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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Art Mooney born 4 February 1911

Art Mooney (4 February 1911, Lowell, Massachusetts — 9 September 1993, Hollywood, Florida) was a leader of one of Americas most popular dance bands from the mid 1930s up until the 1960s.

He developed an interest in music at an early age and as a teenager became a moderately proficient tenor saxophone player. In his mid twenties he became a musician with a number of bands that crossed the country during the nineteen thirties. He landed in Detroit and took over a local territory band playing in the sweet band style
of Guy Lombardo where he remained until entering the military service during World War II.

After his discharge he went to New York City and formed a new band, this time more in the modern swing style. For a short time a member of the band's saxophone section was Sid Caesar who would become world famous during the early days of television on "Your Show Of Shows". He used band charts by noted arrangers Jimmy Mundy and Neal Hefti, and featured vocalist Fran Warren.  

By mid 1945 his unit received job offers and record companies began to show interest In 1946 the Art Mooney band filmed a short featurette called "Film Vodvil" which also featured a song from then unknown vocalist Dean Martin. In 1947 a vocal quartet from Massachusetts joined the band for a time - they were known as the Ames Brothers. It was about this time that Art Mooney began a prolific recording career with MGM Records. In 1956 Mooney played himself in the motion picture "The Opposite Sex", a remake of "The Women" which starred June Allyson and Joan Collins.

He achieved his greatest success with happy sing-along remakes of 1920s standards, sometimes with the addition of a banjo, and scored a number one hit in 1948 with I’m Looking Over a Four-leaf Clover, a chart-topper for 5 weeks that sold over a million copies. Other Top Ten hits include Baby Face, Bluebird of Happiness, Again and Honey-Babe, which was used in the motion picture "Battle Cry" and reached the top 10 (USA) in 1955.

Into the nineteen sixties Art Mooney had run a restaurant in his native state of Massachusetts, performed extensively in Las Vegas, and then moved on to South Florida. In the early seventies he did a national tour with a package show called "The American Big Band Cavalcade". Mooney's name, as well as his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was prominently featured in the motion picture The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.

 In September 1973, he toured as part of the second edition of the “Big Band Cavalcade,” which along with Bob Crosby and Freddy Martin, also included Buddy Morrow.

Perhaps because his name was well-remembered by fans of the sweet bands, he was asked to come out of semi-retirement  to lead Guy Lombardo’s Royal C from 1982 to 1987. Art Mooney passed away due to lung disease at the age of 82 in Florida in 1993. He certainly had a long and varied career and will always be remembered for that magical year of 1948.  (Info edited mainly from J.C. Marion @

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For the Very Best of Hal Mooney go here:

1 Lazy River 2:22
2 Silver Dollar 3:08
3 Doo De Doo On An Old Kazoo 2:49
4 Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue 2:29
5 If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked A Cake 2:49
6 No Regrets 2:49
7 I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover 2:27
8 Hop Scotch Polka 3:00
9 Bluebird Of Happiness 3:24
10 The Big Brass Band From Brazil 3:12
11 Giant 3:09
12 Sunset to Sunrise 2:37
13 Merry-Go-Round Waltz 3:01
14 M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I 2:38
15 Beautiful Eyes 2:22
16 Daydreams 2:27
17 Twenty-Four Hours Of Sunshine 2:27
18 Heartbreaker 2:24
19 Again 3:03
20 Honey-Babe 3:02
21 Baby Face 2:22
22 The Girl I Left Behind Me 2:43
23 I Never See Maggie Alone 2:58
24 Toot, Toot, Tootsie 2:40
25 Rock And Roll Tumbleweed 3:04