Raoul Casadei died. The king of the smooth did not win his battle against Covid. FromOn 2 March last he was hospitalized at the Bufalini hospital in Cesena after contracting the coronavirus. Besides him, the other relatives of the Romagna “dynasty” had also been infected. His condition progressively worsened and he died in the morning. He was 83 years old.
Raoul lived with his wife Pina, children and grandchildren in the “enclosure” of Villamarina di Cesenatico. On the day of admission to hospital it was his daughter Carolina who spoke about her father’s condition, explaining that he had been hospitalized after the saturation had dropped a lot. “Even considering his 83 years of age on August 15, the doctors who came home to have an ultrasound on his lungs and saw that he had some pneumonia, advised us to hospitalize him,” he said.
Raoul Casadei, born in Gatteo on August 15, 1937, leader of the most famous orchestra in Italy, has made generations of Italians dance, meet and fall in love with. He was passionate about music at the age of sixteen, when his uncle Secondo, director of the most famous Romagna smooth orchestra (founded by him in 1928), had given him a guitar.
At the end of the 1950s his first performances by the Casadei Orchestra. So his uncle decided to rename his line-up “Orchestra Secondo and Raoul Casadei”. Since the 1960s, the Casadei Orchestra has been spreading Romagna dance music throughout Italy, performing more than 365 concerts a year. In 1971, after the death of his uncle Secondo, Raoul took over the conduct of the orchestra.
«In the Sixties – Casadei said on the eve of his 80th birthday – I was an elementary school teacher. Then I picked up my uncle’s legacy and in the early seventies I was incredibly successful. Alone I sold more records than all those who were in my record company, Produttori Associati, which boasted people of the caliber of Fabrizio De Andrè. I was doing 300/350 concerts a year. Incredible ».
«I was the forerunner of today’s anchormen – he continued -. Unlike the others who went up on stage, sang and left, I entertained with stories and anecdotes, with the simple and immediate language that I had learned to use with the children at school. And then I did dance. Especially those who did not know how to do it, today I would call it social dance ».
His was a success played on the soft and cheerful notes of Romagna folk and on an innate ability to speak, from the stage, with the public. Its purpose was, in fact, to make the musical genre known worldwide, through the values of its Romagna land: family, love and friendship.
On that sort of national anthem, My Romagna, written by his uncle, Secondo Casadei, (a song with over 4 million copies sold), he built a legendary career. One of his greatest successes dates back to 1973: Hello sea. In the following years other other successes: Sympathy, The mazurka of the suburbs, Romagna and Sangiovese, Romagna Capitale, Great table. The Casadei Orchestra, on the crest of the wave, participates for the second time in the Festivalbar (1973), makes its debut at the Sanremo Festival (1974) and Un disco per l’Estate (1975).
His fame had also led him to interpret commercials, films and photo novels. He had also been a composer of music for television themes (including And it comes Saturday, and then Sunday for the program “Domenica In” of 1977 and Rimini Rimini Rimini for the 1991 edition of the show “Stasera mi butto”) and soap operas.
The retirement from the stage took place in 1980. But, Raoul Casadei, from the spotlight went behind the scenes, continuing to manage the orchestra, whose leadership ended up in the hands of his son Mirko, in 2001.
A volcano of ideas and initiatives. Loved all over the world, it has been able to combine tradition and innovation. In 1998 he put together all the music of the world in a single event, held first in Riccione, then in Rimini: the Festival Balamondo attended by over 200 thousand people, including Gloria Gaynor with whom she sang Romagna Mia. Many awards received during his long career: the last, in 2019, the “Romagnolo Award of the Year”.