Recently in a Roman court, a lawyer who has written books on the death of singer Rino Gaetano formally requested the courts re-open an investigation into the death of the singer-songwriter who died in a car accident on June 2, 1981 at age 30. Gaetano suffered serious head injuries during the crash and hospitals in the area were unwilling to treat him due to lack of space and unavailable specialists.
Gaetano is best known for hits “Ma il cielo è sempre più blu” and “Gianna.” Shortly before his passing, Gaetano took part in a concert series titled Qconcert with Riccardo Cocciante where he had performed a cover of a Cocciante single from 1978, “A Mano a Mano.” In the song, the singer attempts to convince an ex-love to return to him – italian and translated lyrics here.
Although “A mano a mano” never charted, Gaetano’s tender grit quietly made the song a favorite of many in Italy and its popularity has increased immensely in the past few years. It has become a staple in music reality shows, was featured in the soundtrack and trailer for the 2014 film “Allacciate le cinture,” and was part of the deluxe edition of Andrea Bocelli’s 2013 “Passione” album, cementing the single as an Italian pop classic to international audiences.
Below are the original and Bocelli versions of the ballad:
The Library of Congress is set to honor the disco era with a series of events from April 12 to May 6 with the highlight being a performance from Gloria Gaynor, popular worldwide due to her disco anthem “I Will Survive. ” The celebration honors the impact of disco on American culture but fair to say its impact was felt in Italy as well where disco took over mainstream pop in the mid-70s.
Marcella Bella was credited with the first Italian disco hit with “Nessuno Mai” and later she even recorded a disco version of “Resta Cu’mme”. Lucio Battisti incorporated the disco sound in his latest releases and Italian disco music from Raffaella Carrà and Umberto Tozzi even became world-wide hits. A favorite of that era and one that still enjoys great popularity today in Italy, with two recent films inspired by its lyrics, is “Se mi lasci non vale” from Latin crooner Julio Iglesias. The hit, written by singer-songwriter Luciano Rossi and actually released and recorded first by Rossi, was also done in Spanish by Iglesias and later released in English by Canadian Patrick Norman (“Let’s Try Once Again”).
We compiled playlists of the biggest Italian hits of each decade from the YouTube vaults, as well as one containing the most current hits, and posted it in the Video Playlists menu above. We’ll try to keep “Today’s” playlist updated monthly and mix up the others occasionally.
Fifty years ago this month, the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” was at the top of the Billboard charts and the trio were becoming international stars. To help spread the music of Motown across the globe, founder Berry Gordy had his biggest stars re-record their music in different languages and Italian seems to have been the most popular. Here’s an old NPR segment on the topic and samples of “L’Amore Verra / You Can’t Hurry Love” and Stevie Wonder’s “Il sole è di Tutti / A Place In The Sun” from Italian TV.
71-year old Gianni Morandi is still performing (wrapped about a sold-out tour with Baglioni this year), is about to star in a new TV series (“Per amore di mia figlia”), continues to run in marathons, and has now added Pokémon GO trainer to his resume. Over the weekend, the unstoppable Morandi announced the news of his capture of the elusive Pokémon monster Dragonite to his Facebook fans.
While Italian Sinfonia would love to be back on the air again, a wonderful substitution is Lolliradio Italia, a 24-hour Italian music station, bringing you the best of Italian pop, old and new, from Battisti to Baglioni, Pausini to Mengoni.
Lolliradio also broadcasts 5 other themed stations including Happy, Soft (a mix of mainly English and Italian older adult contemporary tracks – think Lite FM), Dance (DJ remixes), Hits (international hits currently playing on Italian airwaves) and Oldies (a lot of English dance pop from the 70s and 80s).
The station has its own iTunes, Android and Windows app and can also be found on TuneIn so if you’re not by your PC, connect your bluetooth receiver or Chromecast Audio @ home and transport yourself abroad for a while.
A sample of one of the many classics to be found on Italia…
YouTube user Flaniman2 is the man for all classic Italian pop music fans. His channel is dubbed “Tele Ricordi (La TiVù che non c’è più)” and his posts are made up of performances from mainly the 60s to the 80s of classic Italian hits performed live on music and variety shows, with a bunch of international hits sprinkled in.
Happy birthday to Stefania Sandrelli who turns 70 today! One of Sandrelli’s early films, and unknown to US audiences, was “Io la conoscevo bene,” a 1965 comedy-drama from Antonio Pietrangeli considered a classic in Italy. The movie was released in the US this year as part of the Criterion Collection and is recommended not only for Sandrelli’s star performance and the movie’s comparisons to La Dolce Vita, but music fans would appreciate the soundtrack containing classics from Mina, Sergio Endrigo, Ornella Vanoni and Peppino DiCapri.
Guinness World Records confirmed this week that Alessandra Amoroso’s performance on the May 12th episode of “E poi c’è Cattelan” broke a record for most duets sung consecutively in 2 minutes (19).
Read the full story from Guinness here: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2016/5/italian-pop-singer-alessandra-amoroso-sets-record-singing-duets-with-fans-429820
Coming to the US and Canada this October for Hit Week Italy‘s annual North American festival is Max Gazzè and Negrita. This will be Gazzè’s concert debut in the Americas while Negrita was part of HitWeek festivities in 2010 and 2012.
Oct 8 – Toronto
Oct 12 – NYC: Highline Ballroom
Oct 14 – Miami: North Beach Bandshell
Oct 16 – LA: Whisky a Go Go
Oct 24 – LA: Whisky a Go Go