(Polignano a mare 1928- 1994). When he walked on the stage of the Casinò Sanremo on January 31st, 1958, Domenico Modugno was about to change the course of Italian song. As journalist and song historian Gino Castaldo wrote on La Stampa on July 5th 2007, in that moment Modugno "swept away all the past fatigue of post-war reconstruction in Italy. His open-armed liberating cry expressed the nation's collective drive to start afresh and finally begin to fly."
Modugno wrote the song together with Franco Migliacci, while Johnny Dorelli was his partner in performing it. "Nel blu dipinto di blu", or "Volare", as it came to be known by many, easily won the first place in the Festival di Sanremo that year. Modugno's success continued to grow, as he sang in several southern Italian dialect ("Lu pisci spada" in Sicilian, "Nnammurato 'e te" in Neapolitan) as well as in Italian.