Italian singer Anna Marchetti tried her hand at almost every style of pop in the 1960s – from beat to ballads, from Schlager to schmaltz – but the quality of her material failed to translate into sales and she remains largely overlooked.
She was born on 29 July 1944 in Ferrara, in northern Italy.
As a teenager, she studied piano and acting. Her first singing appearances came in 1962 as part of a group that performed at local dance halls.
Two years later, she took part in the Castrocaro contest, in the section for new singers. As a result, she was offered a contract with the Meazzi label and issued her first single, Tristezze. The release is, arguably, more interesting for the B-side, Io sono così, a cover of the Burt Bacharach-penned The love of a boy, originally issued by Timi Yuro in 1962. (Carmen Villani and Brit girl Julie Rogers both also covered the song.)
The follow up, Che fai tu luna in ciel, a version of a 1950s tune, issued later in 1964, was a surprising choice and failed to register with record buyers.
In 1965, she took part in the Disco per l’estate contest, reaching the final with Più di ieri.
Her profile was boosted further when she was picked to become one of Mike Bongiorno’s singing sidekicks on the La fiera dei sogni television show, alongside Anna Identici.
For Miss Marchetti, her new-found notoriety led to an offer of performing Il colore dell’amore from the Italian soundtrack to the film Lord Jim, which starred Peter O’Toole.
January 1966 saw her take part in the prestigious San Remo song festival. The practice at the time was to have two singers perform each song, and both she and Plino Maggi performed the ballad Io ti amo, which Maggi had written. The song didn’t make it through to the final and neither singer enjoyed a hit with the song. (Fans prefer to flip Anna’s release over for the dramatic Ma perchè lo fai.)
Her disappointment was tempered by her participation in the Disco per l’estate contest in June 1966. A highly engaging performance of La rapsodia del vecchio Liszt – an interesting fusion of beat and Schlager – helped the song finish seventh, and the release made the Italian charts, reaching number 17 that summer. Sadly, it proved a feat she was unable to repeat.
Indeed, the follow up, Chi lo sa, which she’d performed at the Zurich festival and was one of her strongest 45s, died upon release that autumn.
In 1967, she returned to the Disco per l’estate contest to perform Gira finchè vuoi, again a quality release, but the single stalled just outside the top 40 of the Italian charts.
Further releases, Il mondo cambierà – another unusual but somehow successful fusion, this time of beat and tango – and Per conquistare te, her entry to the Rose festival, were included alongside her previous 45s on an LP entitled Per conquistare tutti, issued later that year.
She found herself back at the Disco per l’estate contest in 1968 with the so-so L’estate di Dominique, which was included on a three-track release that summer, and which also just failed to make the Italian top 40.
Ma come posso non pensarti più, a cover of British group The Iveys’ Maybe tomorrow, became her final release of the year. On it, Anna delivered a more restrained vocal than usual, and the result is generally considered one of her best recordings. The disc reached number 27 in the charts and proved her last hit.
She switched labels in 1969 to EDM, where she issued Amore di donna, a cover of the Bee Gees-penned The love of a woman, her only release for the label.
When her 1971 single Un’emozione, issued on the Produttore Associati label, disappeared without trace, she abandoned the music business.
Follow the links to hear other singers’ versions of Anna Marchetti songs
Io sono così
Julie Rogers: The love of a boy
Our pick of the pops
Ma perchè lo fai
Chi lo sa
Ma come posso non pensarti più
Il mondo cambierà
Gira finchè vuoi
Io sono così
La rapsodia del vecchio Liszt