Hugely enjoyable 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.
“All the songs I want from films etc. Molto bene!” Caroline E
“Wonderful, your service like the music could not be better. Thanks again.” Tony, Cambridge
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.