Monday, 21 October 2013

In memoriam GIANNI FERRIO (1924-2013) (

On October 21st, 2013, Gianni Ferrio passed away, aged 88. He conducted two songs in the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Naples.

From the 1940s onwards, Gianni Ferrio worked as an arranger and studio conductor for different record companies (including RCA Victor and CGD) and a string of artists, most notably Mina, with whom he had a lifelong working relationship, up until her last album in 2005. He wrote some of Mina’s best-known songs, including ‘Non gioco più’ (1975). His most famous composition is arguably ‘Paroles, paroles’, which, sung by Dalida and Alain Delon, became a European hit in 1973. He wrote scores to more than seventy feature films, amongst which ‘Un dollaro bucato’ (1965) and ‘Tutti a squola’ (1979).

As a conductor, he worked on many broadcasts of Italian public TV network RAI; he was the musical director of the Sanremo Festivals on two occasions, in partnership with William Galassini (in 1959) and Cinico Angelini (in 1962). In those days, Ferrio was considered to be a modernist conductor, because his orchestra included a prominent brass section. In 2007, he made a surprise return to the Sanremo Festival (after an absence of 45 years!) as the composer, arranger, and conductor of Johnny Dorelli’s ballad ‘Meglio così’.

Gianni Ferrio was the musical director of the tenth Eurovision Song Contest, held in Naples in 1965. He not only conducted the Italian entry ‘Se piangi, se ridi’ (sung by Bobby Solo), but also the songs submitted by Austria and Ireland – the first ever Irish entry in the contest.

Some links:

Gianni Ferrio's biography on

Gianni Ferrio's Eurovision performances in 1965:
Italy (Bobby Solo):
Ireland (Butch Moore):

Gianni Ferrio in Sanremo 2007 with Johnny Dorelli:

Ferrio's best-known composition: Paroles paroles - Dalida / Alain Delon:

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