1962 1964 Emilio Pericoli / Ray Charles Singers – Al di là
Carlo Donida was an Italian composer who wrote Uno dei tanti, which became a hit for Ben E. King and Tom Jones.
Ervin Drake was a writer who created the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s hit, It Was A Very Good Year.
For the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest, Carlo worked with Italian lyricist Mondo to create the song Al di là. Betty Curtis sang the song in the contest, and it came in fifth.
Carlo then recorded his own version of the song for the 1962 film Rome Adventure. The song proved popular enough that he recorded a new, slower version as a single that reached the top ten on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Chuck Offenberg began singing professionally on Chicago radio stations when he was only 16 years old. He also began arranging and conducting music.
In 1944, Chuck legally changed his name to Ray Charles (this was years before R&B singer Ray Charles began recording).
In the forties, he began working with Perry Como, first on his radio shows and later on television. He also arranged and conducted singing on the show Your Hit Parade in the early fifties.
Perry named Ray’s singing group The Ray Charles Singers when they began to tour with him as background singers. They also recorded numerous jingles.
The group touched the Hot 100 in 1955 and later had their first successful recording in 1964 with the #3 hit Love Me With All Your Heart.
Ervin wrote the English lyrics for Al di là, and the Ray Charles Singers released a version with those lyrics as their follow-up single. The record reached #29 on the Hot 100 and peaked at #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
The group released more than 30 albums in the fifties and sixties, but only had one more single reach the top forty (and that one stalled at #38). By the seventies, demand for their style of music had diminished.
Ray continued to be active in the music industry and was even a participant in the recording of We Are The World. He died in 2015 at age 96.
I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.
Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.
You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!