Ghigo Agosti: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ghigo Agosti (born Arrigo Riccardo Agosti on July 10, 1936 in Milan) is an Italian singer, musician and composer, known as "the Italian White Negro", who debuted in the early 1950s, becoming one of the first artists in Italy to experiment with American and British rhythm & blues and rock music, always stressing the African-American component. He later dedicated himself to multiple different musical genres, producing an immense discography both as a soloist and in conjunction with musical groups he started. He is now recognized as a founder of Italian rock and an inspiration for other Italian rock artists, but he is rarely appreciated in Italy because of the conservative mentality of the media.

Ghigo Agosti at Manzoni Theatre (Milan 1969)

He began recording in 1954.



In Italy and Europe, he pioneered jazz, blues and rhythm and blues, ballad, rock and roll, twist, shake, soul, funk, dixieland, beat and progressive rock.

He learned the American Big Band sound from cousin Paolo Tosi, director of "Decca London", and importer of 78rpm-records from the United States. His first virtual teachers were Lionel Hampton, Stan Kenton, Louis Jordan and other black artists.

The White Negro

During 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Ghigo performed tributes to several African-American artists, including James Brown, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Nat King Cole, Dizzie Gillespie, Hoagy Carmichael, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Isley Brothers, Cab Calloway, Barry White, Isaac Hayes, and Sam & Dave. During the 1950s his voice mimicked that of Little Richard, Louis Jordan and Dizzy Gillespie, and was considered revolutionary in Italy. From 1965 to 1971 he started to drop the black timber and frequently was taken for an American singer.

Early 1950s

In 1951 his debut recording was the rhythm & blues "Stazione del blues" (The Blues Station), after which he performed in music shows in Milan and Varese.

In 1952 he debuted at the Hebrew Center in Milan with a Jazz Quintet composed of Ghigo (voice-piano), Mister Shlomo (drum), Paolo Tomelleri (saxophone), and two African-American musicians, Roger Hawk (double bass) and Andy Coleman (trumpet).

In 1954 he released a cover of "Georgia on My Mind" by Hoagy Carmichael, and formed born the R&B band Ghigo e gli Arrabbiati (Ghigo and the Angries), with guitarist Giorgio Gaber).

He debuted with the jazz festival in Milan with a new recording of"Stazione del Rock" (Rock Station).

Rock 'n' Roll Explosion in Italy

In 1957 in Milan at the first Italian rock and roll festival (Milan), Ghigo sang "Caldonia" (by Louis Jordan). That year he recorded the famous rock and roll song Coccinella, about French transvestite Madame Coccinelle of Paris, the first publicized French transsexual woman. His producer Gianbattista Ansoldi refused to release it for fear of censorship by RAI Commission, angering Ghigo, who expressed his anger in live events, which were sometimes interrupted by local police - energy, vocal power, crazy movements, tearing dresses, tempting the fun beyond any limit.


The song "Coccinella" was finally published in March 1959, and in December it was released in jukeboxes on 45rpm as side B of "Stazione del rock", becoming a hit, but drawing censorship from the RAI Commission. In 1960 he released "Allocco tra gli angeli" (Rapacious with the Angels), whose B-side contained the first Italian cha cha "Banana frutto di moda" (Banana Fruit of Fashion), a sexual song alluding to the male genitals, drawing more censorship on radio and TV.

Success and Censorship

In 1961 he released "No! al Demonio" (No to the Devil) and the blues "Scalogna e carcere" (Misfortune and Prison), and in the summer he won the rock and roll festival in Rome, which was characteristically interrupted by the local police.

In 1963 he released the 45rpm twist "Baby Twist Me" and "Peppermint Twist", followed by "Tredici vermi col filtro" (Thirteen Worms with the Filter) and "Si titubi Tu titubi" (Yes Hesitate, You Hesitate). He also released an EP containing the ballad "Solo con me", and two censored songs: the swing "Bella ragazzina di Verona" (Pretty Little Girl of Verona) (censored for alluding to an underage girl), and the shake "Dai fà la brava" (Come On, Be a Good Girl) (censored because the lyrics are an invitation to have sex in a bathing-cabin).

In 1964 Ghigo formed the band Ghigo e i Goghi, which released an EP containing "Ciao" (beat, an adulterated version of "Shout" by the Isley Brothers), "Conosco Jenny" (I Know Jenny) (rhythm 'n' blues), and "Non avrei mai creduto" (I Would Have Never Believed), the first tango-rock in the world.

The Mystery of Mister Anima

In 1965 he created the persona of Mister Anima, a mystery man who hides his identity under a red frock with cowl, thick beard and moustache, again with a voice copying African-American singers.

In 1966 he released the 45rpm "Non voglio pietà" (I Do Not Want Mercy) (the first Italian soul record) and "Solitude time" (rhythm & blues).

In 1967 he released the 45rpm "Attrazione" (Attraction) (soul-rhythm 'n' blues) and "La mia passeggiata" (My Walk) (classic Italian rock).

Mysterious Identities

He adopted three more pseudonyms during 1968: Probus Harlem, releasing a cover of Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale", the soul "Hold On I'm Coming" (Dave Porter), and Rico Agosti, releasing "l'Orsacchiotto nero" (beat) and "La boutique" (first Italian dixieland), also published in the United States and United Kingdom as "Small Black Bear" and "The Boutique", and in France as "Ourson Noire". Other Procol Harum covers he released include "Homburg", and the theatrical "Love Drug and Sex" (first funk form in Italy),

In 1969 Ghigo returned to his real identity with a slow theatrical progressive soul called "James Brown dico !!!" (James Brown Says...I Say !!!), a 9-minute adulterated version of "It's a Man's World".

The 1970s

In 1970 he began psychedelic music experimentation in live events with his Probus Harlem band. In 1971 he unveiled his last persona as Black Sunday Flowers, a band trio consisting of Ghigo (lead vocal on electric organ), Paul White (bass), and John Fitgerald Bennet (drums), releasing "Hot Rock" (soul) and "Madness" (mix of jazz rock and soul, motion picture in the Italian movie Madness, gli occhi della luna (American version Madness, U.K. version The Eyes of the Moon by Cesare Rau).

From 1967 to 1971 Ghigo's band covered black musicians including Paul White (bass), John Fitzgerald Bennet (drum), Henry Granfuck (drum) and Francis Plasheye (saxophone).

From 1966 to 1974 during some concerts, Ghigo was on the card with Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Isaac Hayes, Max Roach, Gong and others.

Photo and Journalistic Career

In 1974 Ghigo abandoned music experimenting with Woodstock tributes and live shows in London with his Black Sunday Flowers trio. From 1974 to 1990 he became a journalist-photoreporter and discographic music reviewer with a private agency that accommodated big artists from all world, in collaboration with important international major labels, creating interesting images for records.

During the 1980s he founded in the U.S. a seminary with black artist friends, and composed songs for various singers.


In 1990 he returned to music with new productions including amusing songs, innovative experimentation in religious music, progressive music, and jazz.




Ghigo and orchestra

  • 1954 Georgia on My Mind autoproduction-Decca (radio edition USA-UK)

45 rpm

Ghigo e gli arrabbiati

  • 1958 Coccinella/Stazione del rock (limited edition Coca Cola USA - CCPR 01)
  • 1959 Coccinella/Stazione del Rock (Primary CRA 91782 USA-Uk-Italy-France-Spain)
  • 1960 Allocco tra gli angeli/Banana (frutto di moda) (Primary CRA 91797)


  • 1961 Si titubi, Tu titubi / Tredici vermi col filtro (Primary CRA 91812)
  • 1961 Banana (frutto di moda) /Coccinella/Stazione del rock/Allocco tra gli angeli (EP President AK308 France).
  • 1961 Coccinella/Why wait (Coca Cola - CCPR 02)
  • 1961 No! Al demonio/Scalogna e carcere (lettera a giuseppe) - (Primary CRA 91797)
  • 1962 Tredici vermi col filtro/Si titubi, Tu titubi/Allocco tra gli angeli/Banana (frutto di moda) - (EP Primary 5005).
  • 1962 Babe twist me/Peppermint Twist - (Ri-Fi Italy-Uk-France)
  • 1963 Bella ragazzina di Verona/Solo con me/Dai fà la brava - (EP Primary CRA 91913)
  • 1963 Georgia on my mind - (RiFi Italy-USA-Uk-France)

Ghigo e i Goghi

  • 1964 Ciao/Conosco Jenny/Non avrei mai creduto - (EP Fantasy FS 1007)
  • 1965 Sunny Afternoon/I'Got you -(inedit on 33rpm 1995 Musicando Italy-Japan)
  • 1966 Memphis Tennessee/Day dream - (inedit on 33rpm 1995 Musicando Italy-Japan)
  • 1967 In the midnight hour/Out side - (inedit on 33rpm 1995 Musicando Italy-Japan)

Mister Anima

  • 1966 Non voglio pietà/Solitude time - (Bluebell BB 3174)
  • 1967 La mia passeggiata/L'attrazione - (Bluebell BB 3185)

Probus Harlem

  • 1968 A whiter shade of pale/Hold on I'm coming - (Bluebell BB 3182 Italy-USA-Uk)
  • 1968 Homburg/Love, drug and sex - (Bluebell BB 3191 Italy-USA-Uk)

Rico Agosti

  • 1968 L'orsacchiotto nero/La Boutique - (Melody MD 603)
  • 1968 The boutique/Small black bear - (Melody MD 603/A - USA e Uk)
  • 1968 Ourson noire/La Boutique - (Melody MD 603/B - France)

Ghigo Agosti

  • 1969 James Brown dico!!!/io dico!!! - (Belldisc BD 8027)

Black Sunday Flowers

  • 1971 Madness/Hot rock - (Bla-Bla BBR 1308) (USA-UK-Italy)

33 rpm

  • 1995 Coccinelle, Banane e altre storie (Musicando Italy-Japan)
  • 1995 La Cosa (experimental) (Crotalo Italy-Japan)
  • 1995 Ghigo e i Goghi (inedit 1965-67) (Musicando Italy-Japan)


  • 1993 Gli avanzi di Ghigo Peer Southern Music
  • 1996 Frammenti di preghiera Musicando
  • 1998 Ghigo Coccinella Dv More Record
  • 2001 Preghiere semplici Hap (Spain)
  • 2003 Risveglio in preghiera Hap
  • 2006 May Gaar Hap
  • 2007 Pallino blu Hap
  • 2007 Space sarah Hap

Ghigo Story box CD

  • 2007 Ghigo, gli Arrabbiati e i Goghi (anthology 1954-1964) Hap
  • 2007 Goghi, Mister Anima, Rico & Black Sunday Flowers (anthology 1965-1971) Hap
  • 2007 La Ghigonda ancestrale (anthology 1993-2007) Hap
  • 2007 Super Live (live anthology 1994-2000) Cocodrilo Records
  • 2007 L'esperimento (experimental anthology 1993-2007) Hap

Inedit song

  • 1951 La stazione del blues
  • 1955 Bocciato (agli esami di riparazione)
  • 1956 Pallino blu
  • 1957 La Gufa
  • 1958 Jenny Jenny Jenny (jenny take a ride)
  • 1959 I nanetti delle favole col cappuccio rosso fragola
  • 1960 Carnevale celestiale
  • 1972 Whole lotta love
  • 1973 Cantina jam
  • 1974 Il grillo e la formica

Labels and producers

  • Decca (1954) - Paolo Tosi
  • Primary (1957-1963) - Gianbattista Ansoldi
  • Southern Music (1960-1963) - Alberto Carisch
  • Fantasy (1964) - Micky Del Prete
  • Bluebell (1966-1967) - Tony Casetta
  • Melody (1968) - Federico Monti Arduini
  • Bluebell (1968) - Tony Casetta
  • Belldisc (1969) - Tony Casetta
  • Bla Bla (1971) - Pino Massara
  • Toast Records (1988) - Giulio Tedeschi
  • Bla Bla (1992) - Pino Massara
  • Panarecord (1993) - Peer Southern Music
  • Musicando (1995-1996) - Paolo Bertelli
  • Dv More records (1998) - John Toso
  • Hap (1999-2007) - Tom Cooper
  • On sale music - Italo Gnocchi
  • Cocodrilo Records (1999-2007) - Luìs Alvàrez

About movies

  • 1961 Allocco tra gli Angeli - starring
  • 1964 I tre volti - soundtrack arrangement
  • 1964 Anthar l'invicibile - soundtrack arrangement
  • 1971 Madness, vacanze per un massacro - motion picures
  • 1972 Il caso Mattei - numerary, soundtrack arrangement


External links

  • [1] - (official web site)


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address