The Archivio Storico della Canzone Napoletana is a project proposed by Radio-RAI,
created in collaboration with the Campania Region, the Province of
Naples and the City of Naples, with the precise objective of
collecting, documenting, digitalising all the available examples of
Neapolitan musical repertoires and placing them at the disposal of the
From Enrico Caruso and Fernando De Lucia to Almamegretta and 99 Posse,
on an itinerary which includes Gennaro Pasquariello and Gilda
Mignonette, Nino Taranto and Maria Paris, Sergio Bruni and Roberto
Murolo, Renato Carosone and Mario Merola, Peppino Di Capri and Pino
Daniele, Nino D'Angelo and Gigi D'Alessio... But also Elvis Presley
and Paul Mc Cartney, Dulce Pontes and Caetano Veloso, Mireille Mathieu
and Charles Aznavour, Frank Sinatra and Frank Zappa.
The second prize of the 16th edition of the Festival della Canzone Napoletana was rewarded to Bandiera bianca, whose video with the performance by Sergio Bruni has already been proposed to you. But the song was also performed by the splendid Maria Paris who participated in that same edition of the Festival with another two songs: Meno 10 meno 5 meno 4 meno 3, together with Giacomo Rondinella; and M' 'o levo o nun m' 'o levo.
This song that Francesco Fiore presented during the 1935 edition of the Piedigrotta Festival was very bitter yet it did not reap much success. The "signora contadina" (peasant-woman) to whom the title of the song refers to is none other than the wife of the leading character in the song, which we are proposing for your entertainment. She ran away from home, leaving behind her daughter Ninuccia, to rush into the arms of a landowner who would give her a life of great ease.
The video we are offering you today is a tribute to one of the greatest composers and performers of Neapolitan song (and not only), namely the maestro Renato Carosone. He retired from the stage in 1960, when at the height of his career because he wanted to «leave the stage while I'm still alive», he declared. After that, Carosone returned to the stage twice: the first time was in 1975 when he conducted an orchestra on the premises of the Bussola di Viareggio, while the second time was in 1989 when he made his debut in the Sanremo Song Festival with the song entitled Na canzuncella doce doce.
«In Naples, poetry can be hiding in the strangest places, even in the café that Fiore used to run in the Vasto quarter that was a meeting-place for all the opera-lovers and fans of the Napoli football team». This is how the part that Pietro Gargano dedicates to the Italian poet Francesco Fiore in his "Nuova enciclopedia illustrata della canzone napoletana" begins. Fiore's wife, Anna Russo, was the one who ran that café.
Tutta pe mme is a very ironical and sometimes malicious serenade and we wish to present it to you today. «Io mo nun canto pe tte, / canto pe' n'ata. / No, nun te voglio vedé comm'a na vota. Tu nun si' niente pe mmé, / niente pe mmé. / Nun saccio cchiù / che nomme tiene tu, / Marì» (I'm not singing for you now / I'm singing for somebody else. / No, I don't want to see you as I used to. You don't mean anything to me any longer, / you don't mean anything to me. / I no longer know / your name, / Maria), the song in fact recites.
We shall be continuing with our long journey through the poetry of Francesco Fiore by presenting you with one of the least known pieces belonging to the immense production of the Neapolitan artist, that is Voglio a tte!. This song is another result of the splendid collaboration between the poet and the man whom he defined as "the Neapolitan Puccini", namely Gaetano Lama.
Today we are presenting an interesting report that was broadcast on 23 March 1960 during the Cronache di attualità programme that was directed by Raimondo Musu. The report, devised by Baudo Fiorentino, took off from the square in Posillipo where the stele dedicated to Salvatore Di Giacomo stands and which (years later) was entitled to the great poet.
«'O ssaccio!... nun m' 'o ddi!... t'aggio capito: / mo ca te so' marito / te cride 'e cummannà» (I know... you don't have to tell me... I know what you mean: / now that I'm your husband / you think you can boss me around). These are the first few lines of Te lasso, one of Francesco Fiore's greatest hits that was put to music by the maestro Gaetano Lama and published by La Canzonetta company in 1924.
The video we are presenting to you today dates back to 1973. It was the opening tune of the very successful variety show called Dove sta Zazà, staged in Il Bagaglino and directed by Antonello Falqui. The most prominent names in Italian cabaret of the times performed on stage, namely Pino Caruso, Oreste Lionello, Enrico Montesano and Pippo Franco. But the true star of the show was the splendid Gabriella Ferri who, from that moment on, became definitely established also on the television screen.
The video we are presenting today to all our friends of Neapolitan song is a true gem. It dates back to 1968, on the stage of the Teatro Politeama, during the second evening of the 16th Festival of Neapolitan Song, where Aurelio Fierro (the "smile of Naples") performed. The song he presented was 'O timido, written by the De Vito-Ferraro duo and put to music by Vittorio Marsiglia.