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18 September 1942 - 3 April 2004

Gabriella Ferri was born on 18 September 1942 in the Roman quarter Testaccio. Her father, Vittorio, was a merchant for sweets and a lover of traditional Roman folk songs.

One day, Gabriella met Luisa De Santis and the two girls became close friends. They both enjoyed singing and they decided to present themselves as a duo: Luisa e Gabriella, singers of Roman folk songs. During a performance in the 'Intra Club' in Milan, 1963, they were noted by Walter Guertler, who gave them a recording deal and helped them release their first single, 'Joly', a new interpretation of the popular song 'La società dei magnaccioni'. After a tv appearance in Mike Bongiorno's show, the single sold over 500.000 copies. The single was followed by other singles: 'Sciuri sciuri e Vitti'na crozzà' and 'La povera Cecilia' with minor succes. Due to lack of succes and the fact that Luisa does not enjoy singing in front of public, the duo decided to quit. Gabriella continued her carreer as a solo artist and she released her first album in 1966. In that same year she toured through Canada, together with other folk artists like Caterina Bueno, Otello Profazio and Lino Toffolo, in a theatre spectacle directed by Alda Trionfo.

In 1968 she was signed by ARC and released the single 'È scesa ormai la sera', which was not much of a succes in Italy. However, the b-side of the single - 'Ti regalo gli occhi miei' - was also recorded in Spanish as 'Te regalo mis ojos'. This single sold over one milion copies in South America.

In 1969 she signed with RCA Italy and participated in the San Remo festival, together with Stevie Wonder. She sang a great rhythm 'n blues song entiteld 'Se tu ragazzo mio', but the song was eliminated in the first round. Gabriella never participated in the San Remo festival again. However, the song became a reasonable commercial succes and was followed by the album 'Gabriella Ferri'. With this record Gabriella innovated traditional Italian folk music into a modern style.

During the seventies, Gabriella not only performed as a singer, but also made many tv/appearances and tv/shows. ('Questa sera... Gabriella Ferri', 'Dove sta Za Za', 'Circo delle voci' and 'Mazzabubù'.) In 1981, she released the album 'Gabriella', containing mostly of songs written for her by Paolo Conte. She moves to the USA for a while where she dedicates herself only to her music. In 1987 she returns to Italy and performed on tv in the show 'Biberon'. In 1997 she releases the album 'Ritorno al futuro', a very personal album with many songs written by Ferri herself. Gabriella suffers from severe depressions and she disappears from the public eye.

On 3 April 2004, Gabriella Ferri died in Corchiano, Viterbo, Latium, after falling from a third-floor balcony. Many people think she committed suicide, although family members denied such reports, saying she may have fallen ill after taking anti-depression medication and lost her balance.

The album 'Canti diVersi', released in 2000, was concidered her spiritual legacy. It contained a collection of classic songs, with influences from jazz, tango and flamenco music. Among others, an impressive version of 'Coimbra' (Amália Rodrgues), 'Vamp' (Paolo Conte), 'Lonatno lontano' (Luigi Tenco) and 'Stornella dell'estate' (Ennio Moricone). In 2007 her song 'Remedios', was used in the soundtrack of the movie 'Saturno contro'.

On the web:

- Gabriella's official website: http://mysite.verizon.net/vze25c36//
- Gabriella on Wikipedia: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriella_Ferri
- Ferri discography: http://digilander.libero.it/gianni61dgl/gabriellaferri.htm

What do we think:

PR: Gabriella Ferri is definitely a unique singer on the Italian music scene. She played a significant part in the innovation of traditional Italian music. She produced a string of interesting and appealing albums. Listening to her records I always get the feeling it was recorded in just one take (and, perhaps, it was). She sounds extremely 'live' and pure and, thus, it feels like she is just singng for you. She touches you, she moves you, she gets inside you, deep. Although her albums contained some happy songs as well, there is always a hidden sadness in her singing. Knowing that she suffered from severe depressions for many years might explain the feeling...

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Maria Jimenez (Spain)


♪♪♪ - Gabriella Ferri - 1970

♪♪♪ - …lassatece passa - 1970

♪♪♪ - …e se fumarono a Zaza - 1971

♪♪♪♪ - L'amore e'facile non è difficile… - 1972

♪♪♪♪ - Sempre - 1973

♪♪ - Remedios - 1974

♪♪♪ - Mazzabubù - 1975

♪♪♪ - …e adesso andiamo a incominciare - 1977

♪♪♪ - Gabriella - 1981

♪♪♪♪♪ - Ritorno al futuro - 1997

♪♪♪♪ - Canti diVersi - 2000

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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