Um Romao 1925-08-03 2005-07-27
Janis Hansen 1942-10-10 2017-10-04
Joao Palma 1941-01-16 2016-05-09
Jose Soares
Karen Phillip 1945-09-07
Lani Hall 1947-11-06
Oscar Castro-Neves 1940-05-15 2013-09-27
Rubens Bassini 1933-01-26 1985-09-00
Sebastian Neto 1983-11-01 2001-06-13
Sergio Mendes 1941-02-11

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