Domenico Modugno: “Volare” (1958). He beat Dino to this masterpiece.
Dean Martin: “On an Evening in Roma” (1959). The eternal city sounds like so much fun you?ll want to book a seat on the next Alitalia flight.
Enrico Caruso: “Vesta La Giubba” (1904). This Leoncavallo aria was an international hit for the New York?based opera star in 1904 and again in 1907.
Louis Prima: “Just a Gigolo/I Ain?t Got Nobody” (1956). The Papa of Italian American pop, Prima helped put Vegas on the musical map.
Dean Martin: “That?s Amore” (1953). The former Dino Crocetti of Steubenville, Ohio, scores again.
Rosemary Clooney: “Mambo Italiano” (1954). What a great country this is! An Irish lass from Cincinnati can do a Latin tune like this and qualify as an honorary Italian American.
Sergio Franchi: “Funiculi, Funicula” (1962). Italy?s answer to Tony Bennett and Bobby Darrin gives it his all on this unforgettable Neapolitan song.
Ray Gelato and the Giants of Jive: “Buona Sera Signorino” (1993). A standout Italiano swing band from London has a blast with this Louis Prima classic.
Luciano Pavarotti: “O Sole Mio” (1979). America?s favorite Italian singer doing America?s favorite Italian song.
Keely Smith: “Here in My Heart” (1960). Mrs. Louis Prima shows she was a star in her own right with this operatic pop tune.
Frank Sinatra: “Isle of Capri” (1957). The Italian stopover on Ol? Blue Eyes? great around-the-world album, Come Fly with Me.
“Weird Al” Yankovic: “Lasagna” (1988). An amusing serving of Italian American family life done to the tune of ?La Bamba.?
Beniamino Gigli: “Turna a Surriento” (1935). He claimed Caruso?s crown as America?s favorite tenor.
Connie Francis: “Al Di La” (1962). A pop tearjerker of near-Puccini proportions.
Jay and the Americans: “Cara Mia” (1965). I don?t care for the song but it?s a favorite on juke boxes in Italian neighborhood bars up and down the East Coast. Not bad for four Jewish guys from Brooklyn.
Two great CDs featuring Italian American pop hits are Eh, Paisano! 100% Italian-American Classics (Rhino) and the Big Night movie sound track (TVT Soundtrax).