1963 Al Martino – Painted, Tainted Rose
Jasper Cini grew up in Philadelphia, and his family had the good fortune to be friends with Mario Lanza. When Jasper returned from military service in WW II, Mario encouraged him to become a singer…and to change his name to Al Martino.
Al moved to New York City in 1948 and began recording for Jubilee Records. He appeared on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts and his win on the television show won him a recording contract with a small local label. He recorded Here In My Heart, and the single topped the Hot 100 in 1952. They created a new UK Singles chart that year, and Al’s record became the first #1 record on that chart.
His next single, Take My Heart, reached #12. He moved to England for a few years and successfully recorded and performed in shows there for a half-dozen years. He returned to the US, but he didn’t reach the top 25 again until 1963. His breakthrough record was I Love You Because, which reached #3 on the Hot 100 and topped the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart that year.
Painted, Tainted Rose came next, and the single peaked at #15 on the Hot 100 later that year. Once again, his record did better on the AC chart, where it reached #3.
Most of Al’s success came from records that charted on the AC chart. From 1963 to 1978, Al had over twenty top ten singles on the chart, including four that reached #1. Eleven of his singles reached the top forty on the Hot 100 during that period, but only I Love You Because and I Love You More and More Each Day reached the top ten on the pop chart.
Al played the part of Johnny Fontane in the three Godfather films and sang Speak Softly Love, the theme song from the first film.
Al continued recording new albums until his death from a heart attack in 2009.
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