Quartetto Cetra biography
Quartetto Cetra was an Italian vocal quartet established during the 1940s.
The group originated from the previous Quartetto Ritmo, following the replacement of one of its singers. Felice Chiusano filled the vacancy left by Enrico Gentile and joined Tata Giacobetti, Virgilio Savona, and Enrico de Angelis in the quartet's line-up. Quartetto Cetra first appeared in a radio review called Riepilogando in 1941.
In October 1947 Enrico de Angelis left the group to join the Army. He was replaced by the singer Lucia Mannucci, the wife of Virgilio Savona. That was Quartetto Cetra's final lineup, which lasted for the rest of their four-decade career. The first song they performed together was "Dove siete stata nella notte del 3 giugno?" ("Where were you on the night of 3 June?").
In 1948 Quartetto Cetra did the dubbing of the choruses for the Italian release of Disney's film Dumbo. For their excellent job they received a congratulatiory note signed by Walt Disney himself. Afterwards they did the dubbing for other films such as Make My Music, Melody Time, and The Wizard of Oz.
Quartetto Cetra made their stage debut in Pietro Garinei & Sandro Giovannini's Gran Baldoria review. Several other musical comedies followed. On stage the Cetras worked with other Italian celebrities of those times, such Wanda Osiris and Alberto Sordi.
Italian television first went on the air in 1954. In the same year Quartetto Cetra made their first home television appearance in a programme called In quattro si viaggia meglio ("You travel better when you're four"), although they had appeared on British television as far back as 1948 in Café Continental. In time they did a great number of other television programmes. Among them, their parodies of some literary classics such as The Count of Monte Cristo or The Three Musketeers were a huge success.
The quartet's early style was very similar to The Mills Brothers', with jazz and swing vocal arrangements. The group then found its own way with a combination of songs and entertainment: catchy tunes with funny lyrics yet with sophisticated arrangements, performed in comedy acts. The audience loved that, and Quartetto Cetra soon became very popular at first on the radio, then on stage and on the television as well.
In over forty years the group's repertoire included more than a thousand songs. Most were written by Tata Giacobetti and Virgilio Savona, two members of the quartet. Quartetto Cetra officially finished their performing career on the 1st July 1988 in Bologna, with their last public concert.