'Little Tony has died. The singer was 72 years old and had long been ill with cancer. He died in the clinic Villa Margherita in Rome, where he was hospitalized for three months. The funeral will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, at the Church of the Divine Love.
Antonio Ciacci, was the real name of Little Tony, who was one of the most celebrated artists of Italian music, among the first Italians to interpret rock'n'roll, a passion that made him win the title "The Italian Elvis Presley". This led to the success of songs like “Riderà” and “Cuore Matto”. He began young, thanks to a musical family: his father, a singer and accordionist, guitarist uncle and two brothers, Henry and Albert, a guitarist and bassist respectively. They played in Castelli Romani, in the dance halls and vaudeville theaters.
In 1958 he moved to England, with his brothers, at the request of an English impresario, Jack Good, who noticed them during a performance at the Teatro Smeraldo in Milan. In England, the group was founded as ‘Little Tony and his Brothers’. The choice of the name, instead of Ciacci was inspired by Little Richard. The band roused an unexpected success that kept them abroad for a few years. And 'at that time, the end of the fifties, the band produced numerous singles like Lucille, Johnny B. Good, Shake Rattle and Roll. Some of his songs were included in the soundtrack of the film, “Blue Monday” about a gangster looking for a wife.
Little Tony returned to Italy and, in 1961, and participated in the Festival of Sanremo, paired with Adriano Celentano. Their song ‘24 mila baci’ came in second place. But it will become one of his most popular songs of those years. These were also the years of songs for films, “5 marines per 100 ragazze”, “Rocco e le sorelle”, “Nerone '71”, “La bella Americana” and “Pugni pupe e marina”. But the first real success record came in 1961 with “Il ragazzo col ciuffo” that opened the door to the top of the standings. He did just as well with “Che mi ami ancora” and “Portata al Cantagiro” which were among the greatest hits of 1962. More than a year later, in 1963, when he reached number 2 “Se insieme a un altro ti vedrò” (written by his brother Henry) and the successfully recorded “T'amo e t'amerò” written by Peppino Gagliardi, during which time he began his also his career as an actor in several musicals. He was back in Sanremo in 1964 with “Quando vedrai la mia ragazza” and then a good summer hit “La fine di agosto”. For his next big hit was not until 1966, when participating in the Cantagiro with “Riderà.”. The song will not win the event, but sold over a million copies.
After that the road is all downhill. He then hit it big again with “Cuore matto” which reached number one for twelve consecutive weeks. In 1968 his fourth participation in Sanremo with “Un uomo piange solo per amore man” and then “Lacrime” and “La donna di picche”. After the success of “Bada bambina” Little Tony founded his own label, "Little Records," and came out with “E diceva che amava me” / “Nostalgia”. In 1970 he has another great success, again in Sanremo with “La spada nel cuore” (composed by Charles Donida), which won the fifth place, paired with Patty Pravo.
Little Tony sang the title song “Rainbow… vorrei… vorrei” for “The Longest Hunt (1968)
LITTLE TONY (Antonio Ciacci)
Born: 2/7/1941, Tivoli, Lazio, Italy
Died: 5/27/2013, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Little Tony’s western – singer:
The Longest Hunt – 1968 [sings “Rainbow... vorrei... vorrei”]