Fred Buongusto (Alfredo Buongusto) was born in Campobasso on April 6th 1935, from Venetian mother and Neapolitan father. Fred studies at the classical “Mario Pagano” high school and after earning his diploma, applies to University, and goes into Law at the University of Modena. While studying, he dedicates himself to music, with incredible passion, interpreting and composing melodies. In the 60s he feels the urge to go into the “big city” and heads north, where he starts his career as a night club artist. The time is right, and night clubs are booming with performers such as Bruno Martino and Peppino di Capri.
In those years Fred starts publishing his first albums, with songs such as Doce Doce and Frida. He is defined as an “intimist” for his songs are romantic and dreamy. But it is in 1964 that he is brought to the eye of the great public with Amore Fermati, theme song for a Gorni Kramer television program and is thus brought into the homes of many Italians. He then participates in the Naples Festival, city he loves and where he is welcomed with great affection.
In that same year he participates in “Un Disco per l’Estate” where he presents “Una Rotonda sul Mare” a song so successful it has today become one of the most loved and evocative pieces of the 60s.
In 1966 he returns to “Un disco per l’estate” and wins with Prima c’eri tu confirming his fame and earning an ever growing appreciation from the public.
And that is how Fred, reaching out with his very personal and innovative style, becomes the “friend to the Italian dream” with songs that have become symbols, such as La mia estate con te, Spaghetti a Detroit, Tre settimane da raccontare, Malaga, and many others.
Towards the end of the 60s, Fred coincidentally discovers he is on the music charts in Brazil, and feeling close to the south-American way of life, with his guitar beating new rhythms in smoky clubs, he leaves to go and meet the great Vinicius De Moraes, Tom Jobim and Joao Jilberto. With the latter he records Malaga. His tours in Brazil and Argentina are countless but Fred also reaches the Unites States and completes various piece of work with the collaboration of great musicians and producers such as Don Costa.
In the seventies his creativity is tireless, and he interprets two very successful theme songs: Quando mi dici così with Minnie Minoprio and Petrosino from the homonymous television program. His new look, with shoulder length hair and sideburns, gives him a new nickname: “bel tenebroso”, “mysteriously handsome”. During the first half of the eighties, his tours in South America take up most of his time, specially in Brazil, where he thinks of moving. In 1989 he participates in the Festival of Sanremo, and in 1992 tours Italy with Toquinho, and then favours him back by touring Brazil with him years later in 1996.
A less well-known chapter of his life, but equally important and prestigious, is connected with his activity as a successful movie soundtrack composer. “Matrimonio all’italiana”, “Malizia”, “Venga a prendere il caffè da noi”, “La cicala”, untile the recent “Kamikazen” by Gabriele Salvatores are just some of the movies he has composed the soundtracks for.
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