The recording session was in New York City. The album would be called Getz/Gilberto. The producer wanted a hook to make it more popular with the U.S. audience so he decided that they should have a song with English lyrics. They wanted a female vocalist.
Astrud, the wife of Joao, was present in the studio. She was hanging out, watching and had no music or singing experience. She was the only one of the Brazilians who spoke English. They wanted to see how the song might sound, so they asked her to sing the lyrics. Her innocent, hesitant vocal is what they were looking for. At first they planned on it being a working track and they would replace it with another vocalist. Ends up, they liked it so well that they kept it. The song became a huge hit, rising to number five on the pop charts. In fact, the album became the biggest selling jazz album ever. There have been bigger selling jazz albums since then, in the past 40 years, but it is still right up there. Getz/Gilberto is considered to be an influential album that helped introduce South American music to the English-speaking world. Here is a video of Astrud performing a version of that song, not exactly as it was on the album, but close.
Astrud Gilberto had a singing career and recorded a number of albums. Her daughter, Bebel Gilberto, is a potent force in world music today.<
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspections