Italy (Heat 1) - Alan Tubery

San Remo 2019 is taking place again over 5 nights from the 5thFebruary and this year as usual a lot of famous and “oldies” are gracing the stage. Like last year, there will be no eliminations during the weeknight shows. I am reviewing the 1stnight were all the 24 songs are performed. 2 other OGAE ROW members will comment on this as well, so I guess I will approach more about the history of the festival as the 69th annual Sanremo Music Festival, a television song contest is held in the Teatro Ariston of Sanremo 

Famous names this year are Anna Tatangelo, Arisa, Daniele Silvestri, Il Volo who won in 2015, Loredana Bertè, Nek, Nino D'Angelo (not to confuse with Nino de Angelo who participated in Eurovision Song Contest in 1989 for Germany with the song "Flieger"), Paola Turci and the Grande Dame Patty Pravo who is participating for the 10thtimes without winning it.  Pravo is the third best-selling Italian artist of all time, after Mina and Adriano Celentano, having sold more than 120 million records. The 1strecord I bought from her is the 1968  “La Bambola” !

After listening to the 24 songs I would predict that the winner shall be between

Iramawith the song “La ragazza col cuore di latta” and Ultimowith “I tuoi particolari” with 

Il Volowith “Musica che resta” on the podium 

For the duet evening worth noting that Arisa will sing with Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) Ex-Otago with Jack Savoretti (who sing with Kylie Minogue “ Music's Too Sad Without You”) and 

Simone Cristicchi with Last year Ermal Meta

Last year  winning artists of the "Campioni" category of "Sanremo Music Festival 2018" Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro were given the right to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest representing Italy.  The winning songs and artists of Sanremo represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in the period 1956-1966, and only occasionally later: in 1972, 1997, 2013, 2015 and 2017.In other years the winning artist was sent to Eurovision with another song, that was the case in 1967-1969, 1987, 1989 and 1993. Since Italy's come back to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011-2013, 2015-2016, RAI chose their performers from one of the participating artists in the corresponding Sanremo year, but not necessarily the winner of competition. 

The Festival della canzone italiana di Sanremo (in English: Italian song festival of Sanremo) is the most popular Italian song contest and awards, held annually in the town of Sanremo, in Italy, and consisting of a competition amongst previously unreleased songs. It was the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest. It still uses a full orchestraand I wish Eurovision would do it too. The first edition of the Festival was held between 29 and 31 January 1951and was broadcasted  by RAI's radio station Only three participants performed Nilla Pizzi, Achille Togliani and Duo Fasano Starting from 1955 all the editions of the Festival have been broadcast live by the Italian TV station Rai 1.

Between 1953 and 1971 each song was sung twice by two different artists, each one using an individual orchestral arrangement, to illustrate the meaning of the festival as a composers' competition, not a singers' competition. During this era of the festival, it was custom that one version of the song was performed by a native Italian artist while the other version was performed by an international guest artist. That was the way for many international artists to debut with hits in Italian market in those years, such a case for Eurovision artists Lara Fabian, Mary Hopkin, Bonnie Tyler, Celine DionSandie Shaw, Françoise Hardy, Ofra Haza but also Stevie Wonder, Cher, Louis Armstrong, Jose Feliciano, Roberto Carlos, Paul Anka, Gene Pitney, Yardbirds, Marianne Faithfull, Shirley Bassey, Mungo Jerry, Dusty Springfield, Wilson Pickett, Miriam Makeba, Leo Sayer, Ray Charles, Grace Jones, Diana Ross, Laura Braniganand many others. 

The competing artists were split for the first time into "Big artists" and "Young artists" during the Sanremo Music Festival 1974.

The festival is used as the way of choosing the Italian entry to the Eurovision Song Contest and it has launched the careers of some of Italy's most successful singers, including Domenico Modugno, Andrea Bocelli, Bobby Solo, Alice, Laura Pausini, Eros Ramazzotti, Gigliola Cinquetti (Who won Eurovision in 1964) and Francesco Gabbani to name a few.


In 2009 the song "Luca era gay" (English: Luca Was Gay), written and sung by Povia, was considered by some gay rights organizations as an anti-gay song. The controversy was also based on the name of the song's character: according to Aurelio Mancuso, president of the Arcigay, the name refers to Luca Tolvi, who claimed that Joseph Nicolosi cured his homosexuality. Povia denied this thesis and claimed that the song is about a man he met on a train, whose real name is Massimiliano. The song won second place in the Festival.

In 1968.Dionne Warwickentered San Remotogether with Tony Del Monaco with the song “La voce del silenzio”. The outcome was not the greatest for the two artists, as they placed last in the grand final.  But their entry became one of the most famous Italian songs of all time anyway, performed by several stars, including tenor Andrea Bocelli. And in 2018 — exactly 50 years after that participation — Warwick tried to take the stage of the long-lasting Italian music festival again. Now a music legend and second only to Aretha Franklin as the most-charted female vocalist of all time, with 80 singles across all Billboard charts combined, Warwick watched her bid end as a heartbreaker. Dionne confirmed that the Sanremo 2018 committee rejected her entry “Sparami” (Shoot me), a duet with Italian singer Silvia Mezzanotte, one of the 4 voices of Matia Bazar   “Sparami” will be released in two versions, included in Silvia Mezzanotte’s next album, which will be out in April. The English one (entitled “I Give To You My Heart”) has lyrics written by David, one of Dionne’s sons.

Matia Bazarrepresented Italy in the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest with a song called Raggio di lunaplacing 15th in a field of 19.

but at that time the singer was Antonella Ruggier (1975-1989) the others were Laura Valente (1990-1998) Silvia Mezzanotte (1999-2004 + 2010-2016))Roberta Faccani (2005-2010).

Here are the results of the 1st evening of San Remo .... after 5 hours another 4 nights to go ! After listening to the 24 songs I predicted that the winner shall be between Irama with the song “La ragazza col cuore di latta” and Ultimo with “I tuoi particolari” with Il Volo with “Musica che resta” on the podium So I am on track