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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Carmen Cavallaro born 6 May 1913


Carmen Cavallaro (May 6, 1913 – October 12, 1989) was an American pianist born in New York. He established himself as one of the most accomplished and admired light music pianists of his generation.

Known as the “Poet of the Piano”, Carmen Cavallaro showed a gift for music from age 3, picking out tunes on a toy piano. His parents were encouraged by a friend to develop the child’s musical talents and he studied classical piano in the United States. As a young pianist, he toured Europe performing in many capitals.

In 1933, Cavallaro joined the jazz band of Al Kavelin, where he quickly became the featured soloist. After four years he switched to a series of other  big bands, including Rudy Vallee's in 1937. He also worked briefly with Enrico Madriguera and Abe Lyman.

Starting his own band, a five-piece combo, in St. Louis in 1939, his popularity grew and his group expanded into a 14-piece orchestra, releasing some 19 albums for Decca over the years. Although his band traveled the country and played in all the top spots, he made a particular impact at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, which became a favourite venue, and which many years later, was to be re-visited in the same way by George Shearing and Mel Torme. Other venues where he drew large and devoted audiences included New York’s Waldorf-Astoria, Chicago’s Palmer House and the Los Angeles’ Coconut Grove. In 1963, he had a million seller hit with the song Sukiyaki.

Cavallaro developed a piano style of glittering and rippling arpeggios to augment his melody, which was often arranged in thick and lush triple and quadruple octave chords. His musical interests and arrangements included dance music, particularly Latin rhythms, tangos and strict tempo dancing styles, as well as some pop and jazz arrangements of classical melodies.In this, he is often cited as being influenced by pianist Eddy Duchin. Liberace was greatly influenced by both Cavallaro and Duchin. All three shared a propensity for arranging classical piano themes in a pop idiom.

  Here's "It's All Right With Me" from his 1962 LP Swingin' Easy

Cavallaro also became famous through the medium of radio and film, firstly with his regular program on NBC during the 1940’s, The Schaeffer Parade, of which he was the host and later in films where he played himself, starting with Hollywood Canteen (1944), then Diamond Horseshoe (1945) and Out of This World (1945). His most celebrated film achievement was playing the piano music for actor Tyrone Power’s hands to mime, in The Eddy Duchin Story (1956).Over the years he made numerous albums, and was still making occasional appearances in the 80s, headlining with Helen O'Connell at the Columbus Palace Theatre's 60th Anniversary show in 1986.

Carmen Cavallaro died from cancer in 1989 in Columbus, Ohio. (Info from Wikipedia. MP3 & scan from Manicmark blog.) 

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Carmen Cavallaro - With That Latin Beat (1958) go here:

For Carmen Cavallaro - Dancing In The Dark (1959) go here:

01 - Dancing in the dark
02 - The very thought of you
03 - If I had you
04 - Smoke gets in your eyes
05 - Falling in love with love
06 - Stairway to the stars
07 - Cocktails for two
08 - Lover
09 - Alone together
10 - You're mine you
11 - September song
12 - Always in my heart

For Carmen Cavallero - Tonight We Love (1969) go here:

01-Tonight We Love
03-Someone To Watch Over Me
05-Dream Of Love
06-The Nearness Of You
07-Your Home Is In My Arms
08-Our Love
09-I Concentrate On You
10-It's All Right With Me

For Carmen Cavallero 30 mp3's go here: