The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th Show

In 2011, 20,000 votes were cast in 10 weeks to select 10 fan favorites from 1,000 Brazilian songs. We sent the winners to Rio! What song was #1?

The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th Show was a magnificent way to say thank you to our fans, and the musicians who create the music we love.

by Scott Adams

July 25, 2022, marks The Sounds of Brazil’s official 30th Anniversary of its broadcast debut on Smooth Jazz WNUA 95.5, Chicago, but 11 years ago, we were focused on another milestone radio event: The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th show.

Compare that number to Friends (236 episodes), The Simpsons (728 weekly shows) or Monday Night Football (730).

It was an event that was unimaginable when I was first starting out. Honestly, in the days ahead of The Sounds of Brazil’s WNUA debut in 1992, I had doubts about whether a radio show featuring musicians no one knew – and singing in a language few listeners would understand – could survive the competitive world of commercial radio in the nation’s 2nd largest media market.

So, I penciled in an early goal: 12 weeks ahead of the reporting date for Arbitron, the radio rating organization. It was a sigh of relief with Arbitron rated The Sounds of Brazil #1 in Chicago for adult listeners.

Amazingly, The Sounds of Brazil was able to repeat that result 18 times during the next 18 years.

But those initial concerns were in the rearview mirror by the time the early weeks of 2011 prompted an exciting idea for The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th show.

Why not let listeners coast-to-coast vote for the all-time, most popular songs ever played on The Sounds of Brazil? And why not give away trips for two to Rio de Janeiro as part of it?

And, to say thank you to the musicians who create the music we love, let’s have a separate ‘trip for two’ contest exclusively for them.

So, we did.

We started with 1,000 songs, whittled that list down to 100, and then posted 10 songs each week for 10 consecutive weeks, where listeners could vote for their favorites.

The ten weekly-winning songs were then ranked by vote totals to determine the final order and that’s how the playlist for The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th show came to be.

It’s about the music. It always has been that way – for the first 1,000 shows, and God willing, for another thousand more. As I write, it’s program #1,358.

Thanks for listening,

Scott Adams, Program Host

The Sounds of Brazil

Did you vote during the giveaway for The Sounds of Brazil’s 1,000th show? What was your favorite song?