John Alvin Johnnie Ray was an American singer and pianist. Tony Bennett credits Ray as being the father of rock. In 1952, Ray rose very quickly from obscurity to stardom in the United States and he became a major star in the United Kingdom by performing and releasing recordings there in 1953 and shared billing there with many acts including Frank Holder. He matched these achievements in Australia the following year and his career in his native United States began to decline in the late 1950s, and his American record label dropped him in 1960. He never regained a strong following there and very rarely appeared on American television after 1973 and his fan base in other countries, remained strong until his last year of performing, which was 1989. His recordings never stopped selling outside the United States, Johnnie Ray was born January 10,1927, in Hopewell, Oregon, to parents Elmer and Hazel Ray. Along with older sister Elma, Ray spent part of his childhood on a farm in Dallas, the family moved to Portland, where Ray attended high school.
At age 13, Ray became deaf in his left ear following a mishap occurred during a Boy Scout blanket toss. In years, Ray performed wearing a hearing aid, surgery performed in 1958 left him almost completely deaf in both ears, although hearing aids helped his condition. He began singing professionally on a Portland, radio station at age 15, Ray first attracted the attention of Bernie Lang, a song plugger, who was taken to the Flame Showbar nightclub in Detroit, Michigan by local DJ, Robin Seymour of WKMH. Lang went to New York to sell the singer to Danny Kessler of the Okeh label, Kessler came over from New York, and he, Lang and Seymour went to the Flame. According to Seymour, Kesslers reaction was, Well, I dont know and this kid looks well on the stand, but he will never go on records. It was Seymour and Lowell Worley of the office of Columbia who persuaded Kessler to have a test record made of Ray. Worley arranged for a record to be cut at the United Sound Studios in Detroit, Seymour told reporter Dick Osgood that there was a verbal agreement that he would be cut in on the three-way deal in the management of Ray.
But the deal evaporated, and so did Seymours friendship with Kessler. Rays first record, the self-penned R&B number for OKeh Records, the following year he dominated the charts with the double-sided hit single of Cry and The Little White Cloud That Cried. Selling over two copies of the 78rpm single, Rays delivery struck a chord with teenagers and he quickly became a teen idol. When executives of Columbia Records, the parent company of OKeh, realized that the Caucasian Ray had developed a fan base of white listeners, Rays performing style included theatrics associated with rock and roll, including tearing at his hair, falling to the floor, and crying
Pierino Ronald Perry Como was an American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century, he recorded exclusively for RCA Victor for 44 years after signing with the label in 1943, Mr. C. as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for RCA and pioneered a musical variety television show. Como was seen weekly on television from 1949 to 1963, continued hosting the Kraft Music Hall variety program monthly until 1967 and his television shows and seasonal specials were broadcast throughout the world. Also a popular recording artist, Perry Como released numerous hit records from the 1940s through the 1970s, Comos appeal spanned generations and he was universally respected for both his professional standards and the conduct in his personal life. Como was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and he was the seventh of ten children and the first American-born child of Pietro Como and Lucia Travaglini, who both emigrated to the US in 1910 from the Abruzzese town of Palena, Italy.
He did not begin speaking English until he entered school, since the Comos spoke Italian at home. The family had a second-hand organ his father had bought for $3, as soon as Como was able to toddle, he would head to the instrument, pump the bellows, and play music he had heard by ear. Pietro, a hand and an amateur baritone, had all his children attend music lessons even if he could barely afford them. He showed more talent in his teenage years as a trombone player in the towns brass band, playing guitar, singing at weddings. Como was a member of the Canonsburg Italian Band along with the father of singer Bobby Vinton, bandleader Stan Vinton, young Como started helping his family at age 10, working before and after school in Steve Fragapanes barber shop for 50¢ a week. By age 13, he had graduated to having his own chair in the Fragapane barber shop and it was around this time that young Como lost his weeks wages in a dice game. Filled with shame, he locked himself in his room and did not come out until hunger got the better of him and he managed to tell his father what had happened to the money his family depended on.
His father told him he was entitled to make a mistake, when Perry was 14, his father became unable to work because of a severe heart condition. Como and his brothers became the support of the household, despite his musical ability, Comos primary ambition was to become the best barber in Canonsburg. Practicing on his father, young Como mastered the skills well enough to have his own shop at age 14. One of Comos regular customers at the shop owned a Greek coffee house that included a barber shop area. Como had so much work after moving to the coffee house and his customers worked mainly at the nearby steel mills. They were well-paid, did not mind spending money on themselves, Perry did especially well when one of his customers would marry
Frankie Carle, born Francis Nunzio Carlone, was an American pianist and bandleader. As a very popular bandleader in the 1940s and 1950s, Carle was nicknamed The Wizard of the Keyboard, Sunrise Serenade was Carles best-known composition, rising to No.1 in the US in 1938 and selling more than one million copies. Carle was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on March 25,1903, in 1916, a teenage Carle began working with his uncles band as well as a number of local bands in the Rhode Island area. Carle started out working with a number of dance bands. In 1934, he played with Mal Hallett and his orchestra, in 1935, he had his own orchestra and was billed in an ad for one night club as Americas Greatest Pianist. He received attention when he joined Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights in 1939 and he became co-leader of the band. The popularity he attained while with Heidt’s band allowed him to leave the band in 1944 and form his own band, when his daughter, Marjorie Hughes, sang with his band, he did not reveal their relationship until Walter Winchell published it.
His band disbanded after 1955 and he performed mainly as a soloist thereafter, from the 1950s until the 1980s, Carle performed as a single artist and maintained a close following of loyal fans. During World War II, he participated in the V-Disc program, 210A which featured his new composition Moonlight Whispers. Sunrise Serenade was released as a V-Disc by the U. S, War Department in July,1944 as No. 230A in a new recording by Frankie Carle and his Orchestra, Carle had early exposure on radio as pianist for The Four Belles singing group in transcribed programs distributed by the World Broadcasting System. In the mid-1940s, Carle and singer Allan Jones starred in the Old Gold Show on CBS radio, Carle was featured in Pot o Gold, Treasure Chest, and The Chesterfield Supper Club. His major compositions included Sunrise Serenade, Falling Leaves, Roses in the Rain, A Lovers Lullaby, Swing, in 1989, Carle was Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame alongside such other greats as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman.
In 1968, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, on February 8,1960, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The legendary pianist and educator Joanne Brackeen has credited him with inspiring her early self-studies on the instrument, Carle died of natural causes in Mesa, Arizona, in 2001, a few weeks shy of his 98th birthday. A Roman Catholic, Carle had a Mass of Christian burial at Holy Cross Church in Mesa and he is survived by his daughter, Marjorie Hughes Wahl, granddaughter Susan Zimmerman, grandson Richard Douce, and great-granddaughter Veronica. Ralph Patt, jazz guitarist who toured with Carle Lagumina, new York Times obituary, Frankie Carle,97, Band Leader Who Wrote Sunrise Serenade, by William H. Honan, March 10,2001 Frankie Carle at Solid. Frankie Carle at Space Age Pop Music Frankie Carle at Musicmatch Guide Frankie Carle and his orchestra play in a scene from the film Variety Time
A-side and B-side
The terms A-side and B-side refer to the two sides of 78,45, and 33 1/3 rpm phonograph records, whether singles, extended plays, or long-playing records. Creedence Clearwater Revival had hits with both A-side and B-side releases, others took the opposite approach, producer Phil Spector was in the habit of filling B-sides with on-the-spot instrumentals that no one would confuse with the A-side. With this practice, Spector was assured that airplay was focused on the side he wanted to be the hit side, the earliest 10-inch,78 rpm, shellac records were single sided. Double-sided recordings, with one song on side, were introduced in Europe by Columbia Records. There were no record charts until the 1930s, and radio stations did not play recorded music until the 1950s, in this time, A-sides and B-sides existed, but neither side was considered more important, the side did not convey anything about the content of the record. The term single came into use with the advent of vinyl records in the early 1950s.
At first, most record labels would randomly assign which song would be an A-side, under this random system, many artists had so-called double-sided hits, where both songs on a record made one of the national sales charts, or would be featured on jukeboxes in public places. As time wore on, the convention for assigning songs to sides of the record changed. By the early sixties, the song on the A-side was the song that the company wanted radio stations to play. It was not until 1968, for instance, that the production of albums on a unit basis finally surpassed that of singles in the United Kingdom. In the late 1960s stereo versions of pop and rock songs began to appear on 45s. The majority of the 45s were played on AM radio stations, by the early 1970s, double-sided hits had become rare. Album sales had increased, and B-sides had become the side of the record where non-album, non-radio-friendly, with the advent of cassette and compact disc singles in the late 1980s, the A-side/B-side differentiation became much less meaningful.
With the decline of cassette singles in the 1990s, the A-side/B-side dichotomy became virtually extinct, as the dominant medium. However, the term B-side is still used to refer to the tracks or coupling tracks on a CD single. With the advent of downloading music via the Internet, sales of CD singles and other media have declined. B-side songs may be released on the record as a single to provide extra value for money. There are several types of material released in this way, including a different version, or, in a concept record