Discussion:
The Number Ones: Domenico Modugno’s “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)”
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Bob Roman
2018-11-01 12:31:27 UTC
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A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.

Domenico Modugno – “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)”
HIT #1: August 18, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 5 weeks

How does this kind of thing happen? 1958 was only two or three years after rock ‘n’ roll crossed over and changed the course of American culture. And yet the biggest song of 1958 was a grandly hammy ballad, written and sung in Italian, about dreaming that your face is blue and that you can fly. Domenico Modugno, a little-known Italian singer-songwriter who’d later become a member of Italian parliament, co-wrote “Volare” after having a weird dream, and then he turned his song about that weird dream into a global smash. If nothing else, it serves as a welcome reminder that popular taste has always been a strange and inexplicable thing.

“Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” won the main prize at Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival, and it came in third in 1958’s Eurovision Song Contest, but that doesn’t go far in explaining how it managed to capture the popular imagination in America. I imagine that the real answer has something to do with immigrant communities, which means that “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” has a fascinating parallel in Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s 60-years-later smash “Despacito.” And if a random Italian song was going to blow up in America that year, we could’ve done worse. “Volare” is a pop chanson with an operatic sense of sweep, but Modugno sings it with a hint of playfulness, as if he knows the song’s sheer absurdity makes it at least a little bit funny. Modugno’s voice has real brio, and that kind of showmanship, it turns out, is the kind of thing that can transcend linguistic barriers. But today, the song registers as slight, almost self-consciously so. Orchestral swells don’t come much chintzier than that.

GRADE: 5/10
Mark Dintenfass
2018-11-01 12:56:13 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1
in the Billboard Hot 100.
Domenico Modugno ­ ³Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)²
HIT #1: August 18, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 5 weeks
How does this kind of thing happen? 1958 was only two or three years after
rock Œn¹ roll crossed over and changed the course of American culture. And
yet the biggest song of 1958 was a grandly hammy ballad, written and sung in
Italian, about dreaming that your face is blue and that you can fly. Domenico
Modugno, a little-known Italian singer-songwriter who¹d later become a member
of Italian parliament, co-wrote ³Volare² after having a weird dream, and then
he turned his song about that weird dream into a global smash. If nothing
else, it serves as a welcome reminder that popular taste has always been a
strange and inexplicable thing.
³Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)² won the main prize at Italy¹s Sanremo Music
Festival, and it came in third in 1958¹s Eurovision Song Contest, but that
doesn¹t go far in explaining how it managed to capture the popular
imagination in America. I imagine that the real answer has something to do
with immigrant communities, which means that ³Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu
(Volare)² has a fascinating parallel in Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee¹s
60-years-later smash ³Despacito.² And if a random Italian song was going to
blow up in America that year, we could¹ve done worse. ³Volare² is a pop
chanson with an operatic sense of sweep, but Modugno sings it with a hint of
playfulness, as if he knows the song¹s sheer absurdity makes it at least a
little bit funny. Modugno¹s voice has real brio, and that kind of
showmanship, it turns out, is the kind of thing that can transcend linguistic
barriers. But today, the song registers as slight, almost self-consciously
so. Orchestral swells don¹t come much chintzier than that.
GRADE: 5/10
Until this day I never knew (as Don Corleone might have put it) what
the words meant. I never liked any of the Americanized versions, but
the original remains for me one of great bits of ear candy. (But, no, I
didn't buy the record.)
--
--md
_________
Remove xx's from address to reply
SavoyBG
2018-11-01 14:31:58 UTC
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Post by Mark Dintenfass
Until this day I never knew (as Don Corleone might have put it) what
the words meant. I never liked any of the Americanized versions, but
the original remains for me one of great bits of ear candy.
See, what the words meant was so irrelevant that you never even tried to find out what they meant over the past 60 years!

That's how I feel about ALL records!
Roger Ford
2018-11-01 17:16:14 UTC
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On Thu, 1 Nov 2018 05:31:27 -0700 (PDT), Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit =
#1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Domenico Modugno =E2=80=93 =E2=80=9CNel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)=E2=80=
=9D
HIT #1: August 18, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 5 weeks
How does this kind of thing happen? 1958 was only two or three years after =
rock =E2=80=98n=E2=80=99 roll crossed over and changed the course of Americ=
an culture. And yet the biggest song of 1958 was a grandly hammy ballad, wr=
itten and sung in Italian, about dreaming that your face is blue and that y=
ou can fly. Domenico Modugno, a little-known Italian singer-songwriter who=
=E2=80=99d later become a member of Italian parliament, co-wrote =E2=80=9CV=
olare=E2=80=9D after having a weird dream, and then he turned his song abou=
t that weird dream into a global smash. If nothing else, it serves as a wel=
come reminder that popular taste has always been a strange and inexplicable=
thing.
=E2=80=9CNel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)=E2=80=9D won the main prize at Ita=
ly=E2=80=99s Sanremo Music Festival, and it came in third in 1958=E2=80=99s=
Eurovision Song Contest, but that doesn=E2=80=99t go far in explaining how=
it managed to capture the popular imagination in America. I imagine that t=
he real answer has something to do with immigrant communities, which means =
that =E2=80=9CNel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)=E2=80=9D has a fascinating pa=
rallel in Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee=E2=80=99s 60-years-later smash =E2=80=
=9CDespacito.=E2=80=9D And if a random Italian song was going to blow up in=
America that year, we could=E2=80=99ve done worse. =E2=80=9CVolare=E2=80=
=9D is a pop chanson with an operatic sense of sweep, but Modugno sings it =
with a hint of playfulness, as if he knows the song=E2=80=99s sheer absurdi=
ty makes it at least a little bit funny. Modugno=E2=80=99s voice has real b=
rio, and that kind of showmanship, it turns out, is the kind of thing that =
can transcend linguistic barriers. But today, the song registers as slight,=
almost self-consciously so. Orchestral swells don=E2=80=99t come much chin=
tzier than that.
I have always HATED this song in any version,Dino and Rydell included

ROGER FORD
-----------------------

"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
an extra "m" in my e-mail address (***@mmail.com).
Please delete same before responding.Thank you!
SavoyBG
2018-11-01 17:51:13 UTC
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Next would be LITTLE STAR.
Roger Ford
2018-11-01 19:40:42 UTC
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Here's how I'd personally rank in order of merit all the #1 singles
from the year the Hot 100 started---1958----using BB Top 100/Hot 100
charts :-

"Yaketty Yak" Coasters
"Get A Job" Silhouettes
"Twilight TIme" Platters
"All I Have To Do Is Dream" Everly Brothers
"It's All In The Game" Tommy Edwards (2)
"Poor Little Fool" Ricky Nelson
"It's Only Make Believe" Conway Twitty (3)
"At The Hop" Danny & Juniors
"Don't" Elvis Presley
"Tequila" Champs
"To Know Him Is To Love Him" Teddy Bears (5)
"Little Star" Elegants (1)
"Patricia" Perez Prado
"The Purple People Eater" Sheb Wooley
"Witch Doctor" David Seville
"The Chipmunk Song" David Seville & Chipmunks (6)
"Tom Dooley" Kingston Trio (4)
"Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu" Dominico Modugno

Numbers in brackets denote the order in which the next posts in this
series (to complete the year) should come

ROGER FORD
-----------------------

"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
an extra "m" in my e-mail address (***@mmail.com).
Please delete same before responding.Thank you!
t***@iwvisp.com
2018-11-01 19:50:54 UTC
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3 Novelty songs hit #1 in the same year. Is that a record?

Ray
Dean F.
2018-11-01 23:07:08 UTC
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Post by t***@iwvisp.com
3 Novelty songs hit #1 in the same year. Is that a record?
Three novelty songs also hit #1 in 1960: "Running Bear," "Alley-Oop," and "Mr. Custer."
SavoyBG
2018-11-01 23:37:25 UTC
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Post by Dean F.
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
3 Novelty songs hit #1 in the same year. Is that a record?
Three novelty songs also hit #1 in 1960: "Running Bear," "Alley-Oop," and "Mr. Custer."
"Running Bear" is not a novelty song.
t***@iwvisp.com
2018-11-02 01:39:01 UTC
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I agree. Not a favorite but not a Novelty.

Ray
Eric Ramon
2018-11-01 20:40:52 UTC
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Post by Roger Ford
Here's how I'd personally rank in order of merit all the #1 singles
from the year the Hot 100 started---1958----using BB Top 100/Hot 100
charts :-
"Yaketty Yak" Coasters
"Get A Job" Silhouettes
"Twilight TIme" Platters
"All I Have To Do Is Dream" Everly Brothers
"It's All In The Game" Tommy Edwards (2)
"Poor Little Fool" Ricky Nelson
"It's Only Make Believe" Conway Twitty (3)
"At The Hop" Danny & Juniors
"Don't" Elvis Presley
"Tequila" Champs
"To Know Him Is To Love Him" Teddy Bears (5)
"Little Star" Elegants (1)
"Patricia" Perez Prado
"The Purple People Eater" Sheb Wooley
"Witch Doctor" David Seville
"The Chipmunk Song" David Seville & Chipmunks (6)
"Tom Dooley" Kingston Trio (4)
"Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu" Dominico Modugno
just because of the age disparity between you and me, I see these a lot differently. No...fairly differently...wait...somewhat differently. I loved Ne Blu Dipinto Di Blu and would put it much higher. This might be the 1st year I was aware of music and radio so it was all glorious to me.

Get a Job is easily my #1 of the #1s. I won't put them all in order but others near the top are Little Star, All in the Game, At the Hop, Purple People Eater (I said I was a little kid!), It's Only Make Believe and then Yakkety Yak.
RWC
2018-11-02 16:17:00 UTC
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Post by Roger Ford
Here's how I'd personally rank in order of merit all the #1 singles
from the year the Hot 100 started---1958----using BB Top 100/Hot 100
charts :-
"Yaketty Yak" Coasters
"Get A Job" Silhouettes
"Twilight TIme" Platters
"All I Have To Do Is Dream" Everly Brothers
"It's All In The Game" Tommy Edwards (2)
"Poor Little Fool" Ricky Nelson
"It's Only Make Believe" Conway Twitty (3)
"At The Hop" Danny & Juniors
"Don't" Elvis Presley
"Tequila" Champs
"To Know Him Is To Love Him" Teddy Bears (5)
"Little Star" Elegants (1)
"Patricia" Perez Prado
"The Purple People Eater" Sheb Wooley
"Witch Doctor" David Seville
"The Chipmunk Song" David Seville & Chipmunks (6)
"Tom Dooley" Kingston Trio (4)
"Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu" Dominico Modugno
Numbers in brackets denote the order in which the next posts in this
series (to complete the year) should come
The following list of links was created by pasting the original list into
Windows Notepad and, in an appropriate sequence, using Edit > Replace several
times. A song-artist divider (a "%" is used here), I discovered, makes the
search more robust by adding a degree of tolerance for any spelling errors (eg
Dominico s/b Domenico):

(btw, in apps like Agent, you can simply right-click on a web link and select
Launch; but for this method to work the whole link has to be underlined, hence
the use of underscores to replace spaces since underlining will stop at the
first space it comes across, as it goes from left to right of the link)

www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Yaketty_Yak%Coasters
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Get_A_Job%Silhouettes
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Twilight_TIme%Platters
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=All_I_Have_To_Do_Is_Dream%Everly_Brothers
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=It's_All_In_The_Game%Tommy_Edwards_(2)
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Poor_Little_Fool%Ricky_Nelson
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=It's_Only_Make_Believe%Conway_Twitty_(3)
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=At_The_Hop%Danny_&_Juniors
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Don't%Elvis_Presley
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Tequila%Champs
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=To_Know_Him_Is_To_Love_Him%Teddy_Bears_(5)
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Little_Star%Elegants_(1)
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Patricia%Perez_Prado
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=The_Purple_People_Eater%Sheb_Wooley
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Witch_Doctor%David_Seville
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=The_Chipmunk_Song%David_Seville_&_Chipmunks_(6)
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Tom_Dooley%Kingston_Trio_(4)
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Nel_Blu_Dipinto_Di_Blu%Dominico_Modugno

OR - you can use a Bing video search link, which is a shorter url, tries to fix
spelling errors, plays audio previews (by simply placing your cursor over a
video's representative image), and it's very quick and easy to initiate a
related search (eg append the word "lyrics" in the search box and change search
from Videos to All) - however, one weakness Bing has is finding videos where the
poster has put other words in the video title, as MusicProf78 does with "yyyy
Hits Archive" (which is why I've added the word 'hits' to each search link
below)

www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Yaketty_Yak_Coasters
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Get_A_Job_Silhouettes
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Twilight_TIme_Platters
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,All_I_Have_To_Do_Is_Dream_Everly_Brothers
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,It's_All_In_The_Game_Tommy_Edwards
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Poor_Little_Fool_Ricky_Nelson
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,It's_Only_Make_Believe_Conway_Twitty
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,At_The_Hop_Danny_&_Juniors
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Don't_Elvis_Presley
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Tequila_Champs
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,To_Know_Him_Is_To_Love_Him_Teddy_Bears
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Little_Star_Elegants
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Patricia_Perez_Prado
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,The_Purple_People_Eater_Sheb_Wooley
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Witch_Doctor_David_Seville
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,The_Chipmunk_Song_David_Seville_&_Chipmunks
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Tom_Dooley_Kingston_Trio
www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,Nel_Blu_Dipinto_Di_Blu_Dominico_Modugno

(for any techy types interested, the Bing list above was made in the app
"Everything" - which primarily is an awesome search engine for files on one's
system, but it also allows file names to be changed (singly or in batches). It
just happens that you can pretend, in Everything, that a list of text lines is a
batch of existing file names (that you wish to name change - and using a regular
expression {regex} to make these changes is an option).
To change Roger's original list to the one above involves just two steps (after
copying and pasting his list into Everything's Rename dialog box):

1. remove quotes, tabs, and the optional appended 'sequence' in brackets
Old 'Filename': ^"(.*)"\t{1,4}(.*?)(\(\d\))?$
New 'Filename': www.Bing.com/videos/search?q=hits,\1 \2

2. replace spaces with an underscore (and leave no trailing underscores)
Old 'Filename': \s{1,}(\w|&|\(|\))
New 'Filename': _\1


Geoff
Dean F.
2018-11-02 03:10:26 UTC
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I'll admit I'm curious as to what this guy will say about Joe Dowell's "Wooden Heart." If he rates it higher than "Poor Little Fool," then there's no hope for him.
YourGoldenRetriever
2018-11-14 05:39:14 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
A writer named Tom Breihan has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Domenico Modugno – “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)”
HIT #1: August 18, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 5 weeks
How does this kind of thing happen? 1958 was only two or three years after rock ‘n’ roll crossed over and changed the course of American culture. And yet the biggest song of 1958 was a grandly hammy ballad, written and sung in Italian, about dreaming that your face is blue and that you can fly. Domenico Modugno, a little-known Italian singer-songwriter who’d later become a member of Italian parliament, co-wrote “Volare” after having a weird dream, and then he turned his song about that weird dream into a global smash. If nothing else, it serves as a welcome reminder that popular taste has always been a strange and inexplicable thing.
“Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” won the main prize at Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival, and it came in third in 1958’s Eurovision Song Contest, but that doesn’t go far in explaining how it managed to capture the popular imagination in America. I imagine that the real answer has something to do with immigrant communities, which means that “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” has a fascinating parallel in Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s 60-years-later smash “Despacito.” And if a random Italian song was going to blow up in America that year, we could’ve done worse. “Volare” is a pop chanson with an operatic sense of sweep, but Modugno sings it with a hint of playfulness, as if he knows the song’s sheer absurdity makes it at least a little bit funny. Modugno’s voice has real brio, and that kind of showmanship, it turns out, is the kind of thing that can transcend linguistic barriers. But today, the song registers as slight, almost self-consciously so. Orchestral swells don’t come much chintzier than that.
GRADE: 5/10
I love the song a lot. Collecting every verison OF it. (101 Strings, the Dean Martin one, Domenico's own, etc.,etc.,etc.,etc.,etc.)
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