“Trip to Sanremo Festival (Sixties)”‏

The Festival della canzone italiana di Sanremo (in English: Sanremo Italian song festival) is a popular Italian song contest, held annually in the city of Sanremo, Italy.

In the aftermath of World War II, one of the proposals to revitalize the economy and the reputation of Sanremo was to create an annual music festival to be held in the city. During the summer of 1950, the administrator of the Sanremo Casinò, Piero Bussetti, and the conductor of the RAI orchestra, Giulio Razzi, rediscussed the idea, deciding to launch a competition among previously unreleased songs

The first edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, held between 29 and 31 January 1951, was broadcast by RAI’s radio station Rete Rossa and its only two participants were Nilla Pizzi and Achille Togliani, supported by Duo Fasano.

Starting from 1955 all the editions of the Festival have been broadcast live by the Italian TV station Rai 1.

From 1951 to 1976, the Festival took place in the Sanremo Casinò, but starting from 1977, all the following editions were held in the Teatro Ariston,except 1990’s one, held at the Nuovo Mercato dei Fiori.

Between 1953 and 1971, except in 1956, each song was sung twice by two different artists, each one using an individual orchestral arrangement, to illustrate the meaning of the festival as a composers’ competition, not a singers’ competition. During this era of the festival, it was custom that one version of the song was performed by a native Italian artist while the other version was performed by an international guest artist.

Notable guest artists of that time were, among others:

1964: Peggy March, team partner of Claudio Villa with “Passo su passo”, semi-finals only.

1965: Connie Francis, team partner of Gigliola Cinquetti with “Ho bisogno di vederti”.

1965: Petula Clark, team partner of Betty Curtis with “Invece no”.

1965: Dusty Springfield, team partner of Gianni Mascolo with “Di fronte all’amore”, semi-finals only.

1965: Audrey Arno, team partner of Remo Germani with “Prima o poi”.


1966: Gene Pitney, team partner of Caterina Caselli with “Nessuno mi può giudicare”.

1966: Pat Boone, team partner of Peppino Gagliardi with “Se tu non fossi qui”

1967: Dalida, team partner of Luigi Tenco with “Ciao, amore ciao”, semi-finals only.

1968: Roberto Carlos, team partner of Sergio Endrigo with “Canzone per te” (winner).

1968: Bobbie Gentry, team partner of Al Bano with “La siepe”.


1968: Dionne Warwick, team partner of Tony del Monaco with “La voce del silenzio”.

1968: Louis Armstrong, team partner of Lara Saint Paul with “Mi va di cantare”.
1968: Wilson Pickett, team partner of Fausto Leali with “Deborah”.
1969: Mary Hopkin, team partner of Sergio Endrigo with “Lontano dagli occhi” (second place).

1969: Stevie Wonder, team partner of Gabriella Ferri with “Se tu ragazzo mio”, semi-finals only.

In The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith and its film adaptations, Dickie Greenleaf invites Tom Ripley to travel to the Sanremo Music Festival to enjoy some jazz, as a parting gesture before sending Ripley on his way. The ensuing events in San Remo have major implications for all of the characters.

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