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9 January 1928, Polignano a Mare, Italy, d. 6 August 1994, Lampeduso. Modugno disappointed his father, a civic dignitary, by rejecting higher education to seek a career as a film actor in Rome. However, although he passed an entrance examination to drama college, National Service postponed entry for two years. Among the parts he gained on graduation was that of a balladeer in 1955s Il Mantello Rosso. More conspicuous than expected in this role, he was contracted by both national radio and Fonit Records as a vocalist, with accompaniment that varied from his own lone guitar or accordion to full orchestra. In a developing repertoire were self-composed pieces such as Ninna Nanna (a lullaby penned in 1943), Lu Piscispada and - recorded by many other Latinate artists - La Donna Riccia. While he was runner-up in 1957s Neapolitan Song Festival with Lazzarella, Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (written with...