Friday, October 22, 2010

One of his primary role models was Dean Martin (whom he described as "the king of cool").

Hey pallies, likes today's Dino-post comes on the recommend of my great Dino-holic pallie Danny G. Danny, who is Italiano himself, shared with me this Dino-related post from the on-line presence of the Wall Street Journal. Likes scriber Mr. Will Friedwald in his prose, "When Italians Ruled The Airwaves," reviews Mr. Mark
Rotella's new tome "Amore: The Story of Italian American Song."

With a book tagg likes "Amore" likes you just can't help but think of our Dino's amazin' classic "That's Amore" first featured in the Dino and the kid flick, "The Caddy." But, regretfully Mr. Friedwald's review contains little 'bout our Dino besides the opennin' reference showcasin' Elvis' devotion to our Dino.

But likes I am sure that this is will be a must-read for all true Dino-addicts 'cause certainly our Dino is numero uno when it comes to Italian masters of song. I have included just a couple of paragraphs to whet your appetite. To read the whole review in in't original source, likes as usual, just clicks on the tagg of this Dino-gram to goes to the WSJ. Thanks to my devoted Dino-bro, Danny G., for puttin' me on to this and to Mr. Friedwald for bringin' this cool new book to our attentionado... Dino-reportin', DMP

When Italians Ruled the Airwaves

Between the big bands and the Beatles, one ethnic group defined what it meant to be a pop star

By Will Friedwald

There was a part of Elvis Presley that wanted desperately to be Italian. One of his primary role models was Dean Martin (whom he described as "the king of cool"). He named his entourage the "Memphis Mafia," in emulation of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. And he recorded more than enough Italian songs to fill an album, from his No. 1 hit "It's Now or Never" (based on the traditional Neapolitan aria "O Sole Mio") to "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." The reason for this seeming fascination? When Elvis was growing up, being a pop star usually meant being Italian.

In the 1940s and '50s—the era between the big bands and the Beatles—Italians dominated the charts during the transition from what we now call "traditional pop" to rock and roll. Crooners like Vic Damone, Dean Martin, Frankie Laine, and Tony Bennett were all sons of Italy, but so were early rockers like Dion (DiMucci) and Frankie Valli. Other singers such as Bobby Darin and Louis Prima were less limited by stylistic boundaries. They could be crooning one moment and rocking the next.

Mark Rotella's "Amore" is the first book to take a look at the entire phenomenon of Italian-American song.

Amore: The Story of Italian American Song
By Mark Rotella
Farrar, Straus & Giroux,
320 pages, $28

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