The words Bola Sete are Portuguese for the seventh ball in the billiard game, which is the only black one. He got his nickname after being the only black man in a small group. From an early age, he was habitual at the Bohemian circles of Praça Tiradentes, Rio, where musicians met. At 17, he joined composer Henricão's group, which was going to Marília for an eight-month season. Returning to Rio, he played at every available venue in Campinas SP and Niterói RJ. In 1945, Rio's Rádio Transmissora instituted a violão (acoustic guitar) contest, in which he was the winner. He continued to play through Minas Gerais and Rio. At last, he was hired contractually by Rádio Transmissora and he worked in the famous Trem da Alegria show for three years at the João Caetano Theater with Lamartine Babo, Iara Sales, and Héber de Bôscoli.