Renato Carosone (3 January 1920 – 20 May 2001) was among the greatest figures of Italian music scene in the second half of the 20th century. He was also a modern performer of the so-called canzone napoletana, Naples’ song tradition.

Carosone was born in Naples. He studied piano at his hometown’s Conservatory and obtained his diploma in 1937, when he was just 17. He soon signed a contract as a band leader for a tour of Africa. After that job, he ended up in Addis Ababa working as a pianoplayer. In a short while he became quite famous there and had several gigs as band leader. He returned to Italy only in 1946, after the end of World War II.

Those ten years spent abroad had exposed him to new rhythms and new sounds, but, in spite of his international success, Carosone was a stranger to the Italian audience. He had to start his career afresh, playing the piano in some small dance-hall bands.

“I’d rather retire now on the crest of the wave, than after being tormented by the doubt that yè-yè fashion and new armies wearing blue-jeans may wipe away all that I have achieved in so many years of work and worries”. ~ Renato Carosone