Gino Vannelli

Gino Vannelli (born June 16, 1952) is a Canadian rock singer and songwriter who had several hit songs in the 1970s and 1980s. His best-known singles included "I Just Wanna Stop" (1978) and "Living Inside Myself" (1981).

Gino Vannelli
Gino Vanelli.jpg
Background information
Born (1952-06-16) June 16, 1952 (age 67)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
GenresRock, soul, soft rock[1]
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician
Years active1969–present
LabelsA&M, Arista, Dreyfus, Sony


Vannelli was born into an Italian family in Montreal, Quebec. His father, (Joseph) Russ Vannelli, sang with the Montreal dance bands of trumpeters Bix Belair and Maynard Ferguson.[2] His early ambition was to be a drummer. He admired Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich, and he played drums in a pop band while he was in high school. In 1969, at the age of seventeen, he signed a contract with RCA Records, using the name Vann Elli.[3][4] He studied music theory at McGill University in Montreal.[5]

Vannelli and his brother, Joe, moved to Los Angeles in 1972. Desperate and broke, they waited for hours in the parking lot outside A&M Studios, hoping to get a record deal. When Herb Alpert, the co-owner of A&M Records, finally emerged, Vannelli ran toward him and gave him a demo tape while being chased by security guards.[6] Alpert signed Vannelli and released his debut album, Crazy Life, in the summer of 1973.[7]

Vannelli was one of the first Caucasians (Dennis Coffey being the very first in January 1972) to appear on the television dance program Soul Train. In 1974, he was invited to tour with Stevie Wonder.[8]

Vannelli released an album, Gist of the Gemini, in 1976 through A&M Records.[9] His 1978 album Brother to Brother, also with A&M, produced the single "I Just Wanna Stop", which reached No. 4 on the Billboard magazine chart, No. 1 in Canada, and received a Grammy Award nomination.[3][4] His next album also produced a top ten hit, "Living Inside Myself".

He received the Juno Awards for the most promising male vocalist of the year in 1975. In 1976, and again 1979, he received Juno Awards for the best male vocalist. He and his brother Joe, his musical partner during those years, shared the Juno for Best Production for Brother to Brother in 1979.[2]

Despite the success of singles "Hurts to Be in Love" (Polydor, 1985) and "Wild Horses" (Polydor, 1987) Vannelli did not tour from 1978 to 1990.[2]

Departing from the jazz-pop idiom, Vannelli released two largely-acoustic jazz discs, Yonder Tree (1995) and Slow Love (1997). Subsequent to producing the album Hitek Hiku for Danish jazz pianist Niels Lan Doky, Vannelli revisited his interest in western classical music with the song "Parole Per Mio Padre" (Words For My Father), dedicated to his late father, and composed in the style and tradition of Schubert.[citation needed] The recording came to the attention of Pope John Paul II who requested a performance of the song at the Vatican. Televised in Europe, the event caught the attention of the head of BMG Records who subsequently asked Vannelli to record a contemporary classical disc in the style of "Parole per Mio Padre". Canto, released by BMG in 2003, features songs sung in English, Italian, Spanish and French, as is considered by fans and Vannelli himself to be one of his strongest musical accomplishments.[10][self-published source]

In 2008, Vannelli became a symbol of sorts for the National Basketball Association championship run by the Boston Celtics. After each blowout home victory during the 2008 season, the video crew at the TD Banknorth Garden played a clip from Dick Clark's American Bandstand that featured a bearded disco dancer clad in a tight Gino Vannelli T-shirt. The tradition became known in Boston as "Gino Time" and Gino T-shirts became common at Celtics games.[11] The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that the dancer in the Gino shirt was a young man named Joseph R. Massoni, and that he had died from pneumonia in 1990. He was 34 years old.[12]

"People Gotta Move" became a small hit again in the Netherlands in 2008 after this song was used in a commercial on TV and radio of the ANWB (Dutch road assistance).

On May 13, 2014, Vannelli's Live in L.A. CD/DVD compilation was released by the Sono Recording Group. The presentation was recorded live onstage at the historic Saban Theater in Los Angeles on November 8, 2013, which represented Vannelli's first performance in Los Angeles in more than 15 years. The recording also marks the first on-stage collaboration in many years between the three Vannelli brothers (including Ross Vannelli as producer, editor, and mixer).[citation needed]

Vannelli resides in Troutdale, Oregon where he is active as a music teacher. He continues to perform throughout North America.[13]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Gino Vannelli among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[14]

Awards and honorsEdit

  • Grammy Award nomination, "I Just Wanna Stop", 1978
  • Juno Award, Best Male Artist, 1976, 1979
  • Juno Award, Recording Engineer of the Year, with Joe Vannelli, 1986, 1987, 1991



Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
Crazy Life
  • Released: 1973
  • Label: A&M
Powerful People
  • Released: 1974
  • Label: A&M
60 11 60
Storm at Sunup
  • Released: 1975
  • Label: A&M
45 66
The Gist of the Gemini
  • Released: 1976
  • Label: A&M
14 4 32
A Pauper in Paradise
  • Released: 1977
  • Label: A&M
29 33
Brother to Brother
  • Released: 1978
  • Label: A&M
3 43 13
Nightwalker 18 20 15
The Best of Gino Vannelli
  • Released: 1980
  • Label: A&M
Black Cars 17 27 29 62
Big Dreamers Never Sleep
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: Polydor
18 40 62 15 31 11 160
Inconsolable Man
  • Released: 1990
  • Label: Polydor
62 76
Live in Montreal
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: Vie
Yonder Tree
Slow Love
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Mercury
The North Sea Jazz festival 2002
  • Released: 2002
  • Label: BMG

& the Metropole Orchestra, Live album

  • Released: 2003
  • Label: BMG
These Are the Days
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Hip-O
A Good Thing
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: CMM
Stardust in the Sand
  • A book including CD
Live in LA
  • Released: 2015
  • Label: SoNo Recording Group
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Year Song Canada
RPM 100
Hot 100
1970 "Gina Bold" (Vann-Elli) 92 - -
1974 "People Gotta Move" 21 22 17
1975 "Powerful People" 34
"Love Me Now" 75
1976 "Keep On Walking" 82
"Love of My Life" 55 64
1978 "I Just Wanna Stop" 1 5 4 4
1979 "Wheels of Life" 31 14 78 24
"The River Must Flow" 80
1981 "Living Inside Myself" 13 2 6 5
"Nightwalker" 41
1982 "The Longer You Wait" 89
1984 "Appaloosa"
1985 "Black Cars" 4 42
"Hurts to Be in Love" 14 57 6
"Just a Motion Away" 79
1987 "Wild Horses" 7 55 33
"In the Name of Money" 29
"Persona Non Grata"
1990 "The Time of Day" 11
1991 "Cry of Love" 41
"If I Should Lose This Love" 46 49
1993 "Wheels of Life" (with Martine St. Clair)
1995 "I Die a Little More Each Day" 60
2006 "It's Only Love"


  1. ^ Bush, John. "Gino Vannelli". AllMusic. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Gauthier, Chantal. "Gino Vannelli". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "All those nights in Montreal with Gino Vannelli". Montreal Gazette. November 1, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Proudly Canadian: Gino Vannelli". May 14, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Yarborough, Chuck (December 2, 2014). "Gino Vannelli brings 40 years' worth of music to the Hard Rock Rocksino". Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Valcourt, Keith (December 20, 2016). "Gino Vannelli, singer of hit 'I Just Wanna Stop' on new live album and DVD". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  7. ^ Nowlin, Rick (May 19, 2014). "Gino Vannelli says fans keep him moving forward". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  8. ^ Osborn, Dave (December 2, 2015). "Gino Vannelli doesn't wanna stop making music". Naples Daily News. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Martin Melhuish (October 2, 1976). "Striving for Success without Leaning on Government". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 60–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  10. ^ "Gino Vannelli Biography and Career Highlights |". Gino Vannelli. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  11. ^ "Gino night fever". January 13, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  12. ^ "'Gino' dances in disco Heaven". June 7, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  13. ^ "Gino Vannelli avoids spotlight in Oregon where he lives, but draws crowds elsewhere". Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  15. ^ Canadian Albums:
  16. ^ "Sisältää hitin: Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1961:" (in Finnish). Sisältää Hitin - Suomen listalevyt (Timo Pennanen). Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  17. ^ German Albums:
  18. ^ Italian Albums:
  19. ^ "Dutch Albums". Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  20. ^ "Swedish Albums". Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  21. ^ "US Albums". Billboard. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g "Canadian Certification". Music Canada. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  23. ^ "RIAA Certification". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 31, 2016.

External linksEdit