Amore: The Story of Italian American Song

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sep 14, 2010 - Music - 320 pages
0 Reviews

Amore is Mark Rotella's celebration of the "Italian decade"—the years after the war and before the Beatles when Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett, among others, won the hearts of the American public with a smooth, stylish, classy brand of pop. In Rotella's vivid telling, the stories behind forty Italian American classics (from "O Sole Mio," "Night and Day," and "Mack the Knife" to "Volare" and "I Wonder Why") show how a glorious musical tradition became the sound track of postwar America and the expression of a sense of style that we still cherish.

Rotella follows the music from the opera houses and piazzas of southern Italy, to the barrooms of the Bronx and Hoboken, to the Copacabana, the Paramount Theatre, and the Vegas Strip. He shows us the hardworking musicians whose voices were to become ubiquitous on jukeboxes and the radio and whose names—some anglicized, some not—have become bywords for Italian American success, even as they were dogged by stereotypes and prejudice.

Amore is the personal Top 40 of one proud son of Italy; it is also a love song to Italian American culture and an evocation of an age that belongs to us all.


What people are saying - Write a review

AMORE: The Story of Italian American Song

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Publishers Weekly review editor Rotella (Stolen Figs and Other Adventures in Calabria, 2003) presents an affectionate survey of the Italian songs and singers that have distinguished American popular ... Read full review


The Verse
The Old Country
Frank Sinatra and Vic Damone
Enrico Caruso
Eduardo Migliaccio and Gilda Mignonette
Enrico Caruso
Nick Lucas
Russ Columbo
Tony Bennett
Joni James 20 Thats Amore Dean Martin
Julius La Rosa
Lou Monte
Don Cornell and Johnny Desmond
Alan Dale
Frank Sinatra
Louis Prima

Louis Prima
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Louis Prima
Perry Como
Perry Como
Frank Sinatra
The Italian Decade the 1950s
Vic Damone
Frankie Laine
Mario Lanza
Al Martino
Jerry Vale
Dean Martin
Connie Francis
Bobby Darin
Lou Christie
Dion and the Belmonts
Johnny Maestro and the Crests
Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack
Sammy Davis
September 2001

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Mark Rotella is the author of Stolen Figs and Other Adventures in Calabria (NPP, 2003). A senior reviews editor at Publishers Weekly, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and their two children.

Bibliographic information