Domenico Modugno

Polignano a Mare, the pearl of the Adriatic

Polignano a Mare is the birthplace of the father of Italian singers, the great Domenico Modugno.
Modugno was born in Polignano a Mare on 9 january 1928 in Minerva Square, 5 (Today it is known as Via Caduti di Via Fani ).
At the age of 7, he moved to San Pietro Vernotico (BR). From his father he learned how to play the guitar and accordion. The love for music led him to write his first song at the age of 15.
Dissatisfied with village life, Modugno ran away from home went to Turin, then to Rome where he did the most menial jobs before starting out on his artistic career.
He became a leading figure in theater, television, movie and radio.
Domenico Modugno is well known to the general public for his four victories at the Festival of San Remo, Italy's most famous song competition. He also starred in 45 films and recorded 230 songs. Perhaps the most famous of his songs is Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu, universally known as "Volare", which became one of the best-known songs in the world, translated into more than 20 languages.
After San Remo, the song came third in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1958 and won three Grammy Awards, one as Album of the year, one as song of the year and one as the best performer of 1958.
Also the Cash Box Billboard, an international news magazine devoted to music, awarded him three gold records, one for the best singer, one for the best song and one for the best-selling album.
At least 800,000 copies of the album were sold in Italy and over 22 million worldwide.
On 26 August 1993 Domenico Modugno held in Polignano a Mare, his hometown, the last major concert of his career with a public of 70,000 people.
He died of heart attack in Lampedusa on 6 August 1994.

On May 31st 2009, on the waterfront dedicated to him, a bronze statue standing 3 meters tall was unveiled. The statue designed and sculpted by the contemporary sculptor Hermann Mejer born in Argentina in 1961 and author of the equestrian sculpture in bronze for Conte Giancarlo (Milan), the bust of the soul singer Alicia Keys (New York) and many other works in Italy and abroad.
The artist had originally designed the statue facing the sea with open arms, surely influenced by the famous song "Volare".
However the people, proud of and loyal to their "neighbor" wanted the embrance of the Great Mimmo turned forever to his hometown, and so this is how it is today.
The construction of the statue was commissioned by the town of Polignano a Mare and the rock on which the statue stands was donated by Banca Popolare di Bari.

In 2013 Beppe Fiorello interprets Domenico Modugno in the famous movie Rai "Volare - La grande storia di Domenico Modugno".