Friday, February 01, 2008

Anno Domenico: 50 years ago today - Johnny Dorelli

Today it's 50 years ago that the final of the Italian SanRemo contest took place. The 3 day contest started on januari 30 and the final 10 songs competed on februari 1.
We all know the song that won, but in the olden San Remo days (1957 - 1967 + 1969) all songs were performed by two different artists, and the contest was won by both.

Modugno vs. Dorelli
Only one of them went on to Eurovision and the choice for the composer of the song is logical. So we all know Domenico Modugno, but the other winner Johnny Dorelli missed the train to world wide fame. It makes it even sadder that in 1959 the same thing happened with Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina). Modugno went to Eurovision and had the hit, Dorelli missed out.
Dorelli's version of Volare ended up at 26 in the end of year charts in Italy in 1958. Modugno's version was only #2, behind Paul Anka's Diana.
--------------------------------------------------(pic: Domenico Modugno, Nilla Pizzi & Johnny Dorelli)
Johnny Dorelli scored his first success in 1956, Calypso Melody and he also recorded international hits like Julia (a #1 in Italy), My Funny Valentine, Love In Portofino and Speedy Gonzales.

His 1967 Sar Remo entry L'immensità was another hit record (# 2 in Italy) but Dorelli's success shifted to TV shows and later to acting in Italian films.

Dorelli recently released two jazz CDs Swinging (2005) and Swinging Parte Secunda (2007) featuring new versions of jazz standards including remakes of L'Immensita, Love In Portofino, My Funny Valentine etc. Both CDs on the Carosello label are available from most webshops.

Johnny Dorelli Eurocovers Discography (additions welcome)
Italy 1958 - Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)
- 7" & EP (CGD E 6041)
Italy 1959 - Piove (Ciao Ciao bambina)
- EP (CGD HG 7707)
Italy 1960 - Romantica (Renato Rascel at Eurovision)
- details wanted

2008: Anno Domenico will feature 50 years of coverversions of Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare).With this link you'll get all the Eurocovers posts that have featured (or mentioned) the song so far.

Another Blog TipA-Ma-Zing is the only word I could find for the LP featured at You Hear It, It's Unpleasant.
The LP by US quartet The Scotch Foursome includes Volare but also a host of other sleaze-cheese you will love. The post about the Foursome is here. You can listen to Volare with the player or d/l the full album and hear Ralph, Joe, Tony & Jim slaughter classics like My Girl, Light My Fire and I Wish You Love.

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