Gino Santercole is an Italian singer/songwriter, guitarist, and actor. He is well known for his breakthrough hit "Questo vecchio pazzo mondo" ("This old crazy world"), a cover of P.F. Sloan's "Eve of Destruction," and for the song "Such a Cold Night Tonight" that he sang in the movie Yuppi Du.
Santercole was born in Milan, Italy, on November 21, 1940. His family is originally from the south eastern region of Apulia. Santercole's mother, Rosa, was the sister of the singer, comedian, and movie director Adriano Celentano.
Santercole lost his father as a child. He spent some years in college, and was then forced to go to work by himself. He was fond of rock'n'roll, and in his free time he learned to play the guitar.
Celentano recruited Santercole for his group, the Rock Boys, when his second guitarist, Ico Cerutti, left the group. Santercole became a Rock Boy just in time to participate in the First Italian Festival of Rock and Roll, held May 18, 1957, at the Via Piranesi Ice Palace in Milan. Record producer Walter Guertler was in the festival audience, and signed the Rock Boys to a recording contract right after the show.
The Rebels and the solo debut:
The Rock Boys evolved into the Rebels, who backed up Celentano and other singers such as Ricky Clem Sacco and Gianco. Celentano began a solo career and soon Santercole became the group's lead guitarist.
Santercole began singing as well; the first song he sang on was "Sono un fallito" ("I am a Failure"), a cover of Ray Charles's "Busted." That was followed by his own solo single, 'Silver Star', in December 1964, which got good airplay and chart success in early 1965. In 1965 he released a solo EP, credited to Santercole with Celentano and Don Backy.
Then in 1966 Santercole sang on and released the single "Questo vecchio pazzo mondo" ("This old crazy world"). The song is a cover of the folk-rock/protest song written by P.F. Sloan, 'Eve of Destruction' which became a hit when covered by Barry McGuire in 1966. Santercole performs the song in Cantagiro in 1967. Celentano used the same music tracks and lyrics in 1984 on his album I miei americani (My American), a collection of U.S. hits translated into Italian, and again in the first episode of his 1999 television show, Francamente me ne infischio (Frankly I don't care) in 1999.
In 1966, Santercole participated in Festival di Sanremo with his uncle, Ico Cerutti and Pilade, performing "Il ragazzo della via Gluck" ("The Kid from Gluck Street") under the name Trio of Clan; however, they are eliminated in the early evening.
Meanwhile the kinship with Celentano is strengthened. Celentano separated from his Milena Cantù and married actress and singer Claudia Mori, while Santercole fell in love with and married Mori's sister, Anna Moroni (becoming the brother-in-law of his uncle). Anna Santercole will bear him two sons.
Composer and actor:
Santercole has written many famous and significant songs of Italian music, including some of great success. His first success was "A Caress into a Fist" ("Una carezza in un pugno"), initially recorded by Celantano as a B-side in 1968. The song has become an evergreen of Italian pop music is, having been used several times by Celentano in his television programs. In 1992 the singer and Fiorello imitator included a new cover of "A Caress into a Fist" on his album Again fake.
"A Caress into a Fist" was the first song Santercole wrote. He had never tried to write a song, because he did not believe he could. One day, though, when learning a new song - Bert Kaempfert's "Strangers in the Night"--on guitar, he found himself varying notes and finally playing a completely different song, the one that became "A Caress into a Fist".
Other hits followed: "Svalutation", a rock song with electric guitar, on his 1976 album (which also contained his songs "The Boat" and "Room 21"), "A boy on the Lion", and "Remarkably" (written initially for Mina, with lyrics by Luciano Beretta).
Santercole also composed music for movies. He is credited with the soundtracks of Segni Particolari: Bellisimo (Distinguishing Features: Beautiful) (1983) and Joan Lui - Ma Un Giorno Nel Paese Arrivo 10 Di Lunedi (1985). In addition he did numerous work on the music of Celentano's films; a highlight being his hit "Such a Cold Night Tonight" (which Santercole sang in English), from the movie Yuppi du.
In 1969, Santercole also began an acting career. While he had previously played cameos and parts, his first substantial role came in the 1969 film Serafino (Seraphim). One day he visited Celentano, who had landed a role in the movie, on set; the director, Paolo Germi, saw him, thought he had a good face, and cast him as the Sergeant.
As an actor, Santercole has worked with directors like Pietro Germi, Dino Risi, Giuliano Montaldo, Luigi Comencini, Luciano Salce, and Mario Monicelli. He has cast credits in four movies: Mani Di Velluto (1979), Yuppi du (1975), Il Commisario Pepe (1969), and Serafino (1969).
Return to television and reconciliation with Celentano:
In 1999 Santercole collaborated on the new album by Pio Trebbi, lead singer of the Clan Celentano, who was experiencing economic difficulties: the two wrote the song "The Last of the Clan'. To help, Santercole contacted Celentano, who decided to join the two in an episode of his television program Francamente me ne infischio. The symbol of peace between the two after that in the past there had been some disagreements.
On January 22, 2007, Santercole agreed to participate with Varese at a celebration of the 50th anniversary of rock 'n' roll in Italy, along with Pennant, the Rebels, Rosie, Ghigo Agosti, and others. In September 2008 Santercole was a guest at the Festival in Venice with Adriano Celentano for the new release of Yuppi Du. 2009 in June he hosted the programme of Rai Two Stracult Show of Marco Giusti German in a sketch comedian with Stefano Sarcinelli and Nicola Vicidomini.
On April 13, 2010, Santercole released a new album, titled Nobody is Alone, on which he had composed all of the music. (Mimmo Politanò wrote the lyrics).
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