Al di là – 1962 Connie Francis
I have a cute story to tell you about this song. I was playing my accordion in an Italian Restaurant right next to my High School – the summer before my Senior Year (I was 16 years old). This little old lady would have lunch there every Sunday and would always tip me and request songs – that I know she had already heard me play. One Sunday she came in with the sheet music to Al di là – and asked me if I knew it. I had heard it – but never played it before – so I SIGHT READ IT ON THE SPOT!
Now remember – this was 1966 – she handed me a $20 bill as a tip!!! She was so impressed that I could sight read that FAST and GOOD! I was surprised at myself too – this was the FIRST TIME I ever attempted to sight read “at a gig”. I do it all the time NOW!!! AGAIN – only if I have ever heard the song – then I can “sing along” with it!!!
NOTE TO BLOGGERS – that is why you practice sight reading EVERY DAY!!!
About the Song:
“Al di là” (English translation: “Beyond”) is a song written by Italian composer Carlo Donida and lyricst Mogol, and recorded by Betty Curtis. The English lyrics were written by Ervin Drake. The song was the Italian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1961, performed in Italian by Curtis at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, on 18 March 1961, after Curtis had won the 1961 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival on 2 February 1961, which served as the Italian national selection from 1958 to 1966.
It was also recorded by Italian-American singer Connie Francis in Italian in 1962, and she re-recorded it in a bilingual version later during the same year.
Composer Donida is best known in America for writing “Uno Die Tanta,” or “I (Who Have Nothing)”. English lyricist Drake also wrote the lyrics for such songs as “Quando, Quando, Quando” and “Good Morning Heartache”, and both the music and lyrics for “It Was a Very Good Year”.
In the United States, Emilio Pericoli is the artist most associated with the song. He sang “Al di là” in a nightclub, with a small combo, in the popular 1962 film Rome Adventure, starring Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette, and his single that year on Warner Bros. Records reached number six on Billboard ’s pop chart and number three on the easy-listening chart. Pericoli’s version ranked #48 on Billboard’s 1962 Year-End chart.