A Look Back: Crooners and Their Songs

Angie Spitalieri Ianiro, Publisher Angie Spitalieri Ianiro, Publisher

Quest’articolo fu scritto nell'agosto del 2016 dal deceduto Paul Sciria, scrisse quest’articolo che tratta di cantanti italoamericani. 

Lui parlò di Frank Sinatra, un cantante molto famoso negli stati. Lui cantò le canzoni “New York, New York” tra le altre. Parte del “Rat-Pack” con Sinatra, il cantante Dean Crocetti, conosciuto come Dean Martin. Cantò “That’s Amore,” una canzone tanto amata. Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como fu un cantante famoso, conosciuto per “Where Do I Begin” fra altre. Al Martino, conosciuto come Jasper Cini cantò la canzone famosa, “Spanish Eyes.” 

Gerry Vitaliano, conosciuto come Jerry Vale, cantò in italiano molte canzoni come “Innamorata” e “Amore Scusami.” Lui fu il cantante nel film “Good Fellas.” Walter Robert Cassotto, conosciuto come Bobby Darin, cantò la canzone “Splendido.” Francesco Paolo Lovecchio fu conosciuto per la canzone “That Lucky Sun” fra altre. Anthony Dominick Benedetto, conosciuto come Tony Bennett fu conosciuto per la canzone “Rags to Riches.” 

Vito Rocco Farinola cantò la famosa canzone “On the Street Where He Lived” del film “My Fair Lady.” Frankie “Avalon” Avallone cantò la canzone famosa “Venus.” Frankie Castelluccio, conosciuto come Frankie Valli, fu molto conosciuto per le canzoni “Worked His Way Back to You” e “Sherry.” 


An oldie but a goodie from our beloved Paul Sciria is this month’s "A Look Back" article. Originally printed in August 2016, Paul put a fun spin on this piece featuring his favorite Italian crooners. We certainly miss Paul, but thoroughly enjoy looking back on all of the pieces he contributed to La Gazzetta Italiana over the years.

In entertainment, Chicago was his “kind of town,” but Frank Sinatra, the Chairman of the Board, really loved, “New York, New York” – “Night and Day” – whether one was a “Stranger in the Night” or “The Lady was a Tramp.” Sinatra loved “All the Way” and to him “That was Life.”

One knows that Frank’s Rat-Pack buddy, Steubenville, Ohio-born Dino Crocetti, known as Dean Martin, recorded many Italian flavored songs. Comic actor Vito Scotti called “That’s Amore” the unofficial Italian American anthem. The “King of Cool’s” “Memories are Made of This” truly believed “Everybody Loves Somebody.”

Dino left the “Memories” to Pierino Ronald (Perry) Como who had “Magic Moments” “Till the End of Time.” He sang “Where Do I Begin” with “Temptation” and ended with “Goodbye Sue.” Nothing was “Impossible” for him. “For the Good Times,” Como easily “Could Catch a Falling Star.”

Another Pennsylvania popstar was Jasper Cini, better known as Al Martino of South Philly. He didn’t top the charts like Old Blue Eyes, but he loved “Spanish Eyes” believing that was a “To Each His Own” choice. “Here in his Heart,” Martino was a master in the art of cooking one entrée at a time and “Shared the Wine” at meal times.

Another master in his own right was Gerry Vitaliano a.k.a Jerry Vale. He delivered Italian melodies like “Inamorata,” “Amore Scusami,” “Non Dimenticar,” “Mala Femmina,” and “Al Di La.” He was recognized as the background vocalist in “Good Fellas” with his rendition of “Pretend You Don’t See Her.”

It’s a good thing Walden Robert Cassotto decided not to go into politics. But again, “If he were a Carpenter” show biz would never have recognized his “Splendido” with “Mack the Knife” and “Beyond the Sea.” Bobby, better known as Bobby Darin, lived to be only 37 and was already a five-star headliner.

Francesco Paolo Lovecchio gazed skyward for success and he found it with “That Lucky Old Sun” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” But, he was earthbound with his “Mule Train” and that “Jezebel” was his naughty lady.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto soared from “Rags to Riches” “Because” he “Left his heart in San Francisco” and became “A Stranger in Paradise.” In the pop world, he’s Tony Bennett and still performing at over 90-years-old. 

Vito Rocco Farinola elevated himself from ushering at the Paramount Theater in New York and became a successful romantic balladeer with “On the Street Where He Lived” from “My Fair Lady” and peaked with “You’re Breaking My Heart.” In passing, Vito is Vic Damone

Of more recent vintage, a couple of Frankies also did well. A one-time teen idol Frankie Avalon (Avallone) must have been a fan of Italian sculptor Botticelli because, like the artist, his “Venus” was also a masterpiece and for all “Four Seasons,” Francis Castelluccio (Frankie Valli) with his falsetto voice “Worked his Way Back to You” and that “You” must have been “Sherry.”