Carosone’s album covers

The Neapolitan musician, singer and songwriter Renato Carosone (1920-2001) was definitively not an American wannabe. In his most famous hit, the humorous “Tu vuo’ fa l’americano”, he indeed made fun of the pervasive post-war trend of imitating American lifestyle in Italy.

At the same time, the United States got under his skin, just like it had with most of his contemporaries, in the world of music and beyond. Swing, jazz, and boogie-woogie are prominent influences in Carosone’s songs, which reached every corner of the country either on record or during his concerts – initially with a trio in 1949, and later with a six- or eight-piece ensemble at the end of the 1950s.

The United States could not help but notice his musical genius, which strived to emulate the parodistic and atypical style that Spike Jones had pioneered.

Many of Carosone’s songs made it into the American hit lists, and his “Torero” was at no.1 for two weeks in 1957. On January 5 of the same year, this Italian singer and his band debuted at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

A great success for music and irony.

December 14, 2013