At Beloit, Wisconsin, we had planned to record the songs of Italian singers… We had been referred to the Italian singers, Joseph Accardi and Mrs. John [Rose] De Noto, by Mrs. Vito Intravaia, wife of one of our former music school students. The Intravaias arranged to be present and encouraged the singers to record the songs which the Intravaias had heard so often.
Mrs. De Noto sang Signora Fortuna (Madame Fate), Rimpianto (Regret), and the now popular Torna a Sorrento (Come back to Sorrento), which she sang as she had learned it from her parents. Mrs. De Noto's rich colorful voice evidently took the laboratory technician at the Library of Congress by surprise. On the copy of the record which was sent back to us, the technician had marked in crayon, "Hubba-hubba!" Mr. Accardi's songs were full of drama and comedy. As Phyllis (Crandall Connor) remarked, "Everybody in the room had such a good time; not knowing the Italian language, I couldn't tell what they were laughing about, but I laughed too." Among Mr. Accardi's songs were Luna mezzo mare (The moon over the ocean), Tazza di café (Cup of coffee), sung in Sicilian dialect; A Zia Cicch (Aunt Frances), in which the humor lies both in the antics of Aunt Frances' cats and in the play on words; and Tic ti, Tic ta, which describes how the young lover's heart beat when he met his sweetheart.
(From Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin, edited by Harry B. Peters.
Madison, Wisconsin: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1977. p.
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