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Carmen Cavallaro

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"The Poet of the Piano," Carmen Cavallaro was born May 6, 1913 in New York City; though a classically-trained performer, in time he expanded into pop arrangements in the mode of his chief inspiration, Eddy Duchin. After a four-year stint as the featured soloist with bandleader Al Kavelin, in 1937 Cavallaro moved on to a series of other society big bands, including those helmed by Abe Lyman, Enric Madriguera, and Meyer Davis; in the early 1940s, he began leading his own groups, making his name on the hotel circuit and on radio. Settling in Hollywood in 1944, he appeared in films including Hollywood Canteen, Out of This World and The Time, the Place and the Girl, and in 1945 also scored a hit with "Chopin's Polonaise"; after the war, he additionally hosted a radio program for NBC, The Sheaffer Parade. Signing to Decca, Cavallaro recorded a series of best-selling 78s including Cavallaro Plays Ellington, Music at Midnight and For Latin Lovers, and in 1956 he ghosted Tyrone Power's piano playing in the big-screen biopic The Eddy Duchin Story. He died in 1989. ~ Jason Ankeny

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