When Sam Donze passed away, many, many comments were posted on the “Italians From The Northside of Syracuse” Facebook group. Everyone loved Sam and the wonderful sausage he continued to make out of the storefront that his immigrant parents, Mariano and Antonina Donze, opened at 618 North Townsend Street where they lived.
I asked my childhood friend Donna Maurillo, who grew up between Hickory St. and Union Place on North Townsend St. and now lives in Scots Valley, California, if she would share some of her memories of Sam and Donze’s Market. She emailed me two great clips and Sue Donze, Sam’s daughter emailed me these great photos of the old store, her father and her grandparents. Pictured with her grandparents are Sam and his older brother Nunzio.
- (Sam Donze as Young Man in Front of Store)
In the last few weeks, we have played clips from our interview with Neil Sedaka, who recorded many songs in the Italian language. During the interview I asked him about Connie Francis and the songs he wrote for her, which began his long and successful career and lifelong friendship with her. In these clips, he talks about “Stupid Cupid” which he wrote with his friend Howard Greenfield and how they began writing songs together in the storied Brill Building on Broadway, just north of Times Square. In the final clip from our interview, he tells about how he and Greenfield were lucky enough to have gotten the opportunity to write one of the most endearing and enduring songs of the 1960s, “Where The Boys Are,” which Connie Francis recorded in six languages.
Future shows will feature my co-host Jim Battaglia interviewing singer Julius LaRosa and actor Dominic Chianese. Tune in to CIAO every Sunday for a variety of interesting topics, our interviews with celebrities and interviews with local people who have stories to tell.
Join our Facebook group “CIAO on WCNY” for more pictures and opportunities to comment!
About CIAO! on WCNY-FM: Italians love to say, “Canta che ti passa!” “Sing that it will pass!” so we always feature great music on CIAO!…a mix of old and new songs by our Italian American artists and Italian singers and composers…music that will lift your spirits…and music that you won’t hear anywhere else! Whether or not you’re Italian American, CIAO! is where you can enjoy the music, fun and traditions and celebrate the Italian in YOU! CIAO airs every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 on WCNY-FM with me, Joey Nigro and my co-host Jim Battaglia (or online at http://www.wcny.org/radio/listen-now/classicfm).
Tags: Ciao, Connie Francis, Donze's Market, Jim Battaglia, Joey Nigro, Neil Sedaka, Sam Donze