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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Ole' Caterina - Caterina Valente

Aquarelo Do Brasil
Ole' Caterina
Caterina Valente - Silvio Fransesco & Their Guitars
Vocals Sung In English
Recorded by Deutsche Grammophon-Polydor Series
Decca Records DL 8436

From the back cover: Here is a record which is as fascinating as it is unique. It unites the extraordinary talents of the sensational Caterina Valente and her remarkable brother, Silvio Francesco. Both artists come form an unusual family with an even more unusual background. Their father, an artist of Spanish descent, is known as an accordion virtuoso throughout Europe, where he gave concerts of serious works. He was especially at home in Sweden, Finland, and Russia, where he remained for five years and where he met his wife, an Italian by birth. Their life together was enriched by public success and four children, all of whom were gradually incorporated in an act which Madame Velente and her husband organized and which toured the continent.

Caterina became the most famous of those children. Widely known abroad, she captured America through the medium of one exciting recording. It was Lecuona's "Malaguena," and it proved to be the most stirring interpretation of the song ever recorded. It won the immediate acclaim of music critics, disc jockeys and, most important, the listening public.

Caterina herself was born in Paris – as already indicated her heritage was both Spanish and Italian – but in 1952, when she married, she became a German citizen. Her electrifying musicianship was proved by the enthusiastic reception accorded to her first Decca album: "The Hi-Fi Nightingale" (DL 8203).

Although not – at least not yet – as famous as his sister, Silvio Francesco is a top-ranking artist. He was little more than a child when he joined the family vaudeville act which was built around a tap-dance and a few songs. The war interrupted his career, and he found himself in Italy, where he was registered as an Italian citizen.

In 1944, Silvio was back in Germany and since there was no work there for the artist, he got a job in a munition factory in Essen. In Breslau he worked as a waiter, while Caterina and his mother were employed as wardrobe girls, and his father sold cigarettes. When the Russians swept over Germany it was impossible to escape, and he spent some time in Russia. The occupation forces made it possible for Silvio and his sister to re-enter the entertainment field, and then they had to start from scratch. Meanwhile he had perfected himself in the technique of the saxophone, clarinet and guitar, playing flute as a hobby. Soon he was giving concerts, making records, and winning friends everywhere.

Here, then, is a double portion of Caterina and her brother Silvio, interpreting some of the finest music ever composed for their favorite instruments and glorified by Caterina's phenomenal voice. Here is a record which could not be duplicated – except by Caterina Valente and Silvio Francesco.

Maria Cristina
El Cumbanchero
Quien Sera
No Te Importe Saber
Te Quiero Dijiste
Por Un Capricho
Ah Si, Ah Si
Aquarelo Do Brasil
Quiereme Mucho
Bres Clavelas

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