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Carmen Cavallaro Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (6)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Columbus, Ohio, USA  (cancer)
Nickname The Poet of the Piano

Mini Bio (1)

Before he became "The Poet of the Piano", classically-trained Cavallaro had enjoyed a modestly successful earlier career as a soloist in society dance bands led by Al Kavelin, Abe Lyman and Enric Madriguera (at the time he was simply billed as 'Carmen'). In 1939, he fronted his own orchestra which made its debut at the Statler Hotel in St. Louis. This eventually blossomed into a 14-piece organisation which featured the future musical comedy and night club entertainer Larry Douglas on vocals and was built around Carmen's flashy piano solos (notable, especially, for the scintillating speed of his octave playing). There were, unusually, no trombones. The band generally consisted of three trumpets, four saxes, a four to five-piece string section (featuring a viola and/or cello) and a rhythm section comprising drums, bass and guitar. Carmen's theme song was "My Sentimental Heart". With its lush sound and Cavallaro's distinctive style of showmanship, the band reached the peak of its popularity in the mid-40s, especially with aficionados of sweet 'society-style' dance music. It worked the hotel and club circuits, headlining at top venues like New York's Paramount Theatre, the Waldorf-Astoria, the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, the Mark Hopkins in San Francisco and Frank Dailey's Meadowbrook. Cavallaro made prolific recordings for the Decca label and broadcast live on the Sheaffer Parade which was aired nationwide every Sunday afternoon. He also appeared as himself in several motion pictures including Hollywood Canteen (1944) and Diamond Horseshoe (1945). A massive popular hit was his recording of the piano soundtrack for The Eddy Duchin Story (1956) a year before joining ASCAP. In the 1950s, Cavallaro relinquished the orchestra and began leading smaller combos. He continued to turn out numerous best-selling records ("Cavallaro Plays Ellington", "For Latin Lovers", "Stairway to the Stars", etc.) as well as pursuing a solo career in night clubs and on radio. His own song compositions have included "While the Nightwind Sings", "Wanda" and "Masquerade Waltz". Among his other best-selling hits were popular versions of Chopin's "Polonaise", "Warsaw Concerto, "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12", "Fascination", "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart", "I Didn't Know What Time it Was" and "Just One of Those Things".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Wanda (6 May 1935 - 26 December 1958) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Trivia (6)

Supplied the soundtrack for Tyrone Power's pantomimed piano playing in 'The Eddy Duchin Story' (1956).
His single best-selling recording was his pop version of "Chopin's 'Polonaise.'"
Prolific recording artist, primarily for American Decca.
Singer of "Lili Marlene" in the USA.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6301 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Pianist popular in 40's radio and in guest appearances as pianist or orchestra conductor in Hollywood musicals of that era.

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