- Date: August 19, 2017
- Time: 9:20PM
- Category: Music
- Stage: Main stage
His warm and tender voice, that spreads from deep bass to clear falsetto, similar to those of Elvis Presley, have helped make Bobby Solo a household name in many different countries. Bobby respectfully calls Elvis “Il Maestro” and has always openly admired him without becoming an imitator. Bobby has the ability to connect a song with his listening audience, and often does so by singing songs in the audience’s own language. He has countless recordings in German, French, Spanish, English and even Japanese, which is unmatched in today’s market.
Bobby is a timeless artist who has covered almost half a century of music, while also conquering the love of a vast audience, which still packs theatres and city squares where he performs today.
Born Roberto Satti, in Rome, on March 18, 1945, Bobby’s father is Friulan and mother from the Istrian Peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. As a teenager Bobby moved to Verona where his older sister and her American soldier husband already resided. Thanks to his brother-in-law, Bobby had the chance to become familiar with American popular music, especially country and rock and roll genres.
Bobby already played the guitar and had a good voice, so he was often invited to sing and play at house parties, but the decision to become a professional singer came when he saw Elvis Presley’s movie Jailhouse Rock. From then on Elvis became Bobby’s reference to refine his vocal style and to write his first songs. In the spring of 1963, Bobby went to the Ricordi Record Company in Milan for an audition to become a recording artist. He was immediately put under contract and was transformed into Bobby Solo with the release of his first single, “Ora che sei già una donna / Valeria.”
His popularity soared in early 1964 when he participated in the Sanremo Music Festival with the song “Una lacrima sul viso” (“A Tear on your Face” in Italian (with Frankie Laine presenting the song in English). An unexpected throat problem forced Bobby to sing in playback, contrary to live orchestra rules, and he was disqualified from the contest. Still, his record found incredible success both in Italy and abroad, selling more than six million copies throughout Europe, Japan and South America.
His next single “Credi a me” won the first edition of Festivalbar in the summer of 1964. The following year, Bobby won the Sanremo Festival with “Se piangi, se ridi,” which he sang with The New Christy Minstrels. He also presented the song at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Other big hits of that time included “Quello sbagliato,” “Cristina” and “La Casa del Signore,” the Italian version of Elvis’s “Crying In The Chapel.” In 1966 Bobby had two hits with “Questa volta,” which he sung with The Yardbirds at the Sanremo Festival, and “Per far piangere un uomo,” an Italian cover of Tom Jones’ song, “To Make A Big Man Cry.” The following year Bobby struck again with “Non c’è più niente da fare” and the Italian cover of Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco.” 1969 is the year of his second triumphant victory at the Sanremo Festival with the song “Zingara,” which he sang with Iva Zanicchi, and which was later recorded in English by Connie Francis. “Domenica d’agosto” was his last hit of the 60’s, and he then participated in the Sanremo Festival of 1970 with “Romantico Blues” and in 1972 with “Rimpianto.”
In 1978 Bobby signed a new contract with EMI and released “Duty Free, A Tribute to Elvis Presley”. Immediately after, “Una lacrima sul viso” was revisited in disco format, and the song became a big hit in France. From 1981 to 1984, Bobby appeared at the Sanremo Festival with four new hits: “Gelosia,” “Non posso perderti,” “Tu stai” and “Ancora ti vorrei.”
From 1985 to 1987, he teamed up with friends Rosanna Fratello and Little Tony and formed the Ro.Bo.T Trio (their initials). They released two albums of Italian and international hits. In 1989 Bobby won another TV contest with “Una lacrima sul viso.” In 2003 he teamed up again with Little Tony and made a dynamic return to Sanremo with his own composition and critically acclaimed song, “Non si cresce mai.”
His last albums range from many different styles, from Johnny Cash to Frank Sinatra, from Roman folk songs to Neapolitan classics, from jazz to rock and roll.
Bobby was married Sophie Teckel, a French ballet dancer and they have three children. Divorcing in 1991, Bobby married Tracy Quade, a Korean-American airline hostess, and they have a three year old son, Ryan.