Who was Mango, Angelina's father

Who was Mango, Angelina’s father

On the eve of her victory at the seventy-fourth edition of the Sanremo Festival with “La noia”, in the evening of covers and duets Angelina Mango chose to reinterpret, in a moving and moving performance, “La rondine”, a song by her father, Giuseppe Mango aka Mango. “I have never sung anything by my father before last night, by choice actually, because I didn’t see the connection with my artistic path,” explained the young singer-songwriter to Rockol. And again: “Then I thought: ‘But, maybe I don’t know if I will still have the honor of taking the stage at the Ariston. I know I would live with the regret of not having paid homage to him.’ So I took courage and made this decision.”

The song chosen by Angelina for the evening of last February 9th is taken from the 2002 album “Disincanto” by Mango, who presented the song at the Festivalbar of the same year. Almost ten years after Mango’s death and on the occasion of Angelina’s victory at the 2024 Sanremo Festival, we retrace the story of the Lucanian musician below.

Giuseppe Mango died on 8 December 2014 after feeling ill while he was performing on the stage of the Policoro sports hall, in the province of Matera, in his Lucania, the region in which he was born on 6 November 1954, precisely in Lagonegro, in the province of Potenza. He practically passed away on stage while singing “Oro”, perhaps his best-known song, dying on stage, as an artist. And Giuseppe Mango truly was an artist.

Mango’s vocation for music was precocious: around the age of 6 he was already part of a cover band together with his older brother Michele and initially found his main sources of inspiration in soul and hard rock, genres totally different from those who years later would decree his success.

His favorite artists at the time were Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, before he also discovered Sting, Prince, AC/DC and especially Peter Gabriel, who would have a strong influence on his style. After graduating as a surveyor and having attended, without completing his studies, the sociology faculty of the University of Salerno, in 1975 Mango, with his brother Armando, decided to go to Rome in an attempt to become a professional musician. In the capital, Giuseppe met Renato Zero, who after listening to his songs, introduced him to Franco Migliacci, producer of RCA Italiana. Under the guidance of Silvano D’Auria, Mango recorded the album “La mia Ragazza è Un Gran Caldo” for RCA, published in October 1976. .

After some 45s and two other albums, “Arlecchino” from 1979 – from which “Sentirti” stands out, also recorded by Patty Pravo and later by Mietta – and “È difficile protrudirsi” from 1982, disappointed by the poor results of the first three albums, Mango was initially tempted to abandon music.

However, an audition by the Lucanian musician was discovered by Mogol, who decided to meet him. The audition contained a song entitled “Mama Voodoo”, whose lyrics were written by his brother Armando. Mogol decided to rewrite the words, and thus “Oro” was born which, released on 45 rpm in 1984, was Mango’s first great success.

In the wake of the notoriety acquired with “Oro”, the Lucanian singer-songwriter took part in the Sanremo festival in 1985, in the Nuove Proposte section, with “Il viaggio”. The song did not pass the preliminary stage of the singing competition, but won the Critics’ Award. The song is included in his fourth album “Australia”. In the same year he wrote and produced all the songs of “Tempo di Blues”, the debut album by Laura Valente, who would later become his lifelong companion.

The following year he returned to the Sanremo Festival bringing four songs: three as an author and one as an interpreter-author. He wrote with Alberto Salerno the opening theme of the Sanremo Festival, “Io nascerò” (sung by Loretta Goggi and recorded for the first time by Mango in the 1999 collection “Visto Cosi”); he was also the author of the song “Re”, with which Loredana Bertè performed for the first time on the Ariston stage (sparking the famous scandal for the performance in the maternity version) and of “Nessun pain”, written for Anna Bussotti and presented in the “New proposals” section. As a performer he participated in the “Big” category with “Lei will come” which, despite finishing in fourteenth place, soon became one of the most representative songs of his discography. The song was included in the album ” Odyssey”, also containing “Gold” and “The Rose of Winter”.

In 1987, for the third consecutive year, Mango participated again in the Sanremo Festival with the song “Dal cuore in poi”, which ranked eighteenth. In the same year he released the album “Adesso”, containing the single Sanremo and “Bella d’estate”, written with Lucio Dalla. The album, winner of gold and platinum records, was therefore also published outside the borders national and was released in a Spanish language version with the title “Ahora”, from which the single “Flor de Verano” (Hispanic version of “Bella d’estate”) was extracted. In 1988 the Lucanian artist then released “Insegue the eagle” which, accompanied by the 45 rpm single “Ferro e calcio”, was also released in the same year in Spain with the title “Hierro y fuego”.

Two years later the album “Sirtaki” was released, his best-selling work, preceded by his participation in Sanremo with “Tu… Sì”. Subsequently, the album “Come l’acqua” in 1992 confirmed Mango’s success in the field of Mediterranean pop. In 1994 he decided to change record company to EMI, which released “Mango”, with the song “Giulietta”, written together with Pasquale Panella. The following year “Dove vai…” was released, Mango’s first live album, containing the unreleased “Dove vai”, presented in Sanremo, and “Sospiro”. In 1997 the artist then returned to Fonit Cetra, publishing “Creed”, in which international artists such as Mel Gaynor (drummer of Simple Minds) and David Rhodes (guitarist of Peter Gabriel) participated. A year later Mango returned to Sanremo together with Zenîma with the song “Luce” and in 1999 he changed record company again going to WEA, for which the first and only official collection “Visto Cosi” was published, with two unreleased songs composed with his brother Armando and Pasquale Panella: “Amore per te” and “Non Sleeper More”.

In addition to writing the Sanremo song “Fare l’amore” for Mietta in 2000, in 2002 Mango released the album “Disincanto”, with the highly successful single “La rondine”. Two years later, the album “Ti porto in Africa” ​​and his first book of poems, entitled “I can’t find you in the bad world”, were released.

In 2005 Mango signed a new contract with Sony BMG, and released the album “Ti amo Cosi”, with the song “Il cielo degli aranci” in duet with his wife Laura Valente. Two years later the singer-songwriter took part in the 2007 Sanremo Festival with the song “Chissà se nevica”, also duetting with Laura Valente on the third evening. At the same time as the Sanremo single he published the album “L’Arber delle Fate” and the second volume of poems “Di quantum amazement”.

In addition to collaborating with Neri per Caso in the reinterpretation of his famous song “Bella d’estate”, in 2008 he published the cover album “Acchiappanuvole” containing – among other things – the single “La season dell’amore”, sung together with its author Franco Battiato. In April 2009 Mango participated in the recording of the song “Domani 21/04.2009” by Mauro Pagani, the proceeds of which were donated to the populations affected by the earthquake in L’Aquila. In 2009 the single “Contro tutti i pronostici” anticipated the release of the double live CD “Gli amori son finestra”, and Mango then participated in the creation of Claudio Baglioni’s album “QPGA”, singing the song I “o ti prendo come mia Sposa”.

On May 24, 2011 it was the turn of the singer-songwriter’s twentieth work, “La terra degli aquiloni”, preceded by the single “La Sposa”, a song written with Pasquale Panella. The last album was “L’amore è invisibili” in 2014, with three unreleased songs and reinterpretations by musicians such as Sting, U2, Fabrizio De André, Beatles, Pino Daniele, Lucio Battisti and a traditional Sardinian song entitled “No potho reposare” , performed together with the Sardinian singer Maria Giovanna Cherchi.

Mango’s lifelong companion, Laura Valente took her first steps in music at a very young age. Thanks to Gianni Bella, Laura performed “Disagio” and “Sudafricana” in the album “GB 2” (1984), made with Mogol. It was precisely with “Southafricana” that Valente made herself noticed by critics and the recording industry, signing a recording contract with Fonit Cetra and then being chosen by Pino Mango as a backing vocalist for his songs “La massa indistinguishabile” and “Mr. Noi”. , contained in the album “Australia”.

After a series of 45s and participation in other Mango albums and various projects, with the exit of Antonella Ruggiero from Matia Bazar in 1989, the following year Laura Valente joined the group. In 1991 Matia Bazar’s first album with Laura was released, entitled “Anime pigre”, in which “You can start again” stands out. The following year the group participated in Sanremo with the song “Piccoli giganti”, then also presented at the Festivalbar. In 1993 the group took part in the Sanremo Festival again with the song “Dedicato a te”, which proved to be a great success and was included in the album “Where the songs are true”.

After other albums, due to the death of Aldo Stellita in 1998, Laura and Sergio Cossu left the band. After leaving the group Laura Valente therefore decided to temporarily withdraw from the musical scene, dedicating herself to private life. Laura would then return to music in 1999 and returned to the recording studio with the interpretation of “Wuthering Heights”, by Kate Bush, in the version remixed by Mr. Conte.