Saturday, April 25, 2020

Who Are Those Composers? ~ Piero Piccioni

Piero Piccioni was born in Turin, Piedmont, Italy on December 6, 1921.. His mother's maiden name was Marengo, hence his pseudonym Piero Morgan, which he adopted until 1957.

When he was growing up, his father Attilio Piccioni (a prominent member of the Italian Christian Democratic Party with the post-war Italian government), would frequently take him to hear concerts at the EIAR Radio Studios in Florence. Having listened to jazz throughout his childhood and attending studies at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini, Piero Piccioni became a musician.

Piccioni made his radio debut at 17 with his 013 Big Band in 1938, but only returned on air after the liberation of Italy in 1944. His 013 Big Band was the first Italian jazz band to be broadcast in Italy after the fall of Fascism.

He was influenced in the use of jazz by 20th century classical composers and American films. He began writing songs of his own and was soon able to get some of his works published by Carisch Editions. Piccioni came into contact with the movie world in Rome during the 1950s, when he was a practicing lawyer securing movie rights for Italian producers such as Titanus and De Laurentiis. During that time, Michelangelo Antonioni had called Piccioni to score a documentary film directed by Luigi Polidoro, one of his apprentices. Piccioni’s first score for a feature film was Gianni Franciolini’s “Il mondo le condanna” (1952). He consequently changed his lawyer's "toga" for a conductor's baton. He developed close-knit working relationships with directors Francesco Rosi and Alberto Sordi, and established strong personal and professional bonds with them.

His film scores include “Il bell'Antonio”, “Contempt”, “The 10th Victim”, “More Than a Miracle”, “The Deserter”, “The Light at the Edge of the World”, “Puppet on a Chain”,
Lucky Luciano”, “Camille 2000”, “The Nun and the Devil”, “Swept Away”, “Christ Stopped at Eboli”, “Fighting Back”, and many Alberto Sordi movies. He is credited with over 300 soundtracks and compositions for radio, television, ballets and orchestra. Among his favorite vocalists were female soul singer Shawn Robinson and Edinburgh born Lydia MacDonald.

Piero was one of the premier composers of the Euro-western during it’s heyday in the 1960s and 1970s composing scores for 13 films.

Piero was married to Gabriella Piccioni and they had a daughter Valentina. He then married dancer, singer, actress Gloria Paul and they had a son Jason.

PICCIONI, Piero (aka Piero Morgan) (Gianpiero Piccioni) [12/6/1921, Turin, Piedmont, Italy – 7/23/2004, Rome, Lazio, Italy] – composer, conductor, songwriter, musician (piano, organ), actor, son of politician Attilio Piccioni [1892-1976], brother of book critic Leone Piccioni [1925-    ], married to Gabriella Piccioni (19??-19??), father of singer Valentina Piccioni, married to dancer, actress Gloria Paul [1940-    ] (19??-2004) father of composer, actor Jason Piccioni (Piero Jason Piccioni).
Minnesota Clay* – 1964
I Do Not Forgive... I Kill!* – 1967
Gatling Gun* - 1968
If You Meet Sartana... Pray for Your Death* – 1968
The Man Called Gringo – 1968 (co) [as Peter Piccioni]
Sartana - 1969
The Deserter* – 1971
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Colt* – 1971 (co)
The Judgment of God – 1972
Six Bounty Killers for a Massacre - 1972
Watch Out Gringo! Sabata Will Return* – 1972
When the Devil Grips a Colt* – 1972
The Executioner of God – 1973

*Available on CD

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