60s Music

The History of Hugo and Luigi

Hugo and LuigiIntroduction to Hugo and Luigi

Hugo and Luigi was a team of producers, consisting of cousins Hugo Peretti (b. 1916 – d. 1986) and Luigi Creatore (b. 1921). Their work became prominent in the 50s music era, during the emergence of the rock and roll era. They midwifed many hits performed by Elvis Presley (whose “Can’t Help Falling In Love” was also written by the duo), The Tokens’ “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Shout” by the Isley Brothers, “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March, among many others. Hugo and Luigi also produced albums, most notably Della Reese’s The Classic Della and Waltz with Me. They also co-owned Roulette Records, where they also composed and did “Cascading Voices” and “Cascading Strings,” parts of their Beautiful Music series. Hugo and Luigi also founded Avco Records (The Stylistics were the labels’ most notable wards) and H&L Records, which they ran before retiring from actively producing material. Peretti died in 1986 aged 69.

 

 

Early life of Hugo and Luigi

Hugo and Luigi were a record producing team consisting of cousins Luigi Creatore (b. December 21, 1921) and Hugo Peretti (b. December 6, 1916), who were both born in New York City, New York. During their adolescence, Peretti was a trumpet player on the Borscht Belt and later switched to Broadway while Creatore served the US army during the World War II. Although Creatore was raised in a family of musicians, he never became a musician; nonetheless he was into songwriting.

 

Hugo and Luigi as a production team

Their partnership’s first production was a children’s record for Mercury Records. After that, they were asked by Mercury Records’ president, Irving Green to produce pop records. They took the offer and it resulted into their first pop hit with the Gaylords’ “The Little Shoemaker.” In 1954, the song peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts. By 1954-1956, jazz singer Sarah Vaughan had several hits under Hugo and Luigi’s production. Throughout their career, they had created hits with numerous artists such as Sam Cooke, Perry Como, The Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight), the Isley Brothers (“Shout”), Little Peggy March (“I Will Follow Him”) and Elvis Presley among others.  Along with songwriter George David Weiss, the duo co-wrote Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” which also became a big hit during the decade.

Back in 1955, Hugo and Luigi they began recording their own material but it was merely unrecognized. They continued to record until they became a part of Roulette Records’ Beautiful Music series in 1959 where they had their own hit with “Cascading Voices” (later “Cascading Strings”)  Later in 1959, the duo left Roulette and moved to RCA where they worked throughout the 1960’s. On the new label, Hugo and Luigi scored hits with albums The Cascading Voices of the Hugo and Luigi Chorus and Let’s Fall in Love and the single Just Come Home. In the earlier years with Roulette, they were once became co-owners of the label.

 

Avco Records and their retirement

In 1964, Hugo and Luigi left RCA and they established their own recording company Avco/Embassy Records. They produced several recording  artists, among them was the 70’s soul vocal group, The Stylistics. In 1975, they also worked on Van McCoy’s #1 disco hit “The Hustle.”  Later that year, Avco was renamed with their initials, H&L Records. They operated the recording company until they retired from the industry at the end of the decade. Half of the tandem Peretti died on May 1, 1986.

 

 

Related links:

  • Hugo and Luigi’s Wikipedia bio
  • Hugo and Luigi’s discography on Discogs
  • Hugo and Luigi’s lyrics on LyricsFreak

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