Ferdinando "Fred" Buscaglione (23 November 1921 – 3 February 1960) was an Italian singer and actor who became very popular in the late 1950s. His public persona – the character he played both in his songs and his movies – was of a humorous mobster with a penchant for whisky and women.
Ferdinando Buscaglione was born in Turin, Italy on 23 November 1921. The son of a porter, his great passion for music appeared at a very young age. When he was 11, his parents enrolled him at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Turin. During his teen years, he performed at night clubs in Turin singing jazz and playing double bass and violin.
During World War II, he was incarcerated in an American internment camp in Sardinia. His musical talent was apparent and he was allowed to join the orchestra of the allied radio station of Cagliari. This permitted Buscaglione to continue to make music and to experiment with new sounds and rhythms coming from the U.S. (Most foreign music had been officially forbidden by the Italian Fascist regime.)