Caterina Valente on her 90th birthday: The voice of the economic miracle

Dhe mother is a famous female music clown, the father is an instrumentalist, and the artist family is always busy. Also in German captivity. Joy and happiness were the purpose of life for Caterina Valente, the Italian with a German passport, who has lived in Lugano for decades and who, as the “voice of the boom”, fueled wanderlust in the early Federal Republic.

Today she is 90 years old. And on time she gave her fans a newly adapted homepage for the anniversary – and a current photo.

“Die Valente”, that is still a star name, which shines with memory to this day. She joked, played, trumpeted and danced through hit films, skipped no TV shows, sang about hundreds of records.

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Her “Popocatepetl-Twist”, the whole “Paris dreaming of love”, the “Habanero”, the “dream boat of love”, the “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Honolulu Beach Bikini” including the sun shining for her – that has written hit history and is long history.

In Germany in particular, they loved Caterina Valente because she – “Ciao Ciao Bambina” – fueled the post-war generation’s longing for the south and always took them with them to Italy. Up to her last live show in 1996 in Leipzig, her last record in 2001 and a surprise appearance in 2003 on Italian television as her son’s duet partner.

Simple Maedchen, Das (1957) Catarina Valente, Rudolf Prack After a while, Thomas Krauss (Rudolf Prack) and Caterina (Carterina Valente) finally find each other.  Director: Werner Jacobs,

Catarina Valente and Thomas Krauss in the film “The Simple Girl”

Quelle: picture alliance / United Archives/IFTN

Caterina the great, she could let go, knew when the last curtain had to fall, the very last staircase to be taken. It is of course a shame that she can no longer comment on the astonishing appreciation of her life as an artist.

Because in the past twenty years it has also become clear to the next generation that Caterina Valente could do more than just “love, dance and a thousand hits” – the title of one of her most popular films.

Caterina Valente sings with Dean Martin

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The boyish, sometimes annoying cinema whirlwind in its laxity, the optimistic about the economic miracle proclaimed “It’s better, better, better”, had a terrific career in chanson despite or because of this stamp (which she was not innocent of).

In Italy, France, Japan, but especially in the USA. She appeared in the major television shows, where the Ernesto Lecuona titles “Malagueña” and “The breeze and I” were her glamorous identification tag.

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The multi-talented person should actually be called “Caterina Talente”. Some saw it as Europe Ella Fitzgerald. She called herself “goulash”: “My parents come from Italy, one lived in Sweden, the other in Russia. I was born in France, I am married to a German with a Dutch stage name and lived in Switzerland ”.

She played the guitar just as virtuously as she tapped at high speed. She made more than ten thousand appearances in her busy, prolonged career.

She speaks six languages, she has sung in thirteen, dancing through more than half a dozen musical genres with versatile ease and the best singing technique – pop, jazz, swing, scat, blues, chanson, bossa nova.

Top ten hits in the USA, Japan, France, England

The musical citizen of the world has recorded a total of 1,400 tracks on sound carriers, a record-breaking number. She had top ten hits in the USA, Japan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and England.

That included some commercial ready-made goods – for free. But in terms of craftsmanship, the Valente was always a perfectionist who meticulously prepared for her performances. When she came into the studio to record the record, she usually sang the thing once – and it worked. You have her “Mrs. Called one-take ”.

But in the stuffy Germany that was not allowed, if you didn’t want to shed the skin, but for a long time only the button-eyed clubbirds of their early 1950s. We have now learned the lesson. Have taken note of the show sizes from Perry Como to Michel Legrand, Harry Belafonte, Dean Martin, Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby duetted them at eye level.

French-born Italian singer, dancer and actress Caterina Valente, right, embraces Franco-Armenian musical composer, arranger, conductor and pianist Michel Legrand after their show on January 20, 1972 at the Olympia in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Michel Lipchitz)

Caterina Valentet speaks six and sang in 13 languages: Caterina Valente and Michel Legrand

What: AP

She conquered the flawless easy listening of a Burt Bacherach just as easily as she absorbed the well-being of the Brazilian jazz sambas. The good, albeit short, jazz school Kurt Edelhagen carried the most beautiful song fruits to Chet Baker’s melancholy-mythical trumpet. Likewise, the arrangements by Werner Müller on the albums for the international market. La Valente made an honor as an entertainer like we haven’t had since Marlene Dietrich.

Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Barbra Streisand, Doris Day, Astrud Gilberto, Sarah Vaughn, Dionne Warwick – it was all the Valente in one person, and she remained herself. Only Billie Holliday’s self-destructive sadness was alien to this musical lucky child.

Caterina Valente herself once drew a very unspectacular balance sheet: “I did everything I wanted to do, some better, others worse – like everyone, I think. But on the whole I am very satisfied with my work. ”So are we. Buon compleanno!


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