b. 1928, Cesenatico, Italy. This sailor’s son was a member of an amateur dramatic society while a trainee accountant in Milan.
It was after he had taken the plunge as a professional thespian that he found himself, microphone in hand, one frolicsome 1960 evening in a local nightclub. From this casual beginning, he decided to concentrate on singing, and eventually won a contract with Ricordi Records. The vehicle that was to project Pericoli’s vocal talent most commercially was ‘Al Di La’ which, performed by Betty Curtis, had won 1961’s San Remo Song Festival for composers Guilio Rapetti and Carlo Donida. Though Pericoli’s cover - one of many - garnered modest domestic sales, it was a more palpable hit in Latin America. Furthermore, after it was re-recorded with an English lyric (by Ervin Drake) for 1962’s Rome Adventure film soundtrack, it was used again in Lover’s Must Learn with Pericoli in handsome cameo. This exposure elicited airplay which pushed ‘Al Di La’ to number 6 in the USA and into Britain’s Top 30. He had no further hits in English-speaking territories but Pericoli was still able to rely on ‘Al Di La’ as leverage to gain a New York cabaret season in 1965 as a brief tangent to a career as a television actor.