«Even Totò moved with my songs in the tavern. In Scandinavia I have surpassed Elvis »- Corriere.it

from Giovanna Cavalli

The singer was one of the most famous and paid singers of the 60’s. “Abroad, I was fans in a hotel room”

“At the age of five, I was already singing in the trattorias to get a few coins because there was no lyre at home, I was the fifth of eight children – Me, Eugenio, Sergio, Anna, Enrico, Lucy, Angela and Sandro, plus Armando, who died of pneumonia, was beautiful, Cesir’s mother cried a lot – crammed into two rooms in Quadraro, Tuscolan. Orlando’s father was a plasterer, he adorned columns and capitals and earned 30,000 lire a week until he got sick, but ten is not enough, so after school – when I went there – I walked towards Cinecittà, about a kilometer, all the way to the Da Giggetto Tavern , I have always found many famous artists, Totò, Vittorio Gassman, Tiberio Murgia, Capannelle, Maurizio Arena, Renato Salvatori, Marisa Allasio. And I turned between the tables. “Mr. handsome, what song do you want to hear?”

And we missed a tip.

«Amedeo Nazzari was in love with my angel’s voice. Gasman was after’

attitude.
From time to time, Totò even gave me fifty thousand lire. “
Guagliò, I keep my throat closed and the bite doesn’t drain
, he once confessed to me, touched. Aldo Fabrizi, on the other hand, always remained with his face bent over a plate of tripe, he liked to listen to “Signora Fortuna”, but never gave me a penny. “Sit down, what are you doing? Giggé, portaje du “fettuccine”“And I did not compliment you, you will understand, once a week I saw a chicken at home, yes and no, in the morning for breakfast there was barley porridge with a slice of bread, which if you were not in a hurry I would have stolen some of my brother”.

And still later, when Roberto Loreti, 2 wives, 3 children – in art only and forever Robertino even now, at 75 (and not giving up, in October “if my injured leg is still holding me”, he will travel to the USA with Bobby Solo and Iva Zanicchi) – as a child prodigy disguised as a cherub who sang for Pope John XXIII (“His Holiness caressed me and I leaned over to kiss his ring, I have never seen such a large amethyst “) and the President of France Charles de Gaulle (” A
seller one alt
still in a cap, on the stage next to Claudia Cardinal I was trembling, I took a cold shower and my voice dropped “,) at the age of 15 I will be one of the most famous and paid singers of the 1960scollector of gold plates from Italy to Iceland, from Belgium to Australia and Siberia (“When Gronchi visited Russia, Khrushchev, the one who hit the UN with his shoe, praised” the homeland of Michelangelo, Raphael and Robertino “, do you understand, right? “), Hailed a” golden boy “at Carnegie Hall in New York, elected” Señor Simpatia “in Mexico, a child star who received 10,000 letters a day, was still a straight boy:” I gave all my money to my mom. “

Such a little child running alone?

“I was pretty smart. In the afternoon I went to the Folgore cinema with a latch, because two of my older brothers were selling ice cream, mostaccioli and sweets during the break. I brought them loaves and then I sat there until the last show, I fell asleep and they carried me home on their shoulders. In the evening, if it had happened, I would have serenaded, and when I came back with five thousand lire in my pocket, my father was very happy, but worried. “

And good Robertino.
“One day on the street, it must have been 1953, a guy from Cinecittà stopped me, they called him Camomilla, he was looking for extras. I was sweet, I had two dark eyes that spoke. “
A ‘regazzì, nto him? H.
Do you want to make a movie? Are you okay with 30,000 lire a day for ten days? Sure, in a hurry. So I have a small stake in Ania with Silvana Mangano and I was the young son of Peppone-Gino Cervi The Return of Don CamilloI still have my picture in the arms of Fernandel ».

But the real passion was music.

“I took a few lessons from tenor Tito Schipa and Beniamino Gigli, for free eh, because I couldn’t pay, on the contrary, they gave me money for a briozzo cappuccino and a tram ticket for Via Flaminia, both ways, because when I got home it was late and nothing was left on the table. When I won a gold badge at a radio competition for new talents – what a gentleman Enzo Tortora took me there – after three days my mother went to pawn her at the pawnshop ».

At the age of 13, he was discovered by Volmer Sorensen, a Danish producer and pianist.

“I was performing at Caffè Grand’Italia in Piazza Esedra, on Fridays and Saturdays Totò, elegant as a prince, always accompanied by Odoardo Spadaro, asked me to sing to him” Malafemmena “,” Io te vurria vasà “and” Marechiaro “. Mom came to listen to me with the sisters, but they stayed outside, behind the hedge, because even granita there cost eight hundred lire and we ate with them for three days. When this alien gentleman showed up, I didn’t know who he was, instead he played with Louis Armstrong, Gilbert Bécaud, Charles Aznavour, Sasha Distel. “I’ll take you to Copenhagen with me in two months.” “And where? In America?”

Eventually he went there with his dad.

“They invited me to Danish television, to a program that was also broadcast in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Russia and Greenland. A blockbuster movie. The first single sold 300,000 copies in two weeks in Denmark alone, ellepi 28 million all over Europe. In Scandinavia, I was first in the table, Elvis was tenth. My stamp is in the museum in St. Petersburg, my voice has entered orbit with Sputnik ».

In 1964, after returning to Italy, he went to the San Remo Festival with “Un bacio piccolissimo”.

“With your sugar mouths … Eh, they almost refused to let me in the competition because I was not even 17 years old. “What should I do, I’m going home?” I took fifth place, Gigliola Cinquetti won with “Non ho anni”, even smaller than me, but I exceeded one million and 700,000 records sold. I returned there in 1965 with “Mia czar” and in 1969 with “Le belle donne” in combination with Rocky Roberts ».

With Claudio Villa (kissed nursery rhyme: «I’ll pop holes in your tonsils “) competed in Roman folk tales.

“Kompel, we played cards, I once won him nine brooms in a row. “Today I’m sending you blank,” I promised. He didn’t see the point. And he lost 900k lira so we didn’t bet real money. “

Little Tony has made a conquest.

“We were in Cantagiro, near Rimini, he focused on the summer camp teacher, so he organized the trip for six people, him, me, another boy and two of her friends. But the chosen one ended up falling in love with me and Tony, well, he bit. He was good, he pulled a little… It wasn’t my fault that I liked him… I was handsome, skinny, fit, I was boxing, fencing, judo ”.

He sang: “She was my woman and now she is gone, I sent her away, then you took her” and “her love will no longer be mine, I will think about this kiss before saying goodbye”, but in love it was not not to go wrong … ».

“Oh no, in Scandinavia I found girls in my room, some I had to chase them away … I’m telling him to do. There was a habit of leaving the shoes outside the hotel room to polish them, the fans stole them from me. How much would I say, unfortunately I don’t have much memory anymore, bloody stroke 2016, I have a shorter leg, I walk with a stick and I get lost every now and then … Here, yes, in Sanremo, the then famous American singer Timi Yuro grabbed me and threw me in in a hedge. The French dancer locked me in a room with her and threw the key out the window. But I was a romantic, to go to bed with him, I had to at least feel a little. “

Flirting with some coworkers?

«Well, at the Festival I met Orietta Berti who was very young, very cute, she wanted me to accompany her to dinner … she beat me to pieces … but she was a friend to me. Nilla Pizzi knocked on my door and Carla Boni whispered to me, “You know, I have some experience,” I pretended not to understand.

He also gave the hole to Alberto Sordie.

«He sent for me, he wanted me to go and see him at his house, but I made an appointment with the girl … Marcello Mastroianni and I spent the afternoon chatting with me. He told me that every time he went to Moscow, they would always tell him, “Ah, you’re Italian like Robertino!” He gave me a fountain pen with a gold nib: “I wish you to sign hundreds of autographs.”

He was a neighbor of Sophia Loren.

«I bought a villa in Marino two hundred meters from his. I bumped into her from time to time. She ran a Rolls Royce, I said hello to her, she didn’t reciprocate. The prettier Ursula Andress lives here in Zagarolo just like me. I talk to us often. “Eh … you didn’t let me sleep at night,” I confided. But that’s enough, I have no more imaginations for some things. “

He was more successful abroad than in Italy.

“Here to work, you had to come to terms with compromises … proposals … as soon as I felt my hand on my knee, some pizzas will come out … Or some producers asked me for money to release an album, no, thank you, goodbye”.

In Russia, he is an idol, as are Albano, Toto Cutugno and Ricchi e Poveri.

“I got there first. I met Yeltsin, a toast to my songs with vodka. Gorbachev was delighted with “Santa Lucia”, Putin instead only saw him, stiff, he doesn’t look in the face of anyone, he hit my shoulder when he walked, and I almost fell. I would like to challenge him to judo, I have a black belt ».

Better not.

“Eh. However, I also toured in Moldova, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, unfortunately I had to stop, my health was over. Then last year I lost my son Francesco, he had two tumors, he was so good, sweet, treasure, I took him to the best teachers, there was nothing to do, it’s my great pain. Now I am sorry, I have to go, I pray the rosary every afternoon at six, I swore this to my mother ».

May 8, 2022 (change May 8, 2022 | 07:36)

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