Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The Italian pop star Mina started as a rock and roller in 1959 and has recorded virtually every kind of music you can think of in the years since. Virtually unknown in America, she's immensely popular throughout Europe to this day.

According to Wikipedia:

Mina's TV appearances in 1959 presented the first female rocker in Italy. Her loud syncopated singing earned her the nickname "Queen of Screamers". For her wild gestures and body shakes, the publicity labeled her the "Tiger of Cremona". Having turned to light pop tunes, Mina's chart-toppers in West Germany and Japan in 1962–1964 earned her the title of best international artist in those countries. Originally in a surf rock style, her song "Renato" is now a pop standard in Estonia. Mina's more refined sensual manner was introduced in 1960 with Gino Paoli's ballad "Il cielo in una stanza", which charted in the Billboard Hot 100.

Mina's pregnancy and relationship with a married actor caused her to be banned from the public Italian channels in 1963 as her lifestyle did not accord with the dominant catholic and bourgeois morals. After the ban, the Italian broadcasting service RAI continued trying to prohibit her songs which were forthright in dealing with subjects such as religion, smoking, or sex (e.g. the songs "Ta-ra-ta-ta" and "Sacumdì Sacumdà"). To her "bad girl" image, Mina added a sexy appeal and a cool act featuring public smoking, dyed blond hair, and shaved eyebrows.

View: Gorni Kramer medley (1966)

View: "L'Orchestra" with Caterina Valente (1966)

View: "Spinning Wheel" (1972)

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