Monday 27 September 1971


Born: January 30th, 1936, Berlin (Germany)
Died: June 29th, 1998, Radolfzell (Germany)
Nationality: German

In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview


Horst Jankowski studied the piano, double-bass, and trumpet at the Berlin Music Conservatory (1949-53). In the 1950s, he worked as Caterina Valente’s band leader during her tours in West Germany; moreover, he played the piano in various variety and jazz orchestras, among which those of Kurt Hohenberger, Erwin Lehn, and Benny Goodman. In 1965, his instrumental composition ‘Ein Schwarzwaldfahrt’ was released in Great-Britain and the United States under an English title, ‘A Walk In The Black Forest’, which became a major hit in both countries; the album ‘The Genius Of Jankowski’ of that same year was a million seller as well. 

Jankowski worked as an arranger for various pop artists in the 1960s, but in the 1970s he started concentrating on his old love, jazz music, once again by recording jazzy versions of famous pop and rock songs. Jankowski also made a name for himself as a composer of music for television and movies (including Oh Jonathan, Oh Jonathan! in 1973 and Lady Dracula in 1978).


Horst Jankowski composed the West German entry of the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest, ‘Ein Hoch der Liebe’ with the help of lyricist Carl J. Schäuble. In the Royal Albert Hall in London, the song was interpreted by Wenche Myhre; Jankowski conducted the orchestration written for him by Bernd Rabe. ‘Ein Hoch der Liebe’ landed a sixth place on the scoreboard.


Country – West Germany
Song title – "Ein Hoch der Liebe"
Rendition – Wenche Myhre
Lyrics – Carl J. Schäuble
Composition – Horst Jankowski
Studio arrangement – Bernd Rabe
(studio orchestra conducted by Horst Jankowski)
Live orchestration – Bernd Rabe
Conductor – Horst Jankowski
Score – 6th place (11 votes)

Friday 24 September 1971


Born: May 15th, 1914, London (United Kingdom)
Died: September 9th, 1979, Barnet (United Kingdom)
Nationality: British

Below, a medium-length article detailing the life and works of Norrie Paramor can be found. Hopefully, in due course, it can be extended to a full-fledged biography


Norrie Paramor studied the piano. He began his career as an accompanist for other artists. It was not long before he also played in, and arranged the music for various jazz bands, such as the Maurice Winnick Orchestra, and, later on, for the likes of Mantovani and Noel Coward, too. During World War II, Paramor was enlisted in the RAF, but continued to work as a musician even then, accompanying artists who performed to cheer up the troops. Around the same time, Ralph Reader engaged him to be the musical director of his variety shows.

Having continued to work as an accompanist, a band member of various ensembles, and a music arranger after the war, in 1950, for the first time, Paramor tried his hand at producing, recording a number of songs with Australian vocalist Marie Benson. In 1952, he was contracted by Columbia Records (a branch of EMI) as an arranger and A&R manager. It was not long before he produced no. 1 hit records with Ruby Murray (‘Softly, Softly’) and trumpeter Eddie Calvert (‘Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White’, ‘Oh mein Papa’ – the latter originally written for Lys Assia by Paul Burkhard). The string of hit records continued all through the 1950s with Michael Holliday (‘The Story Of My Life’) and the Mudlarks; during recording sessions, both this group and Holliday were usually accompanied by the orchestra of Ken Jones.

In 1958, Paramor was given a demo of Cliff Richard. In spite of his reservations about rock ‘n’ roll music, he decided to contract the young singer. Although Paramor would have preferred to record the song ‘Move It’ with the Ken Jones Orchestra, in the end, it was decided upon to have Cliff Richard accompanied by his own band, The Drifters. ‘Move It’ went on to become the young singer’s first chart success – and Paramor’s first production success with a rock ‘n’ roll record. Norrie Paramor remained Cliff Richard’s arranger and producer throughout the 1960s and, thus, was co-responsible for worldwide hits, including ‘The Young Ones’, ‘Summer Holiday’, and ‘Bachelor Boy’. 

During the same period, other protégés of Paramor, such as The Shadows (as The Drifters were renamed), Ricky Valance, Helen Shapiro, and Frank Ifield, were enormously appreciated by record buyers as well, both in England and abroad. The last British number one hit recorded under the auspices of Paramor was ‘Lily The Pink’ for the Scaffold (1968).

With his protégés Cliff Richard and Bobby Vee (early 1960s)

Meanwhile, Paramor released many records under his own name, too. These include several instrumental ‘Mood’ albums which did particularly well in the USA. He composed film scores as well as light orchestral works (e.g. ‘The Zodiac’, ‘Emotions’), which he recorded with his Concert Orchestra, and a number of hit songs; ‘Lonely’ for AckerBilck, ‘A Voice In The Wilderness’ for Cliff Richard, and ‘Let’s Talk About Love’ for Helen Shapiro, to name just a few. 

Paramor had a major hit himself in 1952 with ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ (vocals by Johnny Brandon), a song inspired on the Hollywood film which bore the same name; other orchestral successes of his include ‘Theme From A Summer Place’ (1960) and ‘Theme From Z Cars’ (1962). In 1955, Paramor founded the Big Ben Banjo Band and the Big Ben Hawaiian Band, groups consisting of London studio musicians, both of which were well-liked by the British audience.

In 1960, American actress-singer Judy Garland recorded an album in London with Paramor as her arranger and conductor. Subsequently, he was her MD during her European tour. From 1972 to 1978, Paramor was director of the BBC Midland Radio Orchestra. Although not working for EMI anymore, he still owned a publishing company called Festival Record International which specialized in finding repertoire for Cliff Richard. As such, Paramor also was the driving force behind ‘Long Live Love’, the 1974 UK entry which was sung by Olivia Newton John; he commissioned young arranger Nick Ingman to orchestrate and conduct the song.

Succumbing to an incurable disease, Norrie Paramor passed away in September 1979 at the age of 65.

Conducting the BBC Midland Radio Orchestra


In 1962, Norrie Paramor was the conductor for Frank Ifield, one of his contract singers, when the latter entered A Song for Europe, the UK Eurovision pre-selection. Ifield managed a 2nd place with the entry ‘Alone Too Long’, composed by Vince Hill. Of all 12 competing songs, only Ronnie Carroll’s ‘Ring-A-Ding Girl’ (arranged and conducted by Wally Stott) managed to do better, thus earning the right to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Luxembourg that year.

When the BBC asked Cliff Richard to perform all songs in the 1968 edition of A Song for Europe, it was no more than logical that the man who had been his arranger and record producer from the beginning of his career onwards, was chosen to be the musical director of the show. Norrie Paramor arranged and conducted all six efforts, from which viewers chose ‘Congratulations’, written by Phil Coulter and Bill Martin, as the winner.

After that, Paramor was given the task to be the musical director of the contest proper, which, after the victory of Sandy Shaw’s ‘Puppet On A String’ the year before, was staged in the Royal Albert Hall, London. Unusually, no BBC orchestra was provided for the show; Instead, Paramor hand-picked a group of session musicians for the occasion. During the interval between the songs and the voting, he conducted his ensemble in a ‘London Medley’, arranged by Harry Wilkinson. Of course, Paramor also led the orchestra during Cliff Richard’s rendition of ‘Congratulations’. Richard came 2nd, which was considered as a humiliation at that time, but he was vindicated by the worldwide commercial success of the record.

In 1971, Norrie Paramor was once again musical director of A Song for Europe, a show hosted by Cliff Richard; six songs were sung by the Clodagh Rodgers, from which the British TV audience chose a winner: ‘Jack In The Box’. Paramor, however, left the conducting of Clodagh Rodger’s entry in the Eurovision finals in Dublin to the arranger of the song, Johnny Arthey.

Norrie Paramor's orchestra during rehearsals in London's Royal Albert Hall (Eurovision 1968)


Between 1968 and 1974, Nick Ingman worked as a songwriter and arranger for the publishing company Festival Records International, owned by Norrie Paramor. Paramor commissioned him to arrange and conduct ‘Long live love’, the 1974 UK entry, “Norrie Paramor was my first boss when I joined the music industry in 1968. I was fresh out of Berklee College in the USA. He untaught me a lot of academic nonsense and showed how it really was. He was a very kind and considerate man, to whom I owe a lot.” (2009)

Harry Rabinowitz, a British musical director of the same generation as Paramor, comments, “Norrie Paramor was an extremely skilled orchestrator. He made hit recordings with music that was right at that time. Moreover, he composed many songs himself, pretty good songs indeed. All in all: an able professional.” (2009)


Country – United Kingdom
Song title – "Congratulations"
Rendition – Cliff Richard 
Lyrics – Phil Coulter / Bill Martin
Composition – Phil Coulter / Bill Martin
Studio arrangement – Norrie Paramor
Live orchestration – Norrie Paramor
Conductor – Norrie Paramor (MD)
Score – 2nd place (28 votes)

  • Various online sources (many no longer available today) were used to compile this biography (2009) 
  • Thanks to Nick Ingman and Harry Rabinowitz for their comments

Friday 17 September 1971


The following article is an overview of the career of Italian composer and arranger Giancarlo Chiaramello. The main source of information is an interview with Mr Chiaramello, conducted by Bas Tukker in Èze (France), July 2013. The article below subdivided into two main parts; a general career overview (part 3) and a part dedicated to Giancarlo Chiaramello's Eurovision involvement (part 4).

All material below: © Bas Tukker / 2013

  1. Passport
  2. Short Eurovision record
  3. Biography
  4. Eurovision Song Contest
  5. Other artists about Giancarlo Chiaramello
  6. Eurovision involvement year by year
  7. Sources & links


Born: February 18th, 1939, Bra (Italy)
Nationality: Italian


Giancarlo Chiaramello arranged and conducted two consecutive Italian Eurovision entries: ‘Non andare più lontano’, with which Claudio Villa participated in the 1967 festival in Vienna; and ‘Marianne’, performed by Sergio Endrigo in 1968 in the contest in London’s Royal Albert Hall. These songs failed to impress the international juries, finishing eleventh and tenth respectively.


Giancarlo Chiaramello was born one year before the outbreak of the Second World War in the Piedmont region, North-western Italy. In the interwar years, his family fell from grace. “During World War I, my grandfather had made fortune with a beer factory in Bra. He was a music-lover and some years after the war, he decided to start fabricating an early type of the pianola – a piano which plays music of its own… the precursor of the jukebox, if you like. At the outset, it seemed a good idea and the family continued to live in wealth for some years, but in the end interest in the product waned. My grandfather lost almost all his money, forcing him to work as a commercial agent for the rest of his days. His love for music, however, never vanished. Just to give you an idea of how fond he was of art… in his good years, he invited professional concert musicians from Turin to play at soirées in his villa in Bra."

"His son, my dad, was taught the piano and played Beethoven as a pastime for the rest of his life. Professionally, though, my father became a clerk and settled down in Turin. He married a girl from Bra, who hated the hustle and bustle of the big city and persuaded him to go back to Bra. That is where I was born… luckily, because the house in Turin where they had lived was ground to dust in the very first French bombardment after the declaration of war in 1940. We would not have survived.”

Young Giancarlo spent the war years with his father and mother in rural Bra. “There was a piano in the house where I grew up and this instrument interested me. When I was some five years old, I started improvising on it, composing some little things – I fantasized, as it were. The music which I heard on the radio was my inspiration. The day the Americans liberated Bra, the 25th of April 1945, was a key moment in my life in more than one way. The soldiers were accompanied by their regiment’s marching band which played ‘The stars and stripes forever’. It was the first time in my life I heard music outside the walls of our house. I was so seized with emotion, that I embraced my grandmother who was by my side, and wet my pants. Upon coming home, my grandmother told my father that she was convinced I was a future musician."

"Contrary to my mother, my father liked the prospect of his son becoming a music student. Though my parents could not afford sending me to a piano teacher, I did some little things in the following years, such as accompanying a puppetry performance for children. After my parents had moved back to Turin in ’48, dad sent me to his cousin Luigi Gallino, a music pedagogue who had even taught Marie José, wife of King Humbert II of Italy. After my dad had explained to Gallino that I seemed to have some talent for the piano, he allowed me two or three auditions. He discovered that I had absolute pitch. Upon this, he convinced the board of Turin’s conservatory to allow me to enter as a student. This was in 1949… I was ten years old.”

Giancarlo Chiaramello's home town, Bra (Piedmont)

Between 1949 and 1960, Giancarlo Chiaramello studied at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire in Turin, graduating – and thereby earning the title ‘maestro’ – in four subjects: piano, organ, composition, and choral singing. 

“Frankly speaking,” Chiaramello recounts, “most of my professors at the Verdi Conservatory were useless. There was just one who commanded my respect, Massimo Mila, who taught music history; one of Italy’s biggest music critics of the twentieth century – a grandissimo. None of the others taught me anything… my main teacher was Grundig, the electronics manufacturer! My father bought me a Grundig tape recorder for my birthday in 1955. With it, I recorded radio broadcasts, taping music which I thought was interesting: Beethoven, Debussy, and especially Stravinsky. Subsequently, I replayed the pieces and wrote out the parts of all different instruments involved. By doing this for years on end, I became a much abler orchestrator than any of my fellow-students. Yes, in a way this makes me an autodidact. My ambition? I wanted to be a composer… a composer of symphonic music!”

Shortly after graduating from conservatory, Chiaramello made a name for himself by winning two important composition prizes: the Premio Ferdinando Ballo in Milan (1960) and the Prix International de Composition Musicale Rainier III in Monte Carlo (1962). 

“As for the Ferdinando Ballo prize, it was named after one of the most famous personalities of Italian classical music who had died one year previously. The competition was first held in 1960. Its goal was to promote modern classical music and the first prize was half a million lire. I worked on my composition all summer: four inventions for orchestra. When I was contacted by the president of the jury, impresario Remigio Paone, he was flabbergasted to find out that the sole prize winner was just 21 years of age. My composition was performed in the Teatro Nuovo in Milan under the baton of Nino Sanzogno. The Rainier Prize in Monaco was an even more prestigious affair... an international competition. The jurors included some of the best-known classical musicians of the age. I submitted a symphonic piece, which earned me first prize and prize money of one million French francs – in those days this was a huge sum. I could have bought myself a Jaguar or Mercedes with it!”

Chiaramello in his student days (early 1960s)

Meanwhile, the publicity generated in Italy by his obtaining the Ballo Award in 1960 had earned Chiaramello a job as a composer, albeit of a genre which was new to him, theatre music. “That was in Turin, the Teatro Stabile”, Chiaramello explains. “Its president, Gianfranco De Bosio, had read the newspapers, in which a successful career was predicted for me. He wondered if I was interested in writing music for theatrical performances. Of course I was! My most ambitious assignment in those years was composing music to Bertolt Brecht’s comedy The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, which was due to be performed in the celebrations of the hundredth year of Italy’s unification in 1961." 

"It was not until very late that news came through that the original composer, Paul Dessau, who lived in East Germany, refused to allow his music to be used in Italy. It was a disaster… Forty-five people were working on that production and we were just two weeks away from the actual performance! At that point, the director of the piece implored me to write new music to this comedy. I locked myself in and wrote new musical accompaniment to the entire play in three days! Upon that, I went to Milan to record it with a studio orchestra, telephoning back and forth to Turin about two or three seconds extra or less for certain parts. Quite stressful, of course! No, conducting an orchestra did not cause me headaches, though I never studied conducting at the conservatoire. It was something which came naturally to me. The performance of that play was attended by all the greats of the world of Italian theatre… it was hugely successful and earned me commissions from theatres from Genoa, Bologna, and Rome. It enabled me a very decent living in the early 1960s.”

In 1964, pop music started playing its part in Chiaramello's life. “I was 25 years old. Honestly, I had never closely listened to light-entertainment music before. When I heard it on the radio, I was not interested. I did not know anything about it. I regularly recorded theatre music in the studios of record company Fonit Cetra in Turin. The theatres for which I worked paid for the time I needed to record the music for their productions. One day, the sound engineer told me Fonit’s general manager wanted to talk to me after the session. I believed he wanted me to arrange tickets for him for some play in the Teatro Stabile, but I was wrong… he wanted me as an arranger of pop music recordings for his company! I protested, explaining I was not an expert of that genre, but he insisted, offering me six months for study with a salary of 100,000 lire a month. It was too good an offer to turn down!"

"In these six months, I went to studios in Milan and Rome to see how the business worked; I familiarised myself with rhythm instruments such as drums and the guitar, talking to musicians in the nightclub circuit in Turin. Later in 1964, I recorded my first arrangement, an old Neapolitan song called ‘Canti nuovi’. The singer, Tonina Torrielli, was of the old school and really out of business by that time. Her manager, who wanted to get rid of her, was very angry with me, because he thought my arrangement was much too good for her. It ran the risk of turning the song into a hit, which he wanted to avoid at all cost!”

Chiaramello's first chart success as an arranger, Franco Tozzi's "I tuoi occhi verdi" (1965)

“I quickly realized that this was a business where good money was to be made for an easy job. Compared to the worlds of symphonic music and theatre, the budgets were huge. Armed with my knowledge of music, my technique and my talent, I was better prepared for the job of record arranger than anyone else. There was an old generation of arrangers who were not really up to it… my predecessor at Cetra in Turin was William Galassini, but he did not know what he was doing. His approach was extremely old-fashioned and he worked with bad musicians barely capable of reading notes. Perhaps with the exception of Gianfranco Intra in Milan, all the others were no better than Galassini."

"I entered the business almost simultaneously with Ennio Morricone. His background, coming from a classical conservatory, was similar to mine. He quickly made a name for himself in the business with arrangements for Gino Paoli and Gianni Morandi, thereupon moving on to film composing. The difference between him and me is that he is a genius and I am not. But with our symphonic approach, the two of us completely changed the style of pop arrangements in Italy. The main qualities of a pop arranger? One needs a solid knowledge of harmony and orchestration, combined with lots of fantasy in music and a good nose for what will catch on with the general public.”

In the nightclubs of Turin, Chiaramello discovered a talented young singer called Franco Tozzi, who he launched at the 1964 Voci Nuovi di Castrocaro Festival with ‘Due case, due finestre’, which was chosen as one of two winners. At Castrocaro, Chiaramello met Gianni Ravera, the ubiquitous promoter of Italian song festivals, who became an important friend in the world of light-entertainment music. What followed was a participation the 1965 San Remo Festival with ‘Non a caso il destino’, which failed to reach the final. 

This Franco Tozzi song marked Chiaramello’s debut as an arranger and conductor in the San Remo Festival, by far the most important in the intricate patchwork of Italian song festivals. In spite of the lack of success at San Remo, Chiaramello and Tozzi scored a huge hit later that year with ‘I tuoi occhi verdi’, which came second in the 1965 Disco per l’Estate Festival and sold 800,000 copies. Other artists Chiaramello worked for as an arranger in the second half of the 1960s for the Fonit Cetra label include Mara Danesi, Alberto Lupo, Gipo Farassino, Milva, and the New Trolls. In 1966, he wrote the orchestration to another considerable hit success, ‘Bandiera gialla’, Gianni Pettenati’s Italian-language version of ‘The Pied Piper’. In the middle of all of this, Chiaramello composed and recorded a club anthem for his favourite football team, Juventus (1964).

In 1966, Chiaramello became the arranger of Claudio Villa (1926-87), the most lyrical of Italian pop vocalists. How did they team up? “Villa heard Franco Tozzi’s hit song ‘I tuoi occhi verdi’ and was struck by the orchestration. He phoned Turin’s branch of Fonit Cetra, expressing his wish to be introduced to this person. At his invitation, I flew to Rome, where he lived. We immediately got on well… we were both communists, for a start. We were like brothers! Our working relationship lasted for some ten years. Claudio Villa was a highly intelligent guy who knew how to gather the right people around him." 

"He felt he needed a fresh sound, more adapted to the style of the day. His records sounded ridiculously old-fashioned. I invented this new sound – I wrote orchestrations for him as if it was symphonic jazz, using the brass instruments which so far had hardly featured in Villa’s recordings. We started in 1966 by doing some minor festivals in Bari and Naples and scoring a big hit with a remake of ‘Granada’, one of his old-successes. In 1967, we went big and won the San Remo Festival with ‘Non pensare a me’. Winning the San Remo Festival back then was hugely important for my reputation as an arranger… and, back then, a San Remo winner automatically was pure gold in terms of record sales. I cannot say I liked San Remo very much… it was all very hectic. In the 1960s, the concert was held in the Casino, which was so small that photographers were literally in my neck while I was conducting the orchestra!”

In the 1967 San Remo Festival, Chiaramello also arranged and conducted ‘La rivoluzione’ for another of his protégés, Gianni Pettenati, as well as Sergio Endrigo’s ‘Dove credi di andare’. He arranged all of Endrigo’s recordings between 1966 and 1969. In 1968, Chiaramello returned to the San Remo Festival, conducting ‘La tramontana’ for Pettenati, ‘Stanotte sentirai una canzone’ for Japanese starlet Yoko Kishi, and ‘Canzone per te’ for Sergio Endrigo. The last-mentioned song was declared the winner of the competition, thus earning Chiaramello his second consecutive victory medal.

“Sergio Endrigo was a wonderful person… and also a communist! Just like Claudio Villa, he had approached me personally to work with him. ‘Canzone per te’ is a beautiful song written by another good friend of mine, Sergio Bardotti. In 1968, all participating songs in San Remo were performed by two singers. Gianni Ravera, who organized the festival, decided about which singer would perform which song. Endrigo was devastated when he learnt he would sing ‘Canzone per te’ along with Roberto Carlos, a Brazilian. He did not like his style at all! The funny thing was… worldwide, Roberto Carlos’ version of the song sold more copies. He and Sergio became good friends and they even performed together over in Brazil.”

Chiaramello also has good memories of working with Yoko Kishi. “She was a fantastic singer who recorded with King Records, a Japanese record company which represented Fonit Cetra and sold our records over there. Especially Neapolitan repertoire was hugely popular in Japan. King Records wrote us that Yoko Kishi was interested in participating in San Remo. She was flown in and, in Milan, we recorded ‘Stanotte sentirai una canzone’ with her, though she did not speak one word of Italian. She sang the lyrics phonetically and learnt them by heart for the San Remo performance. Her professionalism was staggering! Two years later, when the World Expo was held in Osaka, King Records invited me for a two-weeks-stay in Japan, during which I conducted ‘Stanotte sentirai una canzone’ for Yoko in some TV performance with a fantastic local orchestra.”

In a country in which music festivals were the motor of the record industry, participating in these manifestations was of the utmost importance. Between 1966 and 1971, Chiaramello arranged songs for Claudio Villa in the Cantagiro Festival and Canzonissima, for Fred Bongusto, Gianni Pettenati, Carmen Villani, and Gipo Farassini in the Festival Disco per l’Estate, and for Rommy in the International Show of Light Entertainment Music in Venice. In 1969, he wrote the arrangement to ‘Il tuo mondo’, with which Claudio Villa participated in the International Song Festival of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. Furthermore, he arranged and conducted several more San Remo Festival entries in 1969 and 1970, most of them major chart successes: ‘Piccola piccola’ and ‘Hippy’ for Carmen Villani, ‘Lontano dagli occhi’ for Sergio Endrigo, and ‘Meglio una sera’ and ‘Serenata’ for Claudio Villa.

In 1970, at his own request, Chiaramello was transferred from Fonit Cetra Turin to the company’s branch in Rome, where he became the managing director. How did this come about? “Somewhere in 1970, very late in the evening, I received a phone call from songwriter Daniele Pace. He was in the process of recording his creation ‘Fin che la barca va’ with Orietta Berti in the studios of Philips in Milan. He was desperate, as Orietta had already refused four different arrangements which had been written to his song. She insisted on Chiaramello! The managing director of Philips Italy offered me one million lire for this one song. The record bears the name of Alberto Baldan Bembo as its arranger, but in reality, it was my work."

"Following this episode, Philips offered me a contract. They wanted me to become the Italian Paul Mauriat, recording instrumental albums with my arrangements to be marketed in the whole of Europe. What an opportunity! When I went to my boss at Fonit Turin to tender my resignation, he refused. As I insisted, he offered me the job of director of Fonit’s office in Rome instead. He knew my ambition was to make music for cinema and television… and, in view of this, Rome was the place to be. I accepted, also because it offered me an escape from the arranging job. With the arrival of all kinds of pop groups who did not really need an orchestral back-up, I understood that it would not be long before the big studio orchestras would be extinct. I was proven right in the following years.”

For twenty-three years, between 1970 and 1993, Giancarlo Chiaramello was managing director of Fonit’s branch in Rome. In practice, he spent most of his time recording theatre and film music which he composed himself. In the 1970s and 1980s, he worked with some of Europe’s best-known theatre directors, most notably Giorgio Strehler and Luca Ronconi, for whom he composed the music to the theatrical opera Orlando furioso (1969) and many productions of serious plays and classical pieces in Vienna’s Burgtheater, including Aeschylus’ Oresteia, Euripides’ Bacchae, and Aristophanes’ Birds

For cinema and television, Chiaramello wrote the soundtracks to some fifty films, including Crazy Joe (1975), L’affaire Suisse (1978), Mani di fata (1983), and Cyrano de Bergerac (1986). For the music to the TV version of Orlando furioso, which was broadcast as a mini-series in 1975, he was awarded with the Nastro d’Argento Award for best soundtrack of the year. One of the compositions of this soundtrack was picked up by UK crooner Matt Monro, who recorded it in English under the title ‘So Little Time’. In 1973, Chiaramello composed the music to Massimo Mollica’s poetry, which was broadcast on nationwide radio and released as a record, ‘D’amore si vive – I madrigali di Massimo Mollica’.

“In reality, I never stopped writing music for theatre after 1964,” Chiaramello explains, “though, of course, I had to turn down many commissions in the second half of the 60s as I was so heavily involved in the pop music business. My first soundtrack was for a documentary called Giorni di furore in 1964. One thing led to another, and film directors continued contacting me to score their scripts. I thoroughly liked composing film music. It is a wonderful language of music, offering beautiful sensations. At the same time, you have to take the director’s wishes into account. In that sense, it is similar to the arranging job I did previously. In the 1970s and 1980s, film and theatre commissions were the lion’s share of my work. Simultaneously, I occasionally accepted a pop project, mainly in collaboration with Claudio Villa.”

For Claudio Villa, Chiaramello wrote the orchestrations to a sheer endless string of single and album releases in the 1970s, amongst which ‘L’Antologia della Canzone Italiana’, a series of four cover albums, as well as the LP ‘Romanze dell’800’ with the Milan Philharmonic Orchestra. Moreover, he arranged Delirium’s debut album ‘Dolce acqua’ (1971) as well as one more LP with Sergio Endrigo (1976), whilst he also teamed up with the likes of Marisa Sannia and Tito Schipa Jr. In a totally different genre, he was the producer of ‘Scolopendra’, the comeback album of psychedelic rock formation Gli Alluminogeni (1989). 

In the 1970s, Chiaramello released several instrumental LPs with his arrangements to opera and belcanto classics, most notably ‘Popoperaconcerto’ (1976) and ‘Naples’ Pop Dimensions’ (1978), both recorded with the Orchestra of Rome’s Musicians’ Trade Union. Under the pseudonym Charlie Mells, he also composed library music used for TV and radio jingles and commercials across the globe.

In Sofia, with fellow-arranger Robert Mathes, recording the orchestrations for Luciano Pavarotti's album 'Ti adoro' with the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra (2003)

In 1977, Chiaramello was approached to write orchestrations for Luciano Pavarotti. He continued working with the tenor until Pavarotti’s passing away in 2007. “His record company, Decca in London, sent me a letter,” Chiaramello explains. “They were looking to recreate the sound of the nineteenth century Italian opera for Pavarotti for a recording project. At that time, Pavarotti was not a household name. I had not heard of him before. The letter mentioned Pavarotti’s telephone number. I called him and took an instant liking for him. What a pleasant and cordial man! I never got to know who dropped my name at Decca’s… it was not Luciano himself. Probably they found out about my work with Claudio Villa. I revelled at the prospect of working with a classical singer and accepted. Our first project was an album with Neapolitan songs, ‘O sole mio’, for which I wrote all orchestrations. That must have been released in 1979.”

It took several years before Pavarotti took off on an international scale. After a second album with Neapolitan repertoire, ‘Passione’ (1985), his breakthrough for an international audience was a concert with Placido Domingo, José Carreras, and conductor Zubin Mehta at Rome’s ancient Baths of Caracalla on the eve of the FIFA World Cup final of 1990. What followed were more Three Tenors’ concerts, whilst Pavarotti also started performing with artists from other genres on several Pavarotti & Friends tours. Chiaramello took care of countless orchestrations used for Pavarotti’s studio recordings and live performances, including ‘Caruso’, ‘Granada’, ‘Ave Maria’, and ‘Funiculì funiculà’. 

“Thus, through the back door, I became the arranger again… but this time, the repertoire was so much more interesting than those pop songs in the 1960s! Experiencing the professionalism of lyrical singers and world stars such as Liza Minelli, who joined in the Pavarotti & Friends concerts, was a privilege. I never did it for the money… just to work with these stars and because I so thoroughly liked Luciano Pavarotti as a person. He was a true friend. Occasionally, it was hard work and orchestrations had to be produced at short notice, but it was all worth it. My favourite piece still is ‘Granada’, which I had previously arranged for Claudio Villa. That song has brought me luck throughout my career.”

For three years, Chiaramello was a professor at the Santa Cecilia Conservatoire in Rome, teaching composition (1985-87), eventually giving it up, “because the board consisted of idiots and I could not bear having to cope with them any longer.” Since, he has continued accepting composing commissions for theatre plays. After relinquishing his post as Nuova Fonit Cetra’s managing director in 1993, he left Rome and settled down in Èze, French Riviera, not far from Monaco and the Italian border.

At home in Èze, July 2013


Giancarlo Chiaramello participated as an arranger and conductor in two Eurovision Song Contests for Italy, with Claudio Villa (1967) and Sergio Endrigo (1968). Remarkably, at that time, Chiaramello was under thirty years of age – much younger than the two artists he accompanied. Villa and Endrigo had both won the San Remo Festival shortly in advance of the Eurovision Song Contest, earning them the right to participate for Italy in the international festival. Up until 1966, Italy had been represented by the winning song of the San Remo Festival, but new regulations by the European Broadcasting Union did not allow songs which had been published in advance of the festival into the competition. Between 1967 and 1969, the Italians solved this problem by choosing a new song for one of the winning artists of the San Remo Festival.

Reportedly, in 1967, it was not until very late that the Italians found out about the new rules. Some even claim that Claudio Villa sang his San Remo winner ‘Non pensare a me’ at the first rehearsal of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, being perfectly sure that this was the song with which he would represent Italy. Chiaramello, who conducted this rehearsal as well as the performance of Villa’s eventual Eurovision entry ‘Non andare più lontano’ in the TV broadcast of the festival, emphatically denies this theory.

“That story is absolutely false! It is true that he would have preferred to sing ‘Non pensare a me’, but we were aware of the regulations and in the weeks leading up to the competition, a new song was written by Gino Mescoli and Vito Pallavicini. For me, it was the first time in Vienna, which I later visited on many occasions due to my involvement in theatre productions at the Burgtheater. The orchestra consisted of string players from Viennese classical orchestras and a rhythm and brass group which had mainly been recruited in Munich. Though I do not speak German, the rehearsals did not pose any problems. Later onwards, I conducted orchestras in recording sessions in Prague and Sofia and the language barrier never played any part… music has a language of its own."

"Yes, Claudio Villa finished near the bottom in Vienna. Why? Well, ‘Non andare più lontano’ is a wonderful song, but it failed to catch on internationally. For a European audience, Claudio was a singer who sounded too classical. His approach was hardly suited to Northern-European ears. Perhaps he was a little old too, certainly compared to Sandie Shaw, who won the contest. In commercial terms, ‘Puppet On A String’ was an excellent song performed by a beautiful young girl. Moreover, it had the advantage of being performed in English.”

In spite of the disappointing result in the Eurovision Song Contest, Claudio Villa was the centre of celebrations at a party which was thrown in the night after the festival. To his right, the Netherlands' TV commentator Leo Nellissen (with beard) and Dolf van der Linden, the Netherlands' conductor in the festival, can be detected.

In 1968, the Eurovision final was held in London’s Royal Albert Hall. Italy was represented by singer-songwriter Sergio Endrigo, who had just won the San Remo Festival with ‘Canzone per te’. For the Eurovision Song Contest, he chose to sing ‘Marianne’, which he had penned in collaboration with Giancarlo Bigazzi. Accompanied by his arranger and conductor Giancarlo Chiaramello, Endrigo picked up a mere seven votes, obtaining a tenth spot on the scoreboard, far away from Massiel’s winning Spanish entry.

“We travelled to London after having recorded a French-language version of ‘Canzone per te’ and several other songs in Paris”, Chiaramello recalls. “I had never been to England before and was much impressed by the Royal Albert Hall. Like the previous year in Vienna, the orchestra turned out to consist of extremely good professionals, making my job very easy."

"It was a pity that ‘Marianne’ was not strong enough to make an impression. There was nothing which made it stand out and I was not surprised that it was not a hit even in Italy (Cliff Richard recorded the song in English, scoring a minor chart success with it in Britain - BT). It was much weaker than ‘Canzone per te’. I am sure that Sergio Endrigo hoped that the Eurofestival would be the stepping stone to an international career. In the end, he succeeded in conquering the Mediterranean countries and Brazil, but this had nothing to do with this Eurovision participation.”

“To be quite honest with you,” Chiaramello concludes, “nobody in Italy cared about the Eurovision Song Contest in those years. People took no interest in it and, contrary to other European countries, Eurovision songs hardly ever climbed the charts here. ‘Puppet On A String’ was one of the few exceptions…”

Sergio Endrigo on the Eurovision stage at London's Royal Albert Hall


So far, we have not gathered comments of other artists who worked with Giancarlo Chiaramello.


Country – Italy
Song title – "Non andare più lontano"
Rendition – Claudio Villa 
Lyrics – Vito Pallavicini
Composition – Gianni Mescoli
Studio arrangement – Giancarlo Chiaramello
Live orchestration – Giancarlo Chiaramello
Conductor – Giancarlo Chiaramello
Score – 11th place (4 votes)

Country – Italy
Song title – "Marianne"
Rendition – Sergio Endrigo
Lyrics – Giancarlo Bigazzi / Sergio Endrigo
Composition – Sergio Endrigo
Studio arrangement – Giancarlo Chiaramello
Live orchestration – Giancarlo Chiaramello
Conductor – Giancarlo Chiaramello
Score – 10th place (7 votes)

  • Bas Tukker interviewed Giancarlo Chiaramello in Èze (France), July 2013
  • All photos courtesy of Giancarlo Chiaramello


Born: May 23rd, 1939, Lyons (France)
Died: November 14th, 2004, Santa Monica Ca. (United States)
Nationality: French

In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview


Michel Colombier became staff arranger at Barclay Records at a very young age, writing orchestrations for Charles Aznavour, Cathérine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, and many more. Besides, he worked extensively with Serge Gainsbourg. Later, he was signed by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records and started a new career in America, during the course of which he worked with Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Beach Boys, and many, many other artists. Moreover, he wrote over one-hundred film scores and twenty ballets. In Japan, he was referred to as the Godfather of French Fusion, for his ability to mix classically inspired music with jazz.


In the 1960s, Colombier was involved in writing the arrangements for three Monegasque Eurovision entries. In 1964, he scored ‘Où sont-elles passées’, a delightful ballad by Francis Lai which was performed by Romuald; in the contest in Copenhagen, 24-years-old Colombier conducted the orchestra and the entry came third. 

In the following years, he was involved two more times in scoring the Monegasque entry, firstly in 1967 with Minouche Barelli, but on this occasions, the place on the conductor's platform was taken by the singer's father, bandleader Aimé Barelli. Minouche Barelli's 'Boum-badaboum' is also credited as a Michel Colombier composition - he worked on the song with Serge Gainsbourg. In 1968, in London, Colombier made his second and last appearance as a conductor in the Eurovision Song Contest, when he led the orchestra in London for Line & Willy, who represented Monaco with the charming ‘A chacun sa chanson’, composed by Francis Lai.


Country – Monaco
Song title – "Où sont-elles passées?"
Rendition – Romuald Figuier
Lyrics – Pierre Barouh
Composition – Francis Lai
Studio arrangement – Michel Colombier
Live orchestration – Michel Colombier
Conductor – Michel Colombier
Score – 3rd place (15 votes)

Country – Monaco
Song title – "Boum-badaboum"
Rendition – Minouche Barelli 
Lyrics – Serge Gainsbourg
Composition – Michel Colombier / Serge Gainsbourg
Studio arrangement – Michel Colombier 
(studio orchestra conducted by Michel Colombier)
Live orchestration – Michel Colombier 
Conductor – Aimé Barelli
Score – 5th place (10 votes)

Country – Monaco
Song title – "A chacun sa chanson"
Rendition – Line & Willy 
Lyrics – Roland Valade
Composition – Jean-Claude Olivier
Studio arrangement – Michel Colombier
Live orchestration – Michel Colombier
Conductor – Michel Colombier
Score – 7th place (8 votes)


Thursday 16 September 1971


Born: September 15th, 1932, Grasse (France)
Died: August 14th, 2007, Nice (France)
Nationality: French

In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview


André Borly was sometimes credited under another pseudonym, Clyde Borly, but his real name was André Borgioli. He was the pianist in Paul Mauriat’s orchestra. In the 1960s, he composed and arranged music for many popular francophone artists, including Nino Ferrer, David Alexandre Winter, Michel Sardou (‘Les Ricains’), and Charles Aznavour (‘Ma mie’). Borly also released an instrumental LP, ‘Clyde Borly et ses percussions – Musique en 5 dimensions’ with producer Leo Clarens. In the 1970s, Borly formed a big band, with which he performed in the Ruhl Casino in Nice.


André Borly took part in the Eurovision Song Contest twice, amongst which once as a conductor. In 1968, he was not involved in either composing or arranging the Luxembourg entry ‘Nous vivrons d’amour’ (performed by Chris Baldo and Sophie Garel), but he was asked to conduct the orchestra in the Eurovision final in London. 

In 1969, he worked together with Paul Mauriat to compose ‘Cathérine’, with which Romuald represented Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest in Madrid; Borly also wrote the arrangement, but did not go to Spain to conduct the orchestra, leaving that job to be done by Spanish musical director Augusto Algueró. Neither ‘Nous vivrons d’amour’ nor ‘Cathérine’ scored enough points to obtain a place amongst the first ten songs on the scoreboard.


Country – Luxembourg
Song title – "Nous vivrons d’amour"
Rendition – Chris Baldo & Sophie Garel 
Lyrics – Jacques Demarny
Composition – Carlos Leresche
Studio arrangement – André Borly / Carlos Leresche
(studio orchestra conducted by Carlos Leresche)
Live orchestration – André Borly
Conductor – André Borly 
Score – 11th place (5 votes)

Country – Luxembourg
Song title – Cathérine
Rendition – Romuald Figuier
Lyrics – André Pascal
Composition – André Borly / Paul Mauriat
Studio arrangement – André Borly
Live orchestration – André Borly
Conductor – Augusto Algueró (MD)
Score – 11th place (7 votes)

Wednesday 1 September 1971


Born: November 19th, 1914, Santarém (Portugal)
Died: July 23rd, 2009, Lisbon (Portugal)
Nationality: Portuguese

Below, a medium-length article detailing the life and works of Joaquim Luís Gomes can be found. Hopefully, in due course, it can be extended to a full-fledged biography


Hailing from Santarém in Central Portugal, where he was born in 1914, Joaquim Luís Gomes discovered his passion for music at a tender age. He started taking lessons with maestro Manuel Ganhão in his native town. Ganhão, having noticed Gomes’ musical talent, in 1931 sent him to Lisbon to study composition at the National Conservatory. From 1932 onwards, Gomes played the clarinet in the Band of the Fifth Battalion of Riflemen in the Portuguese army. In 1940, he changed to the famous Band of the National Republican Guard, in which he was the harpist. During those years he was also involved in music shows broadcast on national radio.

Gomes, however, decided to leave the army and turned to working as an arranger in the popular music industry. In this capacity, he worked with all great Portuguese musicians of his era, including the likes of Tony de Matos, Carlos do Carmo, and Maria de Lurdes Resende. Gomes also wrote charts for Amália Rodrigues; ‘Grândola, vila morena’ and his own composition ‘Nostalgia’ are among the songs recorded by her in an arrangement done by him. Moreover, Gomes conducted the studio orchestra for singer-songwriter to be Fernando Tordo when he started his career in music.

Apart from his work in the recording studio, Gomes took up conducting on stage as well. During the 1950s, he led the folk ensemble Orquestra Típica Scalabitana. He also conducted orchestras for broadcasts on radio and later television. Apart from his involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest, he also accompanied Portuguese entrants in other song festivals in Brazil and Spain.

Although Gomes is best known for his work as an arranger, he was also a notable composer in his own right. He wrote music for theatre, motion pictures, and TV documentaries. In the field of classical music, he distinguished himself with the piano concerto ‘Sonata em Mi Bemol’; other works of his include various symphonic pieces, as well as works for his two beloved instruments, the harp and the clarinet. His composition ‘Mar Português’ was inspired by the poem ‘Mensagem’ by Fernando Pessoa.

In 2005, Gomes was awarded the medal of honor of the SPA, the Portuguese Society of Composers, of which he had been a member since 1937. He died in the summer of 2009, aged 95.


In the 1960s, RTP, the Portuguese broadcaster each year changed conductor for its national Eurovision final, in those days referred to as the Grande Prémio TV da Canção. In 1968, it was Joaquim Luís Gomes’ turn; he conducted all ten entries, arranged by others and performed by Simone de Oliveira, Tonicha (both of whom sang two songs), Mirene Cardinalli, Nicolau Breyner, João Maria Tudela, Carlos Mendes, José Cid, and António Calvário. In the end, Carlos Mendes won the competition with ‘Verão’, composed by Pedro Osório and arranged by Thilo Krasmann, both of whom were to conduct the Eurovision orchestra on several occasions in later years. Gomes accompanied Mendes to the Eurovision Song Contest in the Royal Albert Hall, London, where Portugal landed an 11th position with a slightly more upbeat version of ‘Verão’ than in the Grande Prémio.

In other years, Gomes was involved in the Portuguese Eurovision preliminaries as an arranger for songs conducted by others. In 1964, António Calvário’s song ‘Oração’, which was Portugal’s first entry to the song contest, was orchestrated by him. Three years later, he again arranged the winning entry in Portugal’s Grande Prémio, ‘O vento mudou’, sung by Eduardo Nascimento. Perhaps the most famous song that Gomes worked on as an orchestrator, was the folksy ‘Desfolhada Portuguesa’, with which Simone de Oliveira went to the Eurovision Song Contest of 1969 in Madrid, gaining only one point. Nonetheless, the song became one of De Oliveira’s trademark tunes in Portugal.

In 1970, Portugal did not take part in the contest. Still, RTP organised a Grande Prémio. The winner was Sergio Borges with ‘Onde vais rio que eu canto’, again with an arrangement by Joaquim Luís Gomes. The score of another entry in that year’s competition, Maria da Glória’s ‘Folhas verdes’, was also penned by him. Gomes returned another three times to the competition as an arranger of non winning preliminary entries (in 1974, 1976, and for the last time in 1977). The 1974 effort ‘Cantiga ao vento’ was also conducted by him.

Although it is true that Gomes has a more impressive record as an arranger and conductor than as a composer, it is still surprising to find that he only ever wrote one song for the Portuguese selection himself, ‘Eu nunca direi adeus’, a ballad sung by Sérgio Borges, which came second behind Madaléna Iglesias and her ‘Ele e ela’ in 1966.

Carlos Mendes on the Eurovision stage in London's Royal Albert Hall (1968)


Fernando Tordo, Portuguese entrant in the 1973 and 1977 Eurovision Song Contests, remembers Joaquim Luís Gomes Gomes well. The first songs that he recorded had an arrangement by Gomes. “He asked me to play my songs for him, accompanying myself on the guitar. While I sung, he kept looking at me very intensely. Then he said, "The arrangement has already been made, the only thing that remains to be done now is to put it to paper". To my mind, he is the master of all Portuguese arrangers. Besides, he was a man of enormous culture and sensibility. I remember his folk orchestra from the 1950s well; he was a musician who was much attached to traditional Portuguese music.” (2009)

Fellow-arranger Jorge Costa Pinto has nothing but praise for Gomes. "I very much liked the arrangements of Joaquim Luís Gomes; and he liked mine. When I worked at SABC in South Africa, I recorded several of his compositions with the local radio orchestra. Though he was considerably older than me, we maintained a good friendship. In the last years of his life, we regularly met to have a conversation about music." (2018)


Country – Portugal
Song title – "Oração"
Rendition – António Calvário
Lyrics – Rogério Braçinha / Francisco Nicholson
Composition – João Nobre
Studio arrangement – Joaquim Luís Gomes
(studio orchestra conducted by Joaquim Luís Gomes)
Live orchestration – Joaquim Luís Gomes
Conductor – Kai Mortensen (MD) 
Score –13th place (0 votes)

Country – Portugal
Song title – "O vento mudou"
Rendition – Eduardo Nascimento
Lyrics – João Magelhães Pereira 
Composition – Nuno Nazareth Fernandes
Studio arrangement – Joaquim Luís Gomes
(studio orchestra conducted by Joaquim Luís Gomes)
Live orchestration – Joaquim Luís Gomes
Conductor – Armando Tavares Belo
Score – 12th place (3 votes)

Country – Portugal
Song title – "Verão"
Rendition – Carlos Mendes 
Lyrics – José Alberto Diogo
Composition – Pedro Osório
Studio arrangement – Thilo Krasmann
(recorded with Thilo's Combo led by Thilo Krasmann)
Live orchestration – Thilo Krasmann 
Conductor – Joaquim Luís Gomes
Score – 11th place (5 votes)

Country – Portugal
Song title – "Desfolhada Portuguesa"
Rendition – Simone de Oliveira
Lyrics – José Carlos Ary dos Santos
Composition – Nuno Nazareth Fernandes
Studio arrangement – Joaquim Luís Gomes
(studio orchestra conducted by Joaquim Luís Gomes)
Live orchestration – Joaquim Luís Gomes
Conductor – Ferrer Trindade
Score – 15th place (4 votes)

Country – Portugal
Song title – “Onde vais rio que eu canto”
Rendition – Sergio Borges
Lyrics – Joaquim Pedro Gonçalves
Composition – Carlos Nóbrega e Sousa
Studio arrangement – Joaquim Luís Gomes
(studio orchestra conducted by Joaquim Luís Gomes)
Live orchestration – Joaquim Luís Gomes
Conductor – Jorge Costa Pinto
Score – none / Portugal chose not to participate in the contest