CIAO! FOR SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2012 LOCAL MUSICAL LEGENDS ANNA MARIE GENOVESE & VINNIE FALCONE… AND AN INTERVIEW WITH JULIUS LaROSA
On this Sunday’s show, we’re going to play a short clip recorded several years ago on an old show when I first began to play Anna Marie Genovese, a wonderful jazz singer from Syracuse. One day years ago, my co-worker Adria Ripka came into work with an album. She wondered if I had ever heard of Anna Marie. Her uncle, Wally Melnick is the bass player on the album and graciously lent it to us.
I brought it home and my husband John just loved her singing!!! So he opened up the phone book and started calling all of the Genoveses in town to see if he could find her. Finally, he found one of her nephews who gave him her phone number in Florida. When he called her, she was thrilled that we found her old recordings! She sent us a note and some information on her days as a singer including a four star rating and review of her album, “Interludes With Anna Marie” in Downbeat, the venerable jazz magazine.
We were so glad that we contacted her right away because within a year she was gone. We saw the obituary in the paper and sent our condolences to her companion.
As a teenager, Anna Marie was a winner on the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour and went on to sing with Tommy Dorsey, Dizzy Gillespie, Tex Beneke and Charlie Schaffer… and even appeared on the Tonight Show, then hosted by Steve Allen.
An interesting footnote…when I did a little more research online I ran across interviews of another local talent, Vinnie Falcone, who became Frank Sinatra’s Musical Conductor and Musical Director for singers like Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, The McGuire Sisters, Al Martino, Connie Francis, just to name a few.
He wrote a book (which is in our library system) “Frankly Just Between Us, My Life Conducting Frank Sinatra’s Music.” In the book he mentions many local places our listeners will remember…Art’s Town House, the BelMar, Luigi’s, Dom Bruno, of course (!) and the Casablanca where he worked with Anna Marie. He says she was a wonderful, wonderful singer who taught him how to play for a singer. Falcone also said that if she hadn’t been in a wheelchair, she would have been a big jazz star. We’re sure that you will agree that she was a standout!
We’ll also be featuring a short interview Jim did with Julius LaRosa (and his hits, the novelty song, “Eh Cumpari,” “Domani” and “This Is Heaven”), who as a fresh-faced young singer was famously fired right on air by Arthur Godfrey! For more on that…
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: Anna Marie Genovese, Ciao, Jim Battaglia, Joey Nigro, Julius LaRosa, Vincent Falcone, WCNY Classic FM