updated Jan 4th 2021
When a worldwide career in show business spans more than 6 decades it is inevitable that assumptions, inaccuracies, misinformation, rumors, gossip and similar get their own life….. and are perpetually propagated as truth….
So … We thought it would be good to set the record straight on some of the inaccurate information and include some interesting trivia in order for you, to get to know Caterina a little better.
Hope you Enjoy this page…… and come back … there will be updates
Caterina and her team
“Retirement” Caterina Valente’s decision to slowly but surely completely retire from show business was taken in the early 90ies and had absolutely nothing to do with rumored health issues or the passing of her brother Silvio in the year 2000, but simply based on the fact that after more than 60 years on the job, she had enough with all the wheelings and dealings of show business and public life.
“Nationality” Despite the many biographical statements, nobody of Caterina Valentes family is of Spanish descend … in fact all of her ancestors were Italians. Caterina herself was born an Italian and had an Italian Passport until she married Erik van Aro Sr. a German citizen and became an Italian with a German Passport (they divorced after 18 years). Today, due to the fact that she was born and grew up in Paris, she is an Italian with a French Passport! To make it brief; She’s a European!
“Oh Mein Papa” Contrary to popular believe, Caterina Valente never recorded or sang the song “Oh Mein Papa”
“Ciao” This was the theme song of “Nata per la musica – 1962 ” a 12 episode live variety show hosted by Caterina Valente for RAI DUE TV in Italy. It was not written by Austrian Superstar Udo Jürgens, but the lyrics are by Maurizio Jürgens and the Music is by Gianni Ferrio.
“Doris Day” Caterina Valente never had the pleasure to meet the legendary Doris Day, nor have they ever spoken over the phone or written to each other. We wonder why the press feels the need to report repeatedly that the two ladies are close friends???
“Eric van Aro” Unlike his father Erik van Aro Sr., Eric has never been, is not and will never be Caterina’s manager. Caterina is, since her retirement, her own manager. Eric’s company and team are taking care of the administration of Valentes body of work. However Eric has produced some nice Caterina Valente albums, like “GirlTalk” “Live68” and “Live in Las Vegas”
“Jimmy Page” Legendary guitarist and Led Zeppelin founder did indeed play on “The Caterina Valente Singers” Album of 1964
“Sergio Franchi” Sergio Franchi is not Caterina Valente’s brother. Dana Valeri, the singer, is Sergio’s Sister! Caterina’s brother is Singer, Dancer, Actor and Musician Silvio Francesco Valente
“Malaguena” The Cuban song Malaguena (music by Ernesto Lecuona) which became a hit in the USA in 1955 was sung in German by an Italian!
“Guinness Book of world records” In 1986 Caterina Valente was inducted in the Guinness Book of world records for being Europe’s most successful female recording artist having commercially released more than 1350 recordings.
“Circus” Although Caterina has worked in the Circus, she does not descend form a Circus Family. However she is the 7th generation of Vaudevillians and Musicians of whom only her Grandfather ran a Circus for a while in Russia. Caterina Valente’s mother MARIA VALENTE the musical comedienne successfully toured the world from Havana to London, from Stockholm to Rome, from Mexico to Russia starring in the most important theatres like the Wintergarten in Berlin, The Olympia in Paris as well as the Palace in New York.
“Television” Part of Maria Valente’s act was filmed for Italian Television on an experimental basis in 1939 making it Caterina Valente’s first TV appearance.
“Audio Releases” As many of her collogues of her times Caterina does not own all of her recording masters and therefore she and her representatives are not responsible for most of her music releases which are released without her consent and knowledge. It is a different story with Video and TV masters.
“School” The only school Caterina Valente ever attended (via correspondence) was the Famous Photographers School in Connecticut in the 60ies. The teaching staff included Victor Keppler, Richard Avedon, Philippe Halsman, Irving Penn, Bert Stern and Alfred Eisenstaedt. In her childhood, being on tour with the family act and the 2nd world war prevented her from attending regular school.
“The Name” Shakespeare wrote: “what’s in a name” – Well, the most successful woman in show business in the last 50 years, Barbra Streisand, has her name continuously mispronounced, her friend Liza Minnelli sings a song about her name still being messed up and Perry Como’s smash hit “Caterina” of 1964 (which was written especially for him in tribute to Valentes many successful guest spots on his show) didn’t help to get Caterina’s name being spelled correctly.
“Bill Haley” Caterina Valente is the only female artist to ever have recorded and performed a duet with Bill Haley “Vive le Rock and Roll” for the German musical film “Hier bin ich – hier bleib ich” 1957
“Roger Cicero” Roger Cicero is not Caterina’s God Child
“Charles Aznavour” Charles taught Caterina how to dance the Jitterbug in 1947