63. Cantare (to sing)

Anyone who has ever known me would assume I was lying if I said I went to a nightclub for Valentine’s Day. I don’t know which they would find more unbelievable: the “night” or the “club.”IMG_0551

But Maria Rossi, the nice young woman who periodically joins our Italian conversation group to try to nudge us towards correct grammar and coherence, raved about Patrizio Buanne, this Neapolitan “crooner” who was performing at the Ardmore (PA) Music Hall, so it seemed worth a try. The tickets were not too expensive, and I figured, why not? We can always leave after a half hour if need be.

As it turns out, wild horses couldn’t drag me away. Performing to a loyal crowd of about 90 percent Italian-Americans (and a good number of actual Italians), Buanne sang a combination of crowd-pleasing American and Italian songs, punctuated by a line of patter alternating between English, Italian, and Neapolitan dialect.


You couldn’t have asked for a more appreciative audience: all of the jokes — even (or especially) the slightly dirty ones in Neapolitan — landed, and everyone sang along with the old familiar songs.


My father had a crackpot theory that all American popular songs were first Italian, translated into English. And sure enough, that theory gained some traction as Patrizio sang Elvis’s “It’s Now or Never” (“O Sole Mio”) and The Godfather theme.IMG_0657

But the moment we will never forget is when he acknowledged South Philadelphia’s Bobby Rydell ( born Robert Ridarelli) in the crowd. IMG_0641He invited him up on stage, and together they sang “Blue Suede Shoes” and a rendition of “Volare” that gives me goosebumps to even think about it.



3 thoughts on “63. Cantare (to sing)

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