Son of the peasant, Zé Pretinho moved to Rio de Janeiro in 16 and joined the Navy, when he began to write music that might be recorded by a number of the popular performers of his period. Making connection with Child Pepe and Noel Rosa, he previously several functions in cooperation with them, including “Tenho Raiva de Quem Sabe,” documented by Mário Reis in 1934. In 1937, he composed “Amar é Muito Bom” (with Manuel Ferreira) for the Carnival, documented by Jaime Vogeler. Within the next calendar year, he composed “Uma Dor e Uma Saudade” (with Reis Saint-Clair), documented by Orlando Silva in 1939. In 1940, Carmen Barbosa documented Pretinho’s “Quem É Que Não Chora.” After retiring in the Navy, Zé Pretinho began to perform in nightclubs.