Saturday, March 26, 2011

Addio a Nilla Pizzi

Nilla Pizzi, Italian singing legend has died two weeks ago at the age of 91.

Nilla Pizzi is of course the winner of the first Sanremo festivals, 1951 with Grazie Dei Fiore (Thank you for the flowers), 1952 with Vola Colomba (Fly Dove).
Pizzi’s career started way before Sanremo, after winning a beauty pageant in 1939, her first singing trophy she collected was Voci Nuove in 1942, organised by what soon was to be RAI. (Italian national TV)

In 1944 Pizzi cut her first record, Valzer Di Primavera with Bruna Rattani. Later that year she was deemed unfit for the fascist Italian regime, her voice being to exotic and sexual.
After the war Pizzi’s career took off, performing with the all of the best Italian orchestra’s. Record companies Cetra and HMV fought over her contracts and she was one of the few stars who easily moved along with the fast changing music landscape of the early 50’s.

In 1951 she took both first and second place at the Sanremo festival. Winner Grazie Dei Fiori also broke the record for most sold disc at the time (they had 78rpm discs in those days).

Vola Colomba, the 1952 winner was even more successful and the song also travelled across the world. In 1953 she only ended second with Desiderio ‘e.
Nilla Pizzi participated in six Sanremo festivals as a solo artist. 1958’s L’Edera being one of her biggest hits.

In 1994 she performed with Una Vecchia Canzone Italiana (An old Italian song) with Squadro Italia, a group of veteran Italian singers gathered for this performance only. The song ended only 19th.

Next to all her own Sanremo songs Pizzi recorded many of the other contestants entries, including 5 songs that eventually entered Eurovision. Pizzi sang mainly in Italian but also recorded some songs in Spanish and English.

Here’s a short discography of Nilla Pizzi’s Eurocovers. All are coverversions of Italian entries.

1956 Aprite Le Finestre.
- On EP and 78 rpm (RCA A25V 0452)
1956 Amami Se Vuoi
- 78 rpm (RCA LPM 1378) and other releases
Both tracks also on LP San Remo 1956, where Pizzi sings ten Sanremo songs from 1956. (RCA A10V 0080) 

1957 Corde Della Mia Chitarra
- on US LP Rendez-vous With Nilla (RCA) and other releases

1958 Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) (see comments)
- b side to L’Edera (RCA 45-N 0647)

1961 Al di la
- on 7”, also on LP Recital De Nilla Pizzi (Durium)

Find out more about Aprite Le Finestre and Nilla Pizzi's hit version in the Eurocovers post Holy Priest, Open The Stained Glass Window.

Sources: Nilla Pizzi Wiki, Sanremo historia.

1 comment:

Eurocovers said...

Thanks Michel Pierre!