27 March 2019

27 March

Joe Sentieri - singer and actor

Career remembered for international hit song

The singer, songwriter and actor Joe Sentieri, who released seven albums and around 100 singles over the course of a career spanning more than a quarter of a century, died on this day in 2007 in the Adriatic coastal city of Pescara. Although he enjoyed considerable success in his own right, he tends to be remembered most for his association with an Italian song that became an international hit after it was translated into English. Sentieri’s 1961 song Uno dei tanti - One of the Many - was given English lyrics by the American record producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and repackaged as I (Who Have Nothing). A hit first for the American soul and R&B star Ben E King, it was covered with huge success by the British artists Tom Jones and later Shirley Bassey. The Jones version reached No 14 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while Bassey’s climbed to No 6 in the UK singles chart. Read more...


Alessandro La Marmora - military general

Founder of Italy's famed Bersaglieri corps

The general who founded the Italian army's famous Bersaglieri corps, Alessandro La Marmora, was born on this day in 1799 in Turin. One of four children in his family who grew up to serve as generals, La Marmora came up with the idea for the Bersaglieri in 1836. He envisaged a mobile elite corps similar to the French chasseurs and Austrian j├Ągers, trained to a high physical level and all crack marksmen, who should act as scouts, providing screen for the main army, operate as skirmishers and use their sharpshooting skills to weaken the flanks of the enemy during a battle.  From this proposal emerged the Bersaglieri, soldiers who were trained to be bold, carrying out their duties with patriotic fervour. Famously, it was Bersaglieri soldiers - identifiable by the plume of feathers that adorns their headgear - who stormed Rome's Porta Pia gate in 1870 as the unification of Italy was completed with the defeat of the Papal States. Read more…


Gianluigi Lentini - footballer with world record price tag

AC Milan outbid Juventus for Torino star

Gianluigi Lentini, born on this day in 1969, was for four years the world's most expensive footballer. A winger with Torino known for outstanding dribbling skills, crossing accuracy and lightning pace, Lentini was the subject of a fierce bidding war between Torino's city neighbours, Juventus, and defending Serie A champions AC Milan in the summer of 1992 which ended with Milan paying a fee of around £13 million for the 23-year-old star. It was the second time in the space of a few weeks that Milan had paid a world record sum for a player, having signed the French striker Jean-Pierre Papin from Marseille for £10 million. At a time when the Italian league was awash with cash, the Papin record had then been eclipsed when Juventus paid Sampdoria £12 million for striker Gianluca Vialli. The Lentini record would remain until Newcastle United forked out £15 million for the Blackburn and England striker Alan Shearer in 1996. Read more...


Luca Zaia - politician

Popular president of Veneto tipped as future PM

The politician Luca Zaia, who was spoken of as a possible candidate to be Italy’s prime minister following the 2018 elections, was born on this day in 1968 in Conegliano, in the Veneto.  Zaia, who has been president of the Veneto region since 2010, received an approval rating of 56 per cent in a poll to find the most popular regional governor, the highest rating of any of Italy’s regional presidents.  A member of the Lega party, formerly Lega Nord (Northern League), he was suggested by some commentators as a dark horse for the position of President of the Council of Ministers - the official title of Italy’s prime minister - after the March 1 election of last year produced no overall winner.  Before successfully standing to be Veneto’s president, he had served in national government as Minister of Agriculture under Silvio Berlusconi. Read more...


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