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<   No. 3006   2011-04-20   >

Comic #3006

1 {scene: the Reichstag dungeons}
1 Giuseppe: {in a cell} Hey, what about me?
2 Young Jamie: Let him out. Any enemy of the Nazis is a friend of ours.
2 Giuseppe: Grazie!
3 Young Adam: Why would the Nazis have an Italian prisoner in the Reichstag in 1933?
4 Giuseppe: They do not appreciate true art! 'O sole mio...!
4 Young Adam: Lock him back up!

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'O Sole Mio is a traditional song from Naples. The title translates to "my sun", and the song is a simple celebration of life on a sunny day.

The tune of 'O Sole Mio is used for Elvis Presley's 1960 hit single It's Now or Never. Despite knowing both songs, I'd never realised they use the exact same tune before.

Even more amazingly, a 17-year-old gang member in South Central Los Angeles named Barry Eugene Carter was arrested in 1960 and sentenced to four months in prison for stealing car tyres. While serving time, Carter heard Presley's song on the radio. He was so moved by the music and lyrics that he resolved to change his life and pursue a career in music, rather than crime. Carter kept his life-changing promise to himself, making a meagre living for the next few years as a songwriter and arranger.

In 1972, Carter had a break, discovering a Motown-style girl group and earning the role as their record producer. Within a year, Carter found himself recording some of his own songs, as demos. A good friend of his was impressed with Carter's singing voice and urged him to record more songs, but Carter was initially reluctant to do so. Eventually he acquiesced, and put together enough songs to release an album. Carter planned to release it under the name "White Heat", but was once again talked into changing his mind, this time to put his real name on the record.

Or at least his real first name. Barry Carter adopted the "White" part of his original plan and released the groundbreaking album "I've Got So Much To Give" under the name Barry White.

And so, in this way, that traditional Italian song gave rise to much of the late 20th century canon of soul, funk, and disco music.

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 20 April 2011; 03:11:01 PST.
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This work is copyright and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence by David Morgan-Mar. dmm@irregularwebcomic.net