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The warm and unmistakable timbre of a true chansonnier, the voice of “Settembre” will remain forever, a hit of the summer of 1970, telling about love that ended with “the first drops kissing the sand.”

But Peppino Gagliardi, who died last night in Rome at the age of 83, was much more than just a great interpreter of Italian pop music, a witness to the era of summer records. A sophisticated musician and writer born in the popular Neapolitan district of Vasto, Gagliardi played the accordion as a child and later switched to guitar and piano. And his music was full of poetry. After a classical Neapolitan training in the ensemble “I Gagliardi”, inspired by his name, exactly 60 years ago, in 1963, thanks to “T’amo e t’amerò”, Peppino achieved national success. In the 60s he was one of the main characters of the Naples Festival and participated in Sanremo three times with the songs “Ti Credo”, “Set tu non fossi qui” (which was later interpreted by Mina) and “Che vale per me”.

In 1969, an evergreen song appeared that would also have a lasting success in the movies: “What does this music want tonight”, on the soundtrack of Dino Risi’s “Profumo di donna” and other films, a song thanks to which it gains popularity. popularity abroad. However, the explosion of the Gagliardi phenomenon came in the early 1970s with the emergence of Aurelio Fierro’s independent King label: “Settembre” takes second place behind Disco per l’Estate, followed by a new summer nostalgic song, the melodic “Gocce di mare”. , and then again from “I love you so” and “Always, always.” The Neapolitan artist is very popular and takes second place in Sanremo, first with “Come le viole”, then with “Come un bimbono”. In 1974, after many singles, he released two very successful albums that united critics and fans: Vagabondo per la Verit had another hit, My Poetry.

In the meantime, Gagliardi has a constant presence on television, in 1976 he will conduct “Bim Bum Bam” for Rai2 with Bruna Lelli and Bruno Lausi and record “Music, People and Me” at 33 rpm. The protagonist of Italian melody in the world (among his admirers are Abba and Alvaro Soler), Gagliardi will forever remain associated for many years with the high and popular Neapolitan tradition, and will also devote himself to setting the music of such poets as Nicolardi, Di Giacomo and E.A. Mario. . Consistent in his path and choice, attentive to cooperation, he founded his own label PG Records. In the 80s and 90s, his activity declines, even if in 93 he will again appear on the stage of San Remo with “L’alba” (only five of his participation in the highest national singing competition). In the 2000s, he began working with his son Massimiliano, a pianist and songwriter. Who, along with his brothers Davide and Lucia, wanted to remember him on the day of his disappearance with unpublished poems found in his father’s notes. “And he flew away with those slightly tired eyes.” Big and melancholic eyes, like his songs.

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