Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Il ragazzo della via Gluck - Asfalttia ja sementtiä

Kari Kuuva is best known for his biggest hit, a tango parody called "Tango Pelargonia" in 1964. But Kari was of course much more than a novelty singer. He is a singer-songwriter of many moods and written hundreds of songs for himself and - especially in the later years - for various other artists. He's been active in the music business for over 40 years, starting as a guitarist and singer in guitar combo Willy and The Wanderers, and leading a folk trio called Kari, Raili & Riitta in 1964. Kari Kuuva's records were almost always his own compositions, but in early 1968 he recorded a cover version called "Asfalttia ja sementtiä" (Tar and cement). The original was of Italian origin, and called "Il ragazzo della via Gluck" (The boy from Gluck Street). It was performed in 1966 by world famous Italian singer Adriano Celentano. Celentano was born in Milan at 14 Via Gluck, hence the name for the song. For the last 40 years Adriano has retained his popularity in Italy, selling millions of records and appearing in numerous TV shows and movies.

p.s. I've added the English language version called "Tar And Cement" done by Verdelle Smith, an American R&B/folk singer. It was a big international hit for her in 1966 - although it only reached number 38 in the US charts.

Here's the triplet:

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