Renato Carosone

Singer Renato Carosone, who revolutionized traditional Neapolitan song, died May 20 at his home in Rome, Italy. He was 81.

Best known for his 1956 hit about postwar Italy, “Tu vuo fa l’americano,” (You Want to Play the American), Carosone influenced a new generation of singers by bringing jazz and swing into the Italian songbook.

With songs like “Maruzzela” and “O sarracino,” Carosone was internationally renowned as the father of Neapolitan singing.

His music was appreciated by Hollywood, appearing in such films as Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets” and the 1999 film “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

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

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