Michele Testa (23 July 1877 - 1 January 1945), best known as Armando Gill, was an Italian singer, songwriter, actor, playwright and poet.
Born in Naples, the son of a small distillery's owner, Testa was the third of six children. After the death of his mother, he was put in a boarding school where he started showing his artistic skills in composing brief poems.
Moved to Rome to study Law, starting from 1896 Testa approached the show biz, performing as a singer and an improvising poet. In 1898, he composed and recorded his first song, "Fenesta 'nchiusa". Shortly later, to not embarrass his bourgeois family, Testa adopted his stage name. He then left the university and devoted himself to the music hall, signing a contract with the Salone Margherita in Rome as an actor, singer, playwright and songwriter.
In 1910, Gill got his first hit with the song "Bel suldatin", followed by other successes including ″'O zampugnaro nnammurato″, ″Nun so' geluso″ and ″Varca d'ammore″. At the outbreak of war, he was conscripted and then reported missing as the ship on which he was traveling was reported sunk. Returned to Italy, he joked about the news with the revue Gill l'affondato (i.e. "The sunken Gill").
In 1918, Gill got his major success with the song "Come pioveva", which immediately became an instant classic in Italy. He maintained a large popularity through the 1920s, and was eventually active until 1943.
Birth and Death Data: Born July 23rd, 1877 (Naples), Died Naples
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1910 - 1936
Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, composer, vocalist, songwriter
See Also: Testa, Michele
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 33 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||C-9548||12-in.||10/13/1910||Stornelli montagnoli||Eugenio Torre||Male vocal solo, with chorus and mandolin orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-18618||10-in.||10/18/1916||'O zampugnaro 'nnammurato||Giuseppe Milano||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-18698||10-in.||11/27/1916||Uocchie celeste!||Vincenzo Esposito||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||C-19483||12-in.||4/15/1917||Uocchie celeste||Enrico Caruso||Tenor vocal solo, with harp and orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-20179||10-in.||6/28/1917||Rispetti all'antica||Alfredo Salmaggi||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-20599||10-in.||9/25/1917||Canti d' estate||Coppia Les Scala||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-20931||10-in.||10/30/1917||Nun so' geluso||Teresa de Matienzo||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-22325||10-in.||10/11/1918||Stornelli del cuore||Coppia Voccia||Female-male vocal duet, with mandolin and guitar||composer|
|Victor||B-23642||10-in.||1/19/1920||Come pioveva||Gioacchino Magni||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-27809||10-in.||4/6/1923||Lo stornellatore||Eugenio Cibelli||Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||lyricist|
|Victor||B-27873||10-in.||5/1/1923||Stornelli dell' aviatore||Duo Gildo||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||composer|
|Columbia||11073||10-in.||approximately 1903-1914||Stornelli montagnoli||Luigi Baldassare||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Columbia||44442||10-in.||either 1916 or 1917||'O zampuguaro 'nnammurato||Gina Santelia||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Columbia||58618||10-in.||approximately August 1917||Ho detto al sole||Armando Gill||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||58620||10-in.||approximately September 1917||Stornelli napoletani||Armando Gill||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||58621||10-in.||approximately September 1917||Chi 'o ssa pecchè||Armando Gill||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||58622||10-in.||approximately August 1917||Dimmi 'na vota sì||Armando Gill||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||vocalist|
|Columbia||59677||12-in.||1921||Come pioveva||Raoul Romito||Male vocal solo||composer|
|OKeh||S-7943||10-in.||May 1921||Stornelli montagnoli||Giuseppe Russo||Male vocal solo, with guitar and mandolin||lyricist|
|OKeh||W400024||10-in.||1/17/1928||Palomma||Raffaele Balsamo||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist, composer|
|OKeh||W402548||10-in.||Aug. 1929||Ammunito e survigliato||Nicola Smeragliuolo||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist, composer|
|OKeh||W402550||10-in.||Aug. 1929||'O rre e'o guappe||Nicola Smeragliuolo||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer, lyricist|
|OKeh||W402567||10-in.||Aug. 1929||Canzone antiche||Itala Dea||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist, composer|
|OKeh||W402929||10-in.||Sept. 1929||Dichiaramento 'a Fronn' 'e Limone||Nicola Smeragliuolo||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist, composer|
|OKeh||W403679||10-in.||1/24/1930||Stornelli dell' aviatore||Giuseppe Godono||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer, lyricist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Gill, Armando," accessed October 22, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107584.
Gill, Armando. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107584.
"Gill, Armando." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 22 October 2020.
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