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Jimmy Roselli – Statte Vicino A’mme – Classic Neopolitan Love Song

Jimmy Roselli – Statte Vicino A’mme – Classic Neopolitan Love Song –

Michael John “Jimmy” Roselli was one of the most significant Italian-American pop singers of his time, during an era of formidable competition from such performers as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Frankie Laine, Vic Damone and Jerry Vale.

Roselli was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. His mother died two days after giving birth to him in 1925; his father, a prizefighter and the black sheep of the family, left him for good, though he remained in Hoboken during Jimmy’s childhood there, working as a bartender and rebuffing the young boy on the few occasions as he tried to establish a relationship. Jimmy was taken in and raised by his paternal grandfather, a longshoreman who permitted only Italian to be spoken in his household. He had success with the song “Mala Femmena”, which sold over three million records in 1963.

At the beginning of his career, with appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, with Jimmy Durante, and on the famous Copacabana, critics were calling him a ‘miracle'”. As the New Yorker Magazine states, “guys were trying to put a stranglehold on him. He pushed them all away.” Although he was in good terms with a number of mob chieftains, he claimed that he had “never done business with organized criminals”. Roselli at times was relegated to selling his music out of the trunk of his car parked in Little Italy in Manhattan (he was the founder and owner of M&R Records).

Jimmy sang in perfect Neapolitan dialect. Other Neapolitan songs recorded by Roselli include “Statte vicino A’mme”, “Core ‘ngrato”, “Anema e core” and “Scapricciatiello”.

He died in 2011 at his home in Clearwater, Florida.

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