Tune Tuesday – That’s Amore

It was 66 years ago today that Dean Martin stood in the recording studios at Capitol Records to record a song that he will forever be associated with – That’s Amore.  In 1953, Dean recorded it with Dick Stabile and his orchestra.  The session went from 8:30pm to 12:30am.  Also recorded at that session was the flip side of the record, a song called “You’re the Right One”.

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The song first appeared in the Martin and Lewis movie, The Caddy, which was released by Paramount Pictures three days earlier.  The song was written by Jack Brooks (who wrote the lyrics) and Harry Warren (who wrote the music).  According to Jerry Lewis, the writers of The Caddy left Dean very little to do.  The relationship between Dean and Jerry was already a bit strained.  According to Jerry, he went behind Dean’s back and said that he needed “a hit song” for Dean to sing in the movie – and That’s Amore was it.  Jerry said he paid about $30,000 for the song.  The song received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Original Song (it lost to Doris Day’s ‘Secret Love’).  It reached #2 on the charts.

The video below is taken from the Capitol Collector’s Series, which includes some playful studio chatter from Dean before the take.  Enjoy.

That’s Amore

“That’s Amore”

(In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl here’s what they say)

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing “Vita bella”
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta e fazool
That’s amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk in a dream but you know you’re not dreaming, signore
Scusa mi, but you see, back in old Napoli
That’s amore

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore (That’s amore)
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore (That’s amore)
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing “Vita bella” (Vita bell—Vita bella)
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella (lucky fella)

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta e fazool
That’s amore (That’s amore)
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk in a dream but you know you’re not dreaming, signore
Scusa mi, but you see, back in old Napoli
That’s amore (amore)
That’s amore

 

Tune Tuesday – Vieni Su

Last Friday marked the 102nd birthday of my all time favorite singer, Dean Martin.  I wrote a birthday blog for him last year, and this year, I had hoped to post my Top 10 Dean songs.  As stated in my previous blog, I didn’t get to do that because I was busy prepping my speech for the sleep conference.  So for Tune Tuesday, I wanted to share one of my favorite Dino songs.

If someone asked me to pick my favorite Dean Martin album, I would probably pick “Dino – Italian Love Songs.”  I have this on vinyl and I have listened to it more than once on the record player my wife bought me for my birthday.

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One of my favorite cuts on the album is a song written by Johnny Cola called Vieni Su.

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As far as the lyrics to this song, there aren’t many.  As a matter of fact, it’s one verse and a chorus.  Perhaps that’s what makes it all the more powerful to me.  In Italian, Vieni means “come” and Su means “on”.  The song is about a man who has waited for his special woman.  He adores her and loves her.  Now, he wants her to come with him through the years ahead and spend the time ahead together.  A simple love story.

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The song was recorded while Dean was still with Capitol Records.  The melody of this song is just beautiful.  I love the entire arrangement of this song.  Dean’s vocal is simple, and spot on.  It is such a perfect love song.  It is one that I can listen to over and over again.

Vieni Su

Vieni su, vieni su, vieni
Come along through the years with me
Can’t you see how I adore you
And how long I waited for you

Vieni su, vieni su
Won’t you say you love me too

Can’t you see how much I adore you
And how long I waited for you
Vieni su, vieni su
Won’t you say you love me too