PersonaVideo December, 26th 2010 by

Caterina Valente and Bing Crosby at The Hollywood Palace - Dario's Musical Memory Lane!

Caterina Valente in September  18 1965 singing a medley of songs with the legendary Bing Crosby!

In 1974 I believe, I was fortunate to be presented to the great International star “Caterina Valente,” during her successful appearances at the Famous “The Talk of the Town” London, the most famous Cabaret theatre in the UK, situated in London’s West End. She graciously spent much time with Delia and I and we also met and her husband jazz musician and International British film composer Roy Budd.

She had worked for many years with her talented brother Silvio Fransesco, also a first class musician who sometimes performed with her on stage, so she thought it was unusual to meet Delia and I, who were also brother and sister artists.   

This busy and amazingly multi-talented woman took the time to explain many things to us, about the world of music and show-business and we were surprised to find out that part of her family Valente, though Italian, came  from Glasgow in Scotland where Delia was born. 

Caterina Valente  was born on  January 14, 1931, Paris, France and was born into an Italian circus family. Her mother was a clown and her father was an accordion player; as a child she worked in the circus as well. She performed in Europe as a singer for several years, but her career as an internationally known vocalist began in 1953 when she joined Kurt Edelhagen’s band in Germany. She was soon signed to  Polydor and made her recording debut for them the same year. Her first big hits came soon after that. Two songs written for her by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona charted in Europe and eventually England and the U.S.

“Malaguena” was her first big hit, followed by “Analucia” which when re-released in an English version as “The Breeze and I” became a top ten hit in both the U.K. and the U.S.

In Germany she was a major performer of Schlager music. There she recorded Cole Porter’s I Love Paris under the German title Ganz Paris träumt von der Liebe, which sold more than 500,000 copies in 1954.

Over the years, she has recorded or performed with many international stars, including Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Claus Ogerman, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Sy Oliver, Buddy Rich and Edmundo Ros. In 1959 she was nominated for a Grammy Award. Valente was a principal, along with Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart, on the short-lived CBS variety series The Entertainers (1964–65).

A briglia sciolta, the Italian jazz CD recorded in 1989 and re-released in later years under the titles Fantastica and Platinum deluxe, is Valente’s best selling CD worldwide. In 2001, she released a new album, Girltalk, with harpist Catherine Michel.

Caterina has won many international awards, far too many to publish on this website!

I have always admired this superb all round artist, whose rise to International fame was achieved by hard work,  professionalism and dedication to her art and has fully deserved all the success that has been bestowed on her. Caterina Valente is the ultimate professional!

Dario Poli

The talented lady remains in my mind! 

Dario Poli

Composer, artist, and a published author and illustrator. He is initiator of the campaign to present a better image Internationally, of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Composer of the music "Marbella Marbella" used as the anthem of the campaign and also many other recorded compositions including Nostradamus, and Corazon, for The Children for Peace Onlus charity in Rome as well as the co-author of the powerful musical drama Lady X and The Power of Destiny. He is also the editor and a founder member of this website.

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