Danny Antonelli has family roots that go back to that corner of West Virginia where it meets Kentucky and Ohio: the three states where folk, country and bluegrass music are at home. Danny’s father was born in Cove Gap, West Virginia, a small crossroads town in the middle of rolling green hills and tree-filled hollers.
But his father and many of his relatives had to leave the poverty-stricken area to find work elsewhere, some on the lines in Detroit producing cars and some, like Danny’s father, joined the United States Army. As a professional soldier, Danny’s father traveled to many countries around the world and that’s why Danny was born in Trieste, Italy, where his father was stationed in the postwar years.
While his mother – who was a functionary of the Italian government – was stationed in Nairobi, Kenya, Danny was a boarder at St. Mary’s School and directly afterwards went to South Africa where he attended Natal University in Durban, and got many of his songs played by local bands. Back in Kenya, his first 45 rpm single Harcourt/Year of Discontent was released on the Equator International label.
Danny Antonelli is a professional lyricist, librettist and songwriter who graduated with a degree in English Literature from Cal State University Northridge in Los Angeles. Danny left the United States in 1980 and went to Lisbon, Portugal, where he wrote the music for his first hit single, “O Rapaz du Cubo Magico” sung by Lara Li (1982). From Lisbon he went to Hamburg, Germany, where he has lived ever since. He wrote the lyrics for his second hit single “La Valle Dell’ Eden” sung by Nino de Angelo (1984) and continues to work as a professional lyricist and songwriter for German music artists (discogs).
His record label, Atman Records, has recently released an album of contemporary country music by Nikki Ryan and an album of Christmas songs in German and English by Maria.
Danny also wrote the libretto for a chamber opera entitled “diamond way” which was performed in Dresden at the Kleine Szene of the Semper Oper and at the Opera Kiel (in the original English-language version) in 1999 and 2000.
In 2008, Danny completed a documentary film about the life and music of Bill Conti the film music composer (Rocky, Karate Kid, The Right Stuff, For Your Eyes Only, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Cagney & Lacey, etc.). The film is entitled Living The Truth.
In addition to his work as a lyricist and librettist, Danny has written over 80 radio plays and many short stories which have been broadcast on radio in Germany.