Mina, la canzone pan-europea e gli ‘interpreti generalisti’

Paolo Prato

Abstract


At only 24 Mina was already an adult oriented performer: in 1964 she released her first ‘international’ album including cover versions of standards and current hits in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. It was a turning point with respect to her earlier rock ‘n’ roll recordings, and it impacted on the level of her public’s taste, familiarizing Italians with a fashionable, global songbook. The article aims at demonstrating the pioneering role that the Italian star played in shaping a pan-European repertoire, along with a string of singers from various countries who were active in the same time frame considered – late Fifties to 1970. What I call ‘generalist performers’ (Caterina Valente, Petula Clark, Nana Mouskouri, Julio Iglesias, Dalida, Mireille Mathieu, Udo Jürgens) dominated the continental market with unprecedented figures, performed in many languages and recorded a great number of LPs and singles outselling almost any other artist over a couple of decades. They were all – Mina among the first– ambassadors of genres, traditions and fads coming both from the Anglo-American world and exotic places, whose central role in establishing a transcultural songbook still has to be recognized.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15203/ATeM_2021_1.04

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