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Album Review

For The Mario Lanza Shows, On the Air released not one, but two half-hour episodes of The Mario Lanza Show, both recorded in June 1951 with guest Gisele MacKenzie and accompaniment by the Ray Sinatra Orchestra. Coming complete with a whitebread advertisement for Coca-Cola, Lanza reprises some of his favorite songs, including his introductory theme "Be My Love," "Hello Young Lovers," "Lady Be Good," and "Because." Not to be forgotten in Lanza's repertoire, of course, are Italian standards, and he performs plenty of them: "Funiculi, Funicula," "A Vucchella," "Torne a Sorrento," and "Serenade (Rimpianto)." Unfortunately, the sound is about as dusty as the old radios that first tuned this show in, and Lanza is continually interrupted by commercials, features for the orchestra, and a few for guest MacKenzie.


Born: 31 January 1921 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '40s, '50s

Dubbed by Arturo Toscanini "the greatest voice of the 20th century," Mario Lanza was one of America's most successful singers and movie stars in the years immediately following World War II. Born Alfredo Arnold Cocozza on January 31, 1921 in Philadelphia, he was the son of Italian immigrants, adopting his stage name from the masculine form of his mother's maiden name, Maria Lanza. From the age of 15, he studied to be a professional vocalist, later signing to Columbia as a concert singer; however,...
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