Marilyn Monroe described Hollywood as “a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul”. Alberto Rabagliati – an Italian singer and actor who reached the height of his success between the 1940s and 1960s – would certainly have agreed with the beautiful diva.
But he couldn’t really complain. His career in American film was stumped in the early 1930s, by a Fox producer who caught him in bed with his lover. Kisses in real life were not worth a thousand dollars… especially when given to the wrong person, and when they were only the beginning of an inappropriate affair.
Rabagliati recouped by becoming a star of Italian pop music.
Records made his kisses lucrative again – starting with the 1940 hit “Ba ba baciami piccina” (‘baciami’ in Italian means “kiss me”).
Here, in a gallery dedicated to kisses in music from the 1920s to the 1960s, you’ll find the cover of the famous song written by Riccardo Morbelli and Luigi Astore, later popularized abroad by Rosemary Clooney.
If not a thousand dollars for a kiss, these are songs for a thousand kisses.