Sicilian Culture

The People, The History, The Culture

Renato Carosone
By The Associated Press

ROME, May 21 - Renato Carosone, who revolutionized traditional Neapolitan song, died on Sunday at his home here. He was 81.

Mr. Carosone was best known for his 1956 hit about postwar Italy, "Tu vuò fa' l'americano," or "You want to play the American."  But he was also known for songs like "Maruzzella" and "O sarracino," and for having influenced a new generation of singers by bringing jazz and swing into the Italian songbook.

Known as the father of Neapolitan singing, Mr. Carosone is credited with having internationalized Italian song while revolutionizing it at home. "Tu vuò fa' l'americano," for instance, was included in the soundtrack of the 1999 film "The Talented Mr. Ripley," and other Carosone tunes were used in Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets."

He is survived by his wife, Lita, and a son, Pino.

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