Giuseppe Gramitto Ricci, who was an important figure in Italian recording and publishing during the post-war era, passed away in Milan on Jan. 5 at the age of 87.

Gramitto Ricci, who was born in Palermo, Sicily in 1921, joined the management of the historic Curci publishing company in 1950. This was after his marriage to Clotilde Curci, a descendant of the founder. During the 1950s Gramitto Ricci worked at the company's offices in Milan's Galleria del Corso, which was considered the Italian equivalent of New York's Tin Pan Alley.

In addition to managing the catalog of a company that had been founded in 1860, Gramitto Ricci discovered new artists, including Domenico Modugno, whose anthem "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)" won the first ever Grammy for Record Of The Year in 1958, and Giorgio Gaber.

In 1960, to mark the company's centenary, Gramitto Ricci founded Carosello Records, which remains an important Italian indie to this day. Under Gramitto Ricci, the label signed such artists as Vasco Rossi, Ivan Graziani and Toto Cotugno.

Alfredo Gramitto Ricci retired from Curci in 1998, leaving the management of the company to his son, Alfredo. Claudio Ferrante is the managing director of Carosello.

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