|Little Tony in 1967|
And it made me think of the influence of the music, films and life style that we imported from America during the two decades after the last war.
Now of course it had been going on for a long time before Bill Hayley and Elvis Presley strutted across the stage but the 1950s was when I was growing up and so it’s their music and all that went with it that I remember.
|Rosa in Naples in 1961|
But the sting was that this depended on his Italian parents to give him the money,
You want to dance rock and roll;
You play baseball
But the money for the camels,
Who give it to you??
All of which I was reminded of with the announcement of the death of Little Tony who some had called Italy’s Elvis Presley.
“Born in 1941, Little Tony had a few hits in the UK in the late 1950s and early 1960s as the lead singer of Little Tony & His Brothers. He then returned to Italy where he pursued a successful career as a singer and actor.”**
|Little Tony singing Il ragazzo col ciuffo in 1962|
His first solo hit was Il ragazzo col ciuffo – The Guy with a Quiff in 1962 and he went on to record a number of songs which sold over a million each.
And like many singers he made a successful move into films starring in 20 films and began his own record company.
Watching clips from films and TV appearances there is no getting away from the American influence as in Il ragazzo col ciuffo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCyq3HyQAWQ
But for me it is the song Peggio Per Me - Worse For Me and the accompanying video which best shows not only the impact of American music but also the way it was taken over for an Italian audience of the 1960s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkxUXzjq8KU
I saw him on TV and enjoyed his performances. He died of lung cancer on May 27, 2013, at the age of 72.
Now for those who want more I shall pass you over to that excellent site Italian Chronicles**, and in particular Italy’s Elvis Bops off to Heaven***which was where I drew much of the material for this story.
Little Tony's site can be visited at http://www.littletony.it/
*Watch Committees were responsible for police forces from 1835 till 1964 and so to "appoint constables to preserve the peace."
Pictures; Rosa in Naples from the collection of Andrew Simpson, and Little Tony from Wikipedia Commons and You Tube