He is most famous for his Italian cover versions of great international hits. He is also the author of plays and books on the history of Italian music Gianni Pettenati started very early winning a music contest when he was 8 years old and acted in a play Pirandello.
This was followed by "Il superuomo" again with the Juniors, this time a cover of "Sunshine Superman" by Donovan, with the B-side being "Puoi farmi piangere", a cover of "I Put a Spell on You" from Screamin" Jay Hawkins".
His greatest success came with "Bandiera Gialla" the Italian version of "The Pied Piper". In 1967, he participated in the Sanremo Music Festival with "Louisiana rivoluzione" and again in 1968 with "Louisiana tramontana".
Pettenati still continues to sing with mostly repertoire of his earlier hits in the 1960s. He was on stage in musical theater "Quei bravi ragazzi", with a history of Italian song told from memory.
With Pettenati as story teller there are five artists accompanying him: Delia Rimoldi (actress and singer), Raffaele Koheler (trumpet player of the Banda Osiris and Ottavo Ricther), Maurizio Dosi (actor and accordion player) and Luca Maciachini (vocals and guitar).
Gianni Pettenati is also a musical critic, author of novels, plays and many books on the history of Italian music His punblished works include:
"Quelli eran giorni - 30 anni di canzoni italiane", co-authored with Red Ronnie (Edizioni Ricordi)
"Gli anni "60 in America" (Edizioni Virgilio)
"Mina come sono" (Edizioni Virgilio)
"Io Renato Zero" (Edizioni Virgilio)
"Alice se ne va" (Edizioni Asefi).