Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu (Volare)

Album: Nel Blu, Dipinto di Blu (1958)
Charted: 10 1
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  • The lyrics are in Italian. The title translates to "The Blue (Sky), Painted in Blue" ("Volare": to fly). Modugno co-wrote it with Franco Migliacci after Modugno described a man's dream of flying through the air with his hands painted blue.
  • Domenico Modugno was one of the first Italian Pop music stars to gain international fame. This was his only US hit: it was #1 for 5 weeks in 1958.
  • This was the first foreign-language single to top the singles charts in the rock era. Billboard magazine declared it #1 for the year 1958.
  • Dean Martin (#12 in 1958), Bobby Rydell (#4 in 1960), and Al Martino (#33 in 1975) hit the charts with versions with English lyrics written by Michael Parish.
  • Domenico Modugno died of a heart attack in 1994; Dean Martin passed away on Christmas Day, 1995. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for all above
  • Modugno performed this for the first time at the Sanremo Song Festival in Italy, where he won first prize. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Orlando - Treviso, Italy
  • This song won the first Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1959. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • In an era where most hits were either penned by outside songwriters or covers of previously recorded songs, this was the first Hot 100 #1 to be written or co-written by its singer.

Comments: 18

  • Tisaye Kalua from Lilongwe, Malawi Great song. I fell in love with it at once. I do 'ot understand the language but the song has all the music in it, and I didn't believe it was done in 1958. Great piece of art.
  • Thomas from BrooklynI was three years old when this was a hit, and remember it fondly!
  • Thomas from BrooklynFrom Google Translate:

    I think that a dream like this will never come back
    I painted my hands and my face blue
    Then, suddendly, I was kidnapped by the wind
    And I began to fly in the infinite sky

    Fly oh, oh
    Sing oh, oh
    In blue painted blue
    Happy to be up there
    And I flew, I flew happy higher than the sun
    And even higher
    As the world slowly disappeared away there
    A sweet music only sounded for me

    Fly oh, oh
    Sing oh, oh
    In blue painted blue
    Happy to be up there
    But all dreams in the dawn fade away because
    When the moon sets, he takes them with him
    But I keep dreaming in your beautiful eyes
    Which are blue like a star-studded sky

    Fly oh, oh
    Sing oh, oh
    In the blue of your blue eyes
    Happy to stay down here
    And I keep flying happy higher up than the sun
    And even higher
    While the world slowly disappears in your blue eyes
    Your voice is a sweet music that plays for me

    Fly oh, oh
    Sing oh, oh
    In the blue of your blue eyes
    Happy to stay down here
    In the blue of your blue eyes
    Happy to stay down here
    With you
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 20, 1975, Al Martino was guest on the Philadephia-based syndicated television program 'The Mike Douglas Show'...
    At the time his covered version of "Volare" was at #62 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, a little over three weeks later on December 14th it would peak at #33 {for 1 week} and it spent ten weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #9 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    Between 1952 and 1977 Mr. Martino had thirty-eight Top 100 records; three made the Top 10 with his debut record, "Here In My Heart", being his biggest hit, it reached #1 {for 2 non-consecutive weeks} on June 1st, 1952 on Billboard's Best Seller in Stores chart...
    Besides "Here In My Heart", his two other Top 10 records were; "I Love You Because" {at #3 in 1963} and "I Love You More and More Everyday" {it reached #9 in 1964}...
    Al Martino, born Jasper Cini and aka Johnny Fontane, passed at the age of 82 on October 13th, 2009.
  • Ricky from Ohsweken, Ontario CanadaOn the sitcom Gimme A Break Nell Carter sings this along to Muzak while on hold when she's calling an Italian restaurant.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 12th 1960, Bobby Rydell, with the Ray Charles Singers, performed "Volare" on the NBC-TV program 'The Perry Como Show'...
    At the time Bobby's covered version of the song was at #31 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; five weeks earlier on September 5th it had peaked at #4 {for 1 week}...
    See the next post below.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 18th 2012, Bobby Rydell was released from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia one week after undergoing a 20-hour kidney and liver transplant operation...
    Exactly fifty-two years earlier on July 18th, 1960 his covered version of "Volare" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #60; seven weeks later on September 5th it would peak at #4 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the Top 100 for 15 weeks...
    It reached #9 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1959 and 1965 he had twenty-eight Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with his biggest hit being "Wild One", it peaked at #2* for 1 week in 1960...
    He just missed having eight Top 10 records when both "Kissin' Time" in 1960 and "Good Time Baby" in 1961 peaked at #11...
    Mr. Rydell, born Robert Louis Ridarelli, celebrated his 73rd birthday three months ago on April 26th {2015}...
    * The week that "Wild One" was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "The Theme from A Summer Place" by Percy Faith and His Orchestra.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyLess than one month after his first appearance on the 'Sullivan' show {see next post below} Domenico Modugno was back on the 'Sullivan' show and once again he performed "Volare"...
    On the same 'Sullivan' show Tommy Edwards performed "It's All in the Game"; and that was the song that bumped "Volare" out of the #1 position on the Top 100 on September 29th, 1958 {and "It's All in the Game" remained at #1 for 6 weeks}...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 17th 1958, Domenico Modugno performed "Volare" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'
    And the very next day it peaked at #1 {for 5 non-consecutive weeks} on Billboard’s Hot Top 100 chart and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    It had entered the Top 100 at #54, the following week it jumped to #2, then #1 on its third week on the chart...
    On May 4, 1959 the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles, CA and Domenico Modugno's "Volare" won Record of the Year and Song of the Year...
    Besides Dean Martin, Bobby Rydell and Al Martino; the McGuire Sisters released the song in 1958, their version stayed on the Top 100 for one week, at position #80...
    In the fall of 1975 the Chrysler Corp. introduced the mid-size Plymouth Volare {production of the model ended in 1980}.
  • Francisco Javier from Richmond, B.c., BcAs most of you mentioned Domenico Modugno was one of the greatest italian composers and singer of the 50's, 60's and 70's, he also recorded in spanish and became very popular and just for the trivia lovers it's good to comment that the day he passed away, most of the radio broadcasters in Italy played Volare at noon as a last tribute to such great artist. Landen: I'm afraid that Andrea Bocelli hasn't recorded Volare (Nel blu di pinto di blu) he recorded and was his first hit Por ti volare or Con te partiro, for prompt reference check CDconnection dot com, they list the tracks of every cd they sell and allow you to listen to a little bit of it. Good luck...Francisco Javier
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyThis song was No. 1 for one week and then was knocked out by "Little Star" by The Elegants for one week but then came back to reclaim the No. 1 spot and stayed there for four more weeks...
  • Mike from Franklin County, PaPart of this song was used in the movie "The Hollywood Knights" ; where one of the boys of the Knights took a school bandleader's uniform and went on stage in a gymnasium , singing the song lyrics in Italian while farting in the microphone .
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaI was impressed with the way Domingo performed this song on TV...very exuberant he is on these old films...his personna was quite wonderful!
  • Ol' Jim from Panama City, FlThere is a family-run Italian restaurant in Rockledge, Florida named Domenico's. When I jokingly asked the waitress where was Modugno, she went and got her father, the owner.

    He was amazed that I knew who Domenico Modugno was and that I made the connection. They were first cousins, and the restaurant is named after him.

    I got extra-special service that night. . .
  • Darrell from Eugene, United StatesThe 1977-80 Plymouth Volare (replacement for the Valiant, same as the Dodge Aspen, replaced by the K car) was named after this song, and like the song (English version as well as Italian), it was appalling. Around my neighborhood, there is a pea-soup green 1980 Plymouth Volare Premier coupe that is held together by moss, fungus and dirt but still manages to get its roughly 90-year-old owner from point "A" to point "B".
  • Landen Flear from Lefroy, CanadaHello, l am trying to find the song Volare, Andrea Bocelli sings it. But l do not know how to get this music. I do not know what C.D. it is on. l belive it is also called Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu. Can you help me?

    Thank you.

  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnEven though there were a number of English remakes, I liked the original version in Italian the best. It's also one of the best songs of a male singer's vocal range.
  • Nestor from BarcelonaGipsy Kings made a rhumba version included in their 1989 album Mosaique. The lyrics are in spanish except the chorus where they sing in italian.
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