Skip to comments.Singer Julius La Rosa, fired on Godfrey show, dies at 86
Posted on 05/15/2016 10:12:48 AM PDT by EveningStar
Julius La Rosa, a pop singer known for hits including "Eh, Cumpari," whose firing live on the air by Arthur Godfrey in 1953 overshadowed his successes that followed, has died at age 86.
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Julius La Rosa gets fired on the air.
It's too bad that this is just about the only thing he's known for, even people who didn't know his name had heard the story. It's like those poor guys who dropped a fly ball in a World Series, it's always going to be in their obit, and the one thing everyone remembers about 'em. Thanks EveningStar.
wasn’t he also a DJ on the former WNEW AM? the home of the famous William B Williams?
Too young at the time to remember Godrey and best that way as it looks like he was a total vindictive POS.
FU Art Godfrey
ONLY in this sick Associated Press headline.
Ruth Wallis: “Dear Mr. Godfrey”
“It’s like those poor guys who dropped a fly ball in a World Series, it’s always going to be in their obit, and the one thing everyone remembers about ‘em.”
My wife’s great uncle (Mike Cvengros) pitched in a World Series game in the 20’s. Most notably everyone remembers him as the family member who pitched to Babe Ruth in a World Series game, giving up a 3 run homer.
Ruth Wallis was an "underground" star, known for singing risqué "party" records.
I am not certain of the specific details, but I believe that Julius was dating one of the singing McGuire Sisters - who were also then featured on Godfrey's shows - and for some reason, Arthur disapproved of this. To make matters worse, Julius was at one point receiving more fan mail than Arthur himself! Julius' "fall from grace" culminated in Arthur Godfrey actually firing him on the air, stating that the song Julius sang on that particular day was his "swan song" - although the boy did not understand what that meant when Arthur stated it on the air.
Arthur Godfrey also had a long-time musical arranger and conductor, Archie Bleyer. After Julius' dismissal, Archie also disassociated himself from Mr. Godfrey by leaving his organization in 1952 to form a new record company - Cadence Records. One of the premier artists for the new label was Julius La Rosa.
(Archie Bleyer soon had additional, huge success with The Chordettes, The Everly Brothers, Andy Williams and Johnny Tillotson on his label.) This is probably the first hit on Cadence - the Italian novelty song "Eh, Cumpari" - sung with a twinkle and a smile by Julius La Rosa.
The song is a cumulative song, in which each verse contains all of the previous verses as well. It is sung in Sicilian and is about the sounds of musical instruments.
A rough translation reads as follows: Hey buddy, [music] is playing. What is playing? The whistle. And what does it sound likethe whistle? [vocalized instrument sound] the whistle, [nonsense rhythm words] etc. u friscalettu = whistle [small flute] u saxofona = saxophone u mandulinu = mandolin u viulinu = violin la trumbetta = trumpet la trombona = trombone
Adapted by Julius La Rosa and Archie Bleyer. The song reached #1 on the Cash Box charts, and #2 on Billboard in 1953.
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