He studied piano at his hometown's Conservatory and obtained his diploma in 1937, when he was just 17. He soon signed a contract as a band leader for a tour of Africa. After that job, he ended up in Addis Ababa working as a pianoplayer. In a short while he became quite famous there and had several gigs as band leader.
Those ten years spent abroad had exposed him to new rhythms and new sounds, but, in spite of his international success, Renato Carosone was a stranger to the Italian audience. He had to start his career afresh, playing the piano in some small dance-hall bands.
Afterwards Van Wood and Bacsik left the group to pursue solo careers. Gegè Di Giacomo remained with Carosone, who contacted other musicians to finally form a real band.
During 1950s Carosone became more and more popular, his orchestra was on high demand both in Italy and abroad, and records sales were soaring high.
A hint of his world-wide success: his song Torero - specially composed for a Spain tour - remained for 14 weeks at number 1 on the US hit parade, was translated into 12 languages and no fewer than thirty cover versions were recorded in the USA alone.
His decision caused an uproar. Some even suspected obscure criminal threats.
Away from the spotlight, Carosone turned to other interests, mainly painting.
He then resumed his musical career with live concerts, performing at the Sanremo Music Festival, TV programs, until late 1990s.
He died in Rome in 2001.
A few famous songs in Carosone's repertoire were not written by Nisa: "...E la barca tornò sola" (a lively parody of a song performed by Gino Latilla at Sanremo Music Festival in 1954), "Tre numeri al loto", "Maruzzella" (dedicated to his wife Marisa), "'O russo e 'a rossa".