Sounds of Italy
Sunday, Noon- 2pm
With great sadness I must tell the many fans and friends of
Raffaele Valentino that he succumbed to cancer on Saturday
September 26, 2009. His family, as always, was by his side. The
passing was peaceful.
Raff, as all the people at WLIS/WMRD called him, was a devoted
host of "The Sounds of Italy" for many years, first in New Haven
and for the past dozen years in Middletown/Hartford and Old
Saybrook through our Stations. With quiet dedication he brought
to his audience the standards of Italian and Italian-American
music, as well as the more contemporary songs, doing commentary
in both English and Italian. Indeed his talent was such that he
often started a description in one language and finished it in
the other. Raff's audience was devoted to him. He heard from
them in Springfield, Hartford, the Shore and all places in
between; he always announced their birthdays, their
anniversaries, their causes and their dreams..
Each of us has a special, personal memory of Raff. Mine recalls
the Festival of Saint Sebastian in Middletown from which he and
I broadcast on many occasions. In his early days with us he had
said to me more than once that he felt a little distant from the
city's Italian-American population because he was not of
Sicialian heritage, rather from Puglianello on the mainland. The
locals heard the difference in his accent and his
colloquialisms. But, at one Festival years ago, I asked him to
interview several of the City's public officials, all of
Sicicilian heritage. That day, within minutes, he and they were
communicating fully. Thereafter he had a love for the local
Sicilian people who are the devotees of the Festival, the more
so because it took so long for them and him to be certain of
each other, regionalism being so strongly held among Italians.
Indeed each year when May approached, the Festival Committee
would ask us, "Is Raff coming?"
For me he will always be there, on the Rectory porch, microphone
in hand, entertaining the people, over the loud speakers and the
Radio, playing the music he loved so much.
Rest in Peace, my Dear Friend.
Below, as a courtesy for those who did not see it as published,
is the obituary.
From The New Haven Register, September 28, 2009:
VALENTINO RAFFAELE L. Raffaele Luigi Valentino 63 of 360
Sterling Place Hamden passed away peacefully Saturday September
26 2009 at Yale-New Haven Hospital surrounded by his loving
family. He was the beloved husband of Giuseppina Mongillo
Valentino. Ralph was born in Puglianello Province of Benevento
Italy on September 5 1946; loving son of the late Vincenzo and
Celeste R. DiMaggio Valentino. Ralph had worked for Safety Car
from 1966 to 1988 and at the time of his passing was working as
an Electric Winder for Schultz Electric. A noted D.J. Ralph
started Valentino Productions working along with his son
Vincenzo and later passing it on to his son. A noted Italian
Radio Personality; in 1969 Ralph started the WNHU Radio Program
"Sounds of Italy"and throughout his life was very active with
many ItalianAmerican Organizations always trying to keep the
Italian community alive throughout Connecticut. A true family
man gentleman and friend; he will be greatly missed. Beloved
father of Raffaele V. (Carmela) Valentino of Hamden and Vincenzo
(Lena) Valentino of North Branford. Loving brother of Antonio
(Carmel) Valentino of Hamden. Loving and devoted nonno of
Alessia Raffaele D. and Domenico M. Valentino. Beloved uncle of
Celeste and Enzo Valentino. Loving great-uncle of Anthony and
Nicholas Migliozzi. His Funeral Procession will leave the North
Haven Funeral Home 36 Washington Ave. Wednesday morning at 9:15.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Anthony's
Church New Haven at 10:00. Entombment will follow in the St.
Lawrence Mausoleum. The visiting hours will be Tuesday from 4 to
8 pm. Should friends desire memorial contributions may be made
to the American Cancer Society 538 Preston Ave. Meriden CT
charming host, Rafael Valentino, provides Italian entertainment
for the Italian in you. He serves up a medley of traditional and
contemporary music, news from home (whether home is Italy or
Connecticut,) and community events, but with a twist; Raf brings
it all to you in both English and Italian!
to the US from Italy in 1966,and quickly found a need to stay
connected with his heritage - so what better way than to host a
radio show, in Italian and English, bringing everything about
Italy, the homeland he loves, to everyone in Connecticut, the
new home he loves. He's been on air since 1969, and at WLIS/WMRD
you are Italian, or just an Italian Lover (take that however you
will!), Rafael invites you to get out of bed, take off your
pajamas and enjoy his show - feel free to get dressed while you
Raf - How
do you say "we've got personality" in Italian?
"Noi Abbiamo Personalita"