Italy’s Paola Neri never made it as a star, though she released some fine material in the 1960s, notably the single Non voglio più rivederti.
Paola Neri was born on 14 September 1943 in Modena, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
She was quite the child prodigy. At the age of just seven she won an international accordion competition, and at eight she entered a musical conservatory where she learnt to play the piano and violin.
However, problems with her left wrist dashed her hopes of becoming a concert musician. Instead she turned to singing, and released a string of singles in the mid-1960s.
The first was Chariot, issued in 1963. However she lost out in a sales war to rival versions from Britain’s Petula Clark, Italy’s Betty Curtis and France’s Franck Pourcel. (America’s Little Peggy March also scored an international hit with the English translation, I will follow him.)
1964 saw the release of the critical success but sales flop T’amo più di lei, a version of Bring back yesterday.
Mi ricorderò di te followed it in 1965.
A very sexy-looking, semi-clad Paola turned up on the cover of her 1966 single, Juanita banana. The release was the closest she came to having a hit, but again lost out to three other rival versions.
In 1967, she switched to the Kansas label for the 45 La solita ruota, backed with the terrific Per me no!
At the end of the decade, the bluesy fan favourite Non voglio più rivederti became her final single.
She then jacked in performing to concentrate on raising a family.
She returned to the music business a few years later, but this time as a promoter for artists such as Milva, Mia Martini and Eros Ramazzotti, and subsequently as casting director for musicals such as Notre Dame de Paris.
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