6 April 1935
Campobasso, Molise, Italy
|Died||8 November 2019 (aged 84)|
Alfredo Bongusto (6 April 1935 – 8 November 2019), known by his stage name Fred Bongusto, was an Italian light music singer, songwriter and composer who was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
Bongusto was born in Campobasso. He made his recording debut with the song "Bella Bellissima", a song written by Ghigo Agosti and produced by the Milan-based label Primary. It was released on phonographic record in 1960. Some of his most successful songs include "Amore fermati", "Una rotonda sul mare", "Spaghetti a Detroit" and "Prima c'eri tu", which won the 1966 edition of Un disco per l'estate. Bongusto's proclivity for exploring Latin American rhythms and American Big Band swing made him very popular in South America, especially in Brazil. He had collaborated with Toquinho, Vinicius de Moraes and João Gilberto, who successfully covered Bongusto's song "Malaga" in his 1991 album João.
He composed the soundtracks of more than 30 films, including Day After Tomorrow (1968), Un Detective (1969), The Divorce (1970), Come Have Coffee with Us (1970), The Eroticist (1972), Gli ordini sono ordini (1972), Bianco, rosso e... (1972), Malizia (1973), Lovers and Other Relatives (1974), Le farò da padre (1974), Conviene far bene l'amore (1975), Al piacere di rivederla (1976), Oh, Serafina! (1976), The Cricket (1980), Fantozzi contro tutti (1980), Fracchia la belva umana (1981) and Superfantozzi (1986). He also starred in Obiettivo ragazze (1961), and Questi pazzi, pazzi italiani (1965).
In the 1990s, he was elected as a PSI town councillor in Bari. On 18 March 2005, the President of the Council, Silvio Berlusconi, presented him with a silver plate to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his musical debut. On 2 June 2005, he was awarded the title of Commendatore by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
He was married to Gabriella Palazzoli, an Italian soubrette, who was famous in the 1950s and 1960s. She is known for starring in the film Buonanotte... Avvocato! with Alberto Sordi.
In 1960, before their marriage, Palazzoli had a previous marriage with American actor John Drew Barrymore, who is the father of her daughter Blyth Dolores. Blyth was raised by Bongusto.
Bongusto spent much of his time in Ischia, in the village of Sant'Angelo. Bongusto died in Rome on 8 November 2019. He was 84.