Fred Bongusto is dead


Fred Bongusto dead

Alessandro Serrano '/ AGF

Fred Bongusto

Last night, around 3.30, singer Fred Bongusto died. The famous artist had turned 84 on 6 April and had been struggling with health problems for some time. The funeral will be celebrated in Rome on Monday 11 November, starting at 3 pm, in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto (Church of the artists), Piazza del Popolo.

Millions of records sold, composer of dozens of movie soundtracks, duets with Ella Fitzgerald, Mina, Milva, Ornella Vanoni: a great career, that of Fred Bongusto, born during a heavy snowfall, in the early fifties, in Campobasso, where he was born. Alfredo Antonio Carlo Buongusto, an orphan of a father who died in the war, a teenager from the popular district of S. Antonio, hears the notes of an American song played on a guitar: he is a traveling salesman stuck in the snow who, at the entrance of a pension in the center historian, plays 'Mood indigo' by Duke Ellington.

"I was fascinated – Bongusto would have said in an interview a few years ago -. An uncle gave me the first guitar to encourage my passion and so began the first performances with local groups." Over half a century of career started in 1962, with 'Doce doce' and 'Frida', followed by real hits of the time such as 'Malaga', 'Amore fermati' (also played by the Brazilian singer Joao Gilberto), until the famous 'A roundabout on the sea'.

Bongusto was a star of his time, the 60s and 70s, taking part in television programs, Sanremo and 'Un disco per l'estate', won with 'Prima c'eri tu'. The definition of 'confidential singer' has never satisfied him, because he felt it was reductive of his artistic vein, which also ranged in jazz, swing, bossa nova (two tours with the Brazilian singer Toquinho, also of origins Molise).

Buongusto has preserved the classic love-hate relationship with his homeland, impressed in two of his songs. In 'Molise', he tells of a region where there are 'two days of sunshine and a hundred raining', and where 'those who meet you always sing the same song:' When did you arrive? When are you leaving? ', With the refrain' Mulis 'puozz' ess 'accis'. At the age of 60, however, Fred gives priority to the positive sentiment in 'Campobasso and the seagull' on music by Jobim. The last performance in his city was in 2009, at the Savoia theater.

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