In a note the singer's press office writes that "last night, at about 3.30 am, Fred Bongusto's heart stopped beating". The famous artist, born in Campobasso, and whose name was Alfredo Antonio Carlo Buongusto, he turned 84 on 6 April. For some time he had health problems.
The funeral will be celebrated in Rome, November 11, at 3 pm, in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto, the Church of the artists in piazza del Popolo. Bongusto was very popular in the sixties and seventies as the classic confidential singer that was popular in those years. One of his international successes was the song 'A round about the sea'.
THE MEMORY OF PIPPO BAUDO "Bongusto was a great man, a very good and delicate singer, unfortunately in the last few years he was very ill, he suffered a lot". Pippo Baudo thus remembers AdnKronos the late Fred Bongusto and launches the idea of a tribute for him at the next Sanremo Festival: «He was a great singer, it would be right that in Sanremo he was remembered with the affection and respect he deserves », Said Baudo.
THE MAYOR OF CAMPOBASSO "We lose a great fellow citizen, a symbol of world music. The whole city clings to the pain of the family ». He says this to the Adnkronos Roberto Gravina, mayor of Campobasso, commenting on the disappearance of Fred Bongusto, a native of the Molise capital. «The city has had the honor of having given birth to this great artist. It was a great pride – he adds – for all the citizens of Campobasso ».
THE MINISTER FRANCESCHINI «Fred Bongusto was a great interpreter who accompanied the life of millions of Italians with his voice. Many of his melodies have entered the history of Italian song, marking an era at the turn of the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century. We'll miss him". Thus the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Dario Franceschini.
Fred Bongusto, the portrait of Totò Rizzo
They called them "confidential singers", actually they were much more. Fred Bongusto – who died last night in his home in Rome 84 years after an illness that in recent seasons had forced him to withdraw from the scene – was one of them. Certainly, along with the other "indomitable" interpreter of that musical genre, Peppino Di Capri (with whom he also made a recital in the theater from which a live came out), the most popular. "Confidential" yes, because it was still a whisper that feeling of love that they sang, but go and hear them again, some overtaking of Fred's tones in the same "A rotunda on the sea", his most famous hit, the one that consecrated him to international success and that, let's face it without fear of denial, remains however, by melodic construction, his masterpiece.
He was an author with flakes, Bongusto, a talented musician from Campobasso, as tenacious as the real Molisans. He had made his bones with one of his ensembles (then the bands were so called) around the night clubs of Central and Southern Italy. And already someone had noticed that dark, burnished, persuasive voice that would have been his trademark. There was the America that reigned in the repertoire of those little formations that were bones of whiskey, thick cigarette smoke and dancing approaches of those locals, there were the crooners at Nat King Cole and the old jazz of Louis Armstrong ( Bongusto would have collaborated in the future with an ace of the caliber of Chet Baker), there was the new post-war swing that had imported in Italy artists like Lelio Luttazzi or Bruno Martino, simpler, meager than the sumptuous of the big bands.
Bongusto was nevertheless voted – also thanks to a bearing and a voice that made him charming and very pleasing to the female gender – to that form which was for convenience called "confidential" but without ever disregarding his variegated musical apprenticeship. "A rotunda on the sea" launched him towards success and not only in Italy. He continued to conquer throughout the Sixties and Seventies with songs like "Amore fermati" (a perfect mix of swing and traditional melody), "Frida", "Malaga", "Doce doce", "If you were not as beautiful as you are" , the cover of «Over and over» («Hours of love»), «First you were there» and the one that together with «A round about the sea» is perhaps his most performed song «Three weeks to tell» . From a neighboring Molise, but also because his father came from Monte di Procida, he loved Naples and his music very much and it is no coincidence that many of his songs were written in that language.
Precisely because he was a versatile musician, he also enjoyed the old Dixieland for "Spaghetti a Detroit" ("spaghetti, chicken, salad and a cup of coffee …") and "When you tell me so" that he was among the most famous actresses of Rai TV shows of the Saturday evening of the seventies (paired with a charming and very blond Minnie Minoprio) and another TV acronym, "QuattroAST per Petrosino", written for the drama "Petrosino" starring Adolfo Celi, was also successful.
He also loved Brazilian music and in particular the bossa nova and was very proud when Joao Gilberto recorded his «Malaga». It was inevitable that, during a career spanning over half a century, he would also take part in some Sanremo Festivals, but that atmosphere and the race just didn't seem to fit.
As long as the illness allowed him (his biggest gripe in recent years had been an annoying deafness), he continued to perform, to seek direct contact with the public, to be pleased with audiences who sang his successes together with him. He sold millions of records, performed in much of the world, made millions of people dream: that was his dream, the biggest.
The last applause on Monday, at 3 pm, for the funeral in the Church of the Artists in Piazza del Popolo.
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