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Italiano Americano - Popular Hits Of The 1940s, 50s & 60s
Availability: Guaranteed In-Stock
Product Code: PPCD78152
Quantity: Now Only 10.00 ($14.08)

Italiano Americano - Popular Hits Of The 1940s, 50s & 60s

Hugely enjoyable NEW album featuring the most popular Italiano Americano artists and recognisable songs from their peak years. Fabulous remastering from the original records - 23 brilliantly entertaining tracks.

Track Listing

  1. Tony Renis - Quando Quando Quando
  2. Connie Francis - Torero
  3. Dean Martin - That's Amore
  4. Renato Carosone - Tu Vuo Fa L'Americano
  5. Peggy Lee - Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba
  6. Louis Prima - Angelina
  7. Frank Sinatra - Isle Of Capri
  8. Nat King Cole - Non Dimenticar
  9. Dean Martin - Sway
  10. Doris Day - Que Sera Sera
  11. Perry Como - Papa Love Mambo
  12. Louis Prima - Buona Sera
  13. Lou Monte - Lazy Mary
  14. Bing Crosby - Mona Lisa
  15. Mina - Renato
  16. Frank Sinatra - Nevertheless
  17. Tony Bennett/Count Basie - With Plenty Of Money And You
  18. Dean Martin - Volare
  19. Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife
  20. Dean Martin - Bella Bella Bambina
  21. Louis Prima - Just A Gigolo/Ain't Go Nobody
  22. Dean Martin - Mambo Italiano
  23. Fred Buscaglione - Love In Portofino


On this brilliant NEW album we see two branches of the same national character in different environments – the differences are obvious, but common to both is the passion, the gregariousness, the feeling, above all, of being alive. Enjoy 23 fabulous tracks!

  • Popular Italian / American hits
  • Recognisable and catchy tunes
  • Brilliant remastering from Ted Kendall
  • Perfect background music for cafe and coffee shops
  • Some really happy tunes with a few laid-back ballads. Perfect!

Cover Notes

Italy, as the unified state we know today, has only existed since 1861, and many of the new country's policies were directed towards industrial development in the North of the country, leaving the poorer and overpopulated South largely to fend for itself. The hardships thus caused drove emigration to the United States on a scale comparable with that from Ireland – four million people between 1880 and 1920 alone. Given the hardship and unfamiliarity of their new home, it is not surprising that Italian immigrants, like other groups, stuck together in “Little Italies” across the USA, and out of this cohesion arose many Italo-American success stories – not least in entertainment, characterised in large part by nostalgia for the country they had left behind. Conversely, after the Second World War, in which American troops invaded Italy, native Italian artists became fascinated by the land of money, cars, cigarettes, and whisky. Thus American exiles from Italy idolised the place and those actually living there couldn't get enough of America. True, the other man's grass is seldom anything but greener, but here the contrast is particularly stark.

The Italo-American artists which first spring to many minds are fellow Rat Packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Both sons of immigrant parents, they graduated from dance band singers to solo performers on stage, film and records. Martin's style is the more relaxed – the sun seems always to be shining, and he handles comic numbers like Mambo Italiano with a lightness of touch Sinatra doesn't approach – free and easy as his Isle of Capri may be, there is an undercurrent of menace when he mentions the ring on the lady's finger – evidently he had to retreat hastily, or more than his pride may have been hurt. There again, the poignancy of Sinatra's Nevertheless would be a closed book to Martin. Both were suspected at one time or another of Mafia associations – either this or stifling parental influence dogged the career of many artists featured here.

One such was Connie Francis, who would undoubtedly have married Bobby Darin had her father not warned him off in plain terms. Francis made many albums of Italian songs both old and new, and here we hear her powerful voice to good effect on Torero, written by Renato Carosone, of whom more anon. Darin, whose maternal grandfather was of Italian descent, was raised in a mixed neighbourhood of Italian and Irish immigrants. Yet like Tony Bennett, he steered clear of specifically Italian material, so we feature him here in his most popular hit Mack The Knife – a song by a German, based on an opera by an Englishman! Similarly, we couldn't omit Mr Bennett, revered by his contemporaries as the master, so here he is accompanied by the Basie band in Plenty of Money And You.

Louis Prima had a long and eventful career, starting as a trumpeter in a jazz band in the nineteen twenties and remaining active for another forty years, with swing, big band, lounge and rock acts.  Like Noel Coward, he is probably best known now for a late film performance, as the voice of King Louie in the Disney film The Jungle Book. Angelina was a hardy perennial of his career, supposedly in praise of his mother, despite the lyric. Buona Sera, one of his most popular tunes, was recorded during the most influential period of his recording career as was Just A Gigolo, which practically became his theme song.

One artist who led both a successful and a blameless life, however, was Perry Como (Papa Loves Mambo). His father urged him to accept an offer to join the Freddy Carlone band in 1932, despite his already having a good living as a hairdresser, and thereafter Como scarcely looked back. A thorough professional, he remained popular (and happily married) for the rest of his life.

Given Bing Crosby's output and appetite for commercial material, it is perhaps surprising that he made an album in the 1950s called “Songs I Wish I Had Sung The First Time Around”, which featured covers of songs made famous by rival artists. His version of Mona Lisa, unlike Nat King Cole's, includes the verse as well as the chorus of the song. Cole's unique voice appears here in Non Dimenticar.

Of Scandinavian rather than Italian extraction, Peggy Lee recorded Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba early in her solo career, following a spell with Benny Goodman. Fifty years later, she was still performing, albeit in a wheelchair.

Doris Day's signature tune Que Sera Sera was a hit all over Europe and America – as it was designed to be, the phrase meaning roughly the same thing in any Romance language you care to name. Other versions have been successful in India, China, Japan and Australia.

Lazy Mary is Lou Monte's rework of the traditional Italian song “Luna Mezzo Mare”, in which an Italian girl and her mother evaluate her suitors as husband material. The song is now found both in the film “The Godfather” and as a nursery rhyme!

Renato Carosone's Tu Vuò Fa' L'Americano neatly encapsulates the obsession with all things American which pervaded the rising generation in 1950s Italy – Mark Clark's farcical procession towards Rome had left plenty of time for the GI influence to permeate the native populace. Carosone's lyric is peppered with Americanisms, along with laments at having to cadge money off his parents!

Fred Buscaliogne's popular stage persona was shaped by the war – a shifty black marketeer with a weakness for women. However, he had a thoughtful side, too, as you may hear on his own composition Love In Portofino. Buscaliogne's career was cut short when his pink Ford Thunderbird collided with a truck outside the American Embassy in Rome.

Tony Renis and Mina exemplify the more modern Italian pop style – an amalgam of American rhythm and Italian lyricism. Renis' breakthrough hit Quando Quando Quando heralded a long career, whilst Mina evolved from the “screamer” of such songs as Renato into the undisputed queen of Italian pop, and is still releasing albums today.

Here, then, we see two branches of the same national character in different environments – the differences are obvious, but common to both is the passion, the gregariousness, the feeling, above all, of being alive. Enjoy!


(c) Past Perfect Vintage Music



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Availability: Guaranteed In-Stock
Product Code: PPCD78152
Quantity: Now Only 10.00 ($14.08)