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Posts Tagged ‘Dean Martin’

Died On This Date (September 7, 2012) Dorothy McGuire / The McGuire Sisters

Posted by themusicsover on September 9, 2012

Dorothy McGuire
February 19, 1928 – September 7, 2012

L-R: Christine, Phyllis, Dorothy

Dorothy McGuire who, along with her sisters, Phyllis McGuire and Christine McGuire, performed as the McGuire Sisters, a very popular singing group during the 1950s and ’60s.  It was back in 1935, when youngest sister, Phyllis was just four years old, that the girls began singing together.  Before they knew it, they were singing at weddings, church revivals, and military bases.  In 1952, the McGuire Sisters appeared on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts and were hired by Godfrey to perform at his shows for the next seven years.  They also signed a recording contract with Coral Records that same year.  Throughout their recording career, the McGuire Sisters scored six gold records and had hits with songs like “Sincerely” and “Sugartime.”  They were immensely popular guests on television shows hosted by the likes of Dean Martin, Milton Berle, Andy Williams, and Ed Sullivan.  They performed for Queen Elizabeth II as well as Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush.  The group retired in 1968 after reportedly being blacklisted from many venues due to Phyllis’ relationship with mobster, Sam Giancana.  They reunited in 1986 and performed in Las Vegas and beyond well into 2000s.  In later years, they opened McGuire’s Pub near Sarasota, Florida.  Dorothy McGuire was 84 when she passed away on September 7, 2012.

What You Should Own

What You Should Own

The McGuire Sisters' Greatest Hits - The McGuire Sisters

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Died On This Date (September 19, 2011) Hal Roach / Chicago Jazz Musician

Posted by themusicsover on September 19, 2011

Hal Roach (Born Rochester Coleman)
1929 – September 19, 2011

Hal Roach was a jazz pianist who, for the better part of 36 years, held court at the popular Eli’s The Place For Steak in Chicago.  Roach was just a young child living in Mississippi when he learned to play the piano on a piece of cardboard.  He eventually moved to Chicago with his family, and after serving in the US Army in Korea, Roach focused on his music and soon landed the gig at The Place For Steak.  In 1994, Roach was at the piano when in walked President Bill Clinton who was in town for a fundraiser.  Despite being forewarned by the Secret Service to keep it on the down-low, Roach immediately kicked into “Hail To The Chief.”  Over the course of his career, Roach also entertained the likes of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Liza Minnelli. As reported in the Chicago Tribune, Hal Roach was 82 when he passed away on September 19, 2011.

Thanks to Gary Case for the assist.

Posted in Jazz, Musician | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (June 30, 2011) Ruth Roberts / Wrote “Meet The Mets”

Posted by themusicsover on June 30, 2011

Ruth Roberts
DOB Unknown – June 30, 2011

Ruth Roberts was a song and jingle writer who is best remembered for co-writing the catchy and iconic New York Mets anthem, “Meet The Mets.”  Written in 1961, the tune was initially intended to encourage New Yorkers to welcome the new team to a city that was already home to the storied New York Yankees.  The song however, became the team’s anthem and proudly lived on for the next 50 years.  Roberts, who was also an excellent pianist, wrote numerous other hits as well.  She began selling her songs while still in high school, often at the famous songwriting mecca, the Brill Building in New York City.   Her hits included “The First Thing Ev’ry Morning,” recorded by Dean Martin, and “Mr. Touchdown USA.”  Ruth Roberts was 84 when she passed away on June 30, 2011.

Thanks to Scott Miller for the assist



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Died On This Date (June 30, 2011) Jimmy Roselli / Popular Italian-American Crooner

Posted by themusicsover on June 30, 2011

Jimmy Roselli
1925 – June 30, 2011

Jimmy Roselli was an American pop singer who made his mark during the ’50s and ’60s.  Considered one of the most important Italian-American singers of the era, Roselli could easily hold court with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Perry Como.  He had not even hit his teens when he began singing in local Hoboken, New Jersey clubs, and when Roselli was 14, he got his first break by winning a radio amateur hour.   His next one came in 1946 when he was offered a slot on a  Jimmy Durante bill.  Durante was so impressed by his singing, that he made theater management double Roselli’s pay. And since Durante was one of the most popular performers at the time, Roselli continued to win new fans as he continued to perform with him.  What made him so popular was that he had a perfect pitch for the traditional songs of Naples.  That endeared him to the immigrants who longed for the music from back home. Over the course of his long career, Roselli released over 30 albums and scored hits with “There Must Be A Way, ” “Mala Femmina,” and “When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New” to name a few.  He was also a popular live draw, performing sell-out shows in Atlantic City, and at New York’s Copacabana and Palace Theater.  It was at the latter that he and comic Pat Cooper partnered for a popular two-man show.  It should be noted that unlike Sinatra, Roselli apparently kept the mob at arm’s reach, by not letting them give his career any assistance.  For that, he shared a love/hate relationship with them – they loved his music, but hated the fact that they couldn’t control his career.  Roselli retired in 2004, moved to Florida, and on June 30, 2011, passed away at the age of 85.

What You Should Own

Click to find at iTunes

Saloon Songs - Vol 2 - Jimmy Roselli



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Died On This Date (May 10, 2011) Norma Zimmer / The Lawrence Welk Show

Posted by themusicsover on May 10, 2011

Norma Zimmer (Born Norma Larsen)
July 13, 1923 – May 10, 2011

Norma Zimmer was an American singer who is best remembered as the Champagne Lady for over 22 years on The Lawrence Welk Show.  After singing in church choirs during her childhood, Zimmer headed to Los Angeles when she turned 18 in order to pursue a career in show business.  As part of a vocal group called the Girlfriends, she landed several gigs singing back-up for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and Dean Martin.  The quartet also contributed their vocals to Bing Crosby’s classic recording of “White Christmas.”  Zimmer also voiced the character of White Rose in the 1951 Disney cartoon, Alice In Wonderland.  After Welk fired his previous “Champagne Lady” for showing off too much knee for television, Zimmer got the job.  She officially joined the show on New Year’s Eve of 1960.  After three years, she tried to quit in order to raise her sons, but she proved too hard replace, so she cut out the numerous public appearances and traveling but stayed on for the television broadcasts for the better part of the next two decades.  As the Champagne Lady, Zimmer generally sang a solo as well as a duet and danced with Welk toward the end of show.  Although she retired from the program in 1982, Zimmer came back for several PBS specials and reunions throughout the years.  Norma Zimmer was 87 when she passed away on May 10, 2011.

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