THE SALTON OF ITALY – TOTO CUTUNO
No matter how strange it may look, this singer and composer, whose world fame came from the song “L’italiano”, is more popular and loved abroad than in his homeland. Of course, in Italy everyone knows Toto Cutugno, they sing his songs, but it was on the Apennines that the performer’s work was constantly smashed to pieces without finding something original in the compositions of Cutugno. But the paradox is that the audience never agreed with their opinion – Toto was and remains the favorite of the public, who became the face of the San Remo festival, introducing a new hit on it almost every year, and then disappearing from his native stage until the next season .
Sea and music
On July 7, 1943, a boy was born in the Tuscan town of Fozdinovo in the Kutuno family, who was named Salvatore, but mother Olga called her son Toto from childhood. Under this name, he later became a famous singer. The childhood and singer Toto Kutunoyunyutno years of Kutuno passed in the port city of La Spezia, where they transferred the father of Domenico Kutuno – a naval sailor. Father’s love for the sea was also transmitted to his children. Toto still could not stand confidently on his feet, but in the water he felt like a fish, and later disappeared on city beaches, dreaming of distant travels and deep feelings.
Over time, he mastered playing the saxophone and piano, falling in love with jazz, and at the age of 19 with the jazzman collective Guido Manuzardi went on tour in Scandinavia. The tour was a tremendous success, and this determined the fate of Toto – he decided to finally connect his life with music.
Returning from the tour, Kutuno gathers the group Toto e Tati. It included the younger brother of Toto – Roberto and three of their friends – Massimo Vigano, Gigi Tone and Lino Losito. For a couple of years, the guys visited many clubs and bars in different parts of Italy. I must admit that the performances of novice musicians were not always successful. They could not charm the audience with anything special, since they performed foreign, already popular songs, therefore they didn’t differ in their own style from hundreds of other Italian groups of that time.
In 1975, Kutuno’s band Toto e Tati broke up, but the singer is putting together a new band – Albatros. With him, he again toured the country, speaking at discos and in clubs. In one of these institutions, Toto noticed the famous Italian songwriter Vito Pallavicini. The musician invited Cutugno to his studio to get to know his work more closely. After this meeting, Vito was simply amazed at Toto’s composing talent. It was Pallavicini who opened the door for Kutuno to the world of show business, he introduced him to famous musicians, singer Toto Kutunoyi helped establish profitable cooperation with them. As a result of this work, wonderful hits were born that became the decoration of Joe Dassin’s repertoire – “Et si tu n`éxistais pas”, “Salut” and “L`été Indien”.
For the famous French singer Johnny Holliday Toto created the composition “Derrierre l’amour” (“For Love”), which even included the legendary Paul Moriah in his repertoire.
Cutugno works with his compatriots. He wrote several songs for Adriano Celentano (“Soli”, “Non’è”, “- Amore? – No!”), The band Ricchi è Poveri, Ornella Vanoni, Gianni Nadzaro and other performers. Toto Cutugno also creates music for the film “The Taming of the Shrew.”
And with his group Albatros, the singer participated in the 1976 San Remo festival. The composition “Volo AZ-504” (“Flight AZ-504”) brings the musicians not only third place, but also the love of the audience.
The Conquest of San Remo
Since then, Toto’s career has been rapidly gaining momentum. His hit “Donna, donna mia” was chosen as a musical intro to the program of the famous Italian singer Toto Cutugno TV presenter Mike Bongiorno. Cutugno was not sure that this song could be so successful, but Bongiorno insisted that it be played on air in the author’s performance. Donna, donna mia has been a leader in Italian and French charts for more than a month, inspiring Cutugno to go to the San Remo festival in 1980. His performance with the song “Solo noi” (“Just the two of us”) exceeded all expectations. The singer won first place! The song quickly became a national hit, it hit the top sellers and for several weeks stayed in the top twenty tracks. By that time, the Albatros team had broken up, and Toto began a solo career.
The love of the public for Toto was unconditional. Finally, the audience, journalists, and critics found words that could characterize the work of Cutugno and mark his place on the stage – a true Italian. With this song, the performer united the whole country. By the way, initially “L’italiano” was intended for Adriano Celentano, but the singer refused to perform it – he seemed too obliging and responsible to him.
Toto Kutunyo never complained about his health until in 2007 he was diagnosed with singer Toto Kutuniorak. The operation was successful, fans from all over the world prayed for the recovery of the singer. But two years later, the disease returned again, and Toto was prescribed a course of chemotherapy. Fortunately, Cutugno managed to cope with the disease.