A SONG immortalising a well-known Barry Island trader is to be released on August 17 - having already been widely viewed on YouTube.

Singer/songwriter Viv Hinds-Payne penned the lyrics and devised the tune for his song, Mr Zeraschi, a fond tribute to John ‘Giovanni’ Zeraschi, who owns and manages the Promenade Bar, on the seafront.

The older brother of Barry Island cafe owner Marco Zeraschi, the 69-year-old began working on the Island during Easter 1960 in the premises which is now Whitmore + Jackson, in Friars Road.

Granddad-of-one Mr Hinds-Payne, of Port Road East, said: “I’ve known John for years but got to know him better about four years ago when local musicians joined together to meet at his promenade cafe. He opened every single day of the year for us whatever the weather and made us welcome.

“The idea for the song came from observing John at work. Though he runs a business, he always has time for people, for his staff, his family. There is no one else like John on Barry Island.

“The lyrics started with the first line of the song and then the riff. It came quite quickly after that.

“I’ve composed songs for years but decided that it was time for me to put out recordings of my work last year. I looked over the works I’d written and wrote some new tunes which included Mr Zeraschi. I always write alone and get other musicians in as I need them to complete the work.

“I first played the song to John in February just before I went off to Monnow Valley Studios, Rockfield, Monmouth to record it along with other tracks I had ready for an album. He stood still, looked a bit bemused then said ‘very nice’. John is always low key. He never even asked why I was recording his voice and conversation.”

Mr Zeraschi, after hearing the song, said: “I couldn’t believe it. I might end up more famous than my brother Marco.”

The song can be downloaded from August 17 and the CD bought from the Vinyl Frontier, Holton Road or via vhpmusic.com.