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Al Martino

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Al Martino (born Alfred Cini, October 7, 1927 - October 13, 2009, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was an Italian-American singer and actor. After service with the U.S. Marines in World War II, including being a part of the Iwo Jima invasion where he was wounded, he commenced his singing career.

His single “Here in My Heart” was number one in the first UK Singles Chart, published by the New Musical Express in 1952, putting him into the Guinness Book of World Records. The song stayed there for nine weeks. Al Martino has stated that Mario Lanza dropped his plans to record this song after he called Lanza in Los Angeles and explained that his own recording would be neglected if he did so.

One of the most successful Martino hits was “Spanish Eyes”, achieving several gold and platinum discs for sales. Recorded in 1965, the song reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart when re-issued in 1973. Even today, this classic by composer Bert Kaempfert (his original title for the song was “Moon Over Naples”) is among the 50 most-played songs worldwide. Another hit was “Volare”, (also known as “Nel blu, Dipinto di Blu”). In 1976, it reached number one on the Italian and Flemish charts, and was in the Top Ten in Spain, The Netherlands and France, as well as in many other European countries.

In the U.S., Martino had eleven top 40 hits in the Billboard pop singles chart in the 1960s and 1970s, with 1963’s “I Love You Because” (#3) and 1964’s “I Love You More and More Every Day” (#9) both reaching the Top Ten.

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