The Best Of Everything? Mario's Coke performances.

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Vince Di Placido

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Oct 17, 2007, 2:44:47 PM10/17/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
I was feeling frisky & thought I'd start a discussion on Mario Lanza's
prolific & uneven Coke sponsored radio recordings of 1951 to 1952.
There are some absolute gems to be found in Mario's Coke recordings &
for a start in this post I thought I'd start with what I like from
those sessions.
These sessions probably more than any other divide fans on what some
like & others dislike from Mario BUT there is one thing for sure that
these sessions, showed more than any other project, Mario's incredible
versatlility & professionalism considering the speed at which these
songs were chosen, rehearsed & recorded it is yet another testament to
how great an artist Mario was.
It is in these recordings that Mario's fantastic gift of breathing new
exciting life into sometimes old & stale material is most apparent,
but that is for another post.
For starters I love Mario's performance of Cole Porter's Begin the
Beguine, this is beautifully phrased & shows what a high standard
Mario's radio recordings could reach. I especially like Mario's lovely
phrasing of "Till you whisper to me once more, "Darling, I love you".
The arrangemnet, as with a lot of the coke songs, could be better but
it's adequate enough & I am so wrapped up in Mario's voice that it
doesn't bother me too much. There is plenty of Mario passion &
emphasis on key words that take him out of the normal line of the
song, a Mario-ism any fan of his knows well, he uses this often to
accentuate key words, in this song he does it on "And now when I hear
people CURSE the chance that was wasted" &
"Oh yes let them begin the beguine
MAKE them play" It always seemed to me that Mario had so much to give
that sometimes the song wasn't big enough for him & it seemed he was
almost going to burst out of it, if you know what I mean, this
sometimes manifested itself in slight sharpness I think, which wasn't
so much a pitch problem as amazing over exhuberance. I'll have to cut
off here as guests have just called, I'll continue later...

Stefan Huber

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Oct 17, 2007, 3:32:50 PM10/17/07
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Hello Vince,

many thanks for mentioning "Begin The Beguine". I also think that this
is among Mario's greatest Coke recordings (along with his version of
"I've Got You Under My Skin"). It should be worth the mention, though,
that Richard Tauber had already recorded the song with a similar
arrangement, when Mario featured it in his Coke show. The Tauber version
can be heard on one of the tenor's Naxos Nostalgia CDs...

Best regards,

Stefan

Vince Di Placido schrieb:

Message has been deleted

am...@ruc.dk

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Oct 17, 2007, 4:31:03 PM10/17/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Vince - What a terrific discussion you have started.
Mario did have a lot of keywords in this song, and I agree with what
you say about the lines you've pointed out.
Like you said, the line "Till you whisper to me once more, "Darling, I
love you", is lovely. It's my favourite line in this song too. And I
think I know what you mean re: his 'MAKE them play', it really does
sounds as if he is almost going to burst out of it. I think it is so
sweet when he shows this kind of 'eagerness'.

I also enjoyed the line 'and by the shore an orchestra is playing'. I
like his softness on the word 'shore', however I wonder why he chose
to soften this word in particular. Could it be to imply something
like: in lovely memory of what happened there, or what do you think?

The only thing I would have wished different, is that he had chosen to
only emphasize one of the words in "And there we are SWEARING to LOVE
forEVER.." It's not a big thing, but I think the strength on the
'SWEARING' and '..EVER' somehow takes something away from the 'LOVE'.
The word seems to get stuck in between. But, it is only a thought that
came to me just now, so feel free to disagree. :-)
Ann-Mai


On 17 Okt., 20:44, Vince Di Placido <vincent.diplac...@gmail.com>
wrote:

Derek McGovern

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:09:02 PM10/2/13
to
Great topic for a new thread, Vince!

You're certainly right about the Coke performances dividing Lanza fans
like no other part of Mario's legacy. While I strongly feel that too
many substandard Coke recordings have dominated CD releases in recent
years - O Sole Mio, One Alone  & Torna a Surriento come immediately to
mind! - there are many great performances. For me,
Begin the Beguine is definitely one of them (and it's interesting to
hear from Stefan above that Tauber sings it in a similar arrangement);
Some Day is another. In fact, Some Day gets my vote for Most
Outstanding Coke Recording :-) But there are many others: e.g.,
Without a Song, A Kiss, My Romance (LP version), Testa Adorata,
Yesterdays, The Moon Was Yellow...

Come to think of it, the original B side of The Student Prince - with
the exception of the poorly arranged Yours Is My Heart Alone (much
inferior to Lanza's 1956 version) - featured some of the very best
Coke numbers: If I Loved You, Romance, I'll Be Seeing You, etc. In
fact, you could argue that this was the one occasion on which RCA
exercised genuine care in their choice of Coke selections (and quite
rightly too for such an important album as The Student Prince); in
contrast, The Touch of Your Hand LP, which came out around the same
time (1954?), was a terrible compilation of some of the roughest
English-language Coke numbers. Thank goodness the worst number from
that LP - the ghastly & aptly named Strange Music - has yet to see the
light of day on a BMG CD!

It'll certainly be interesting to read other members' views on the
Coke Shows. Thanks again for starting this thread, Vince.

Derek McGovern

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Oct 18, 2007, 11:45:57 PM10/18/07
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Hi Ann-Mai: To my ears, Mario makes the right choice here. For one
thing, I just love his sense of rhythm on this line. But even more so,
I like the fact that he seems to be emphasising the irony of the
situation - that he & his lover did indeed once *swear* to love
*forever*, and yet that passion only ending up lasting a night :-)

Only my opinion, though...

But what a great recording for showcasing Lanza's uncanny ability to
paint pictures with his voice. I love what he does with "shore" as
well. "A night of tropical splendor" is another gem, as is "Even the
palms seems to be swayin' " - for indeed they are! Can't you just
picture those trees?

To me, the only thing marring this song is a bit of sharpness - but
even that seems appropriate here. Don't think old Cole would have
approved of it, though he may well have liked the Cary Grant-like
suaveness that Lanza employs on certain lines. Overall, though, I
suspect Porter may have found Mario's rendition too boisterous for his
refined taste :-) It'd be fascinating to know for sure, though. And I
certainly hope he enjoyed Lanza's version of You Do Something To Me -
in fact, how could he not?!

Speaking of Cole Porter numbers, I'm much less keen on Mario's
rendition of Night and Day. (And I'm sure I'm in the minority here.) I
find the arrangement too bombastic & Mario sounds slightly out of
sorts - a bit harried, really. I wish he'd re-recorded it on another
day - better still, with a different arrangement.

And the other Porter Coke numbers:

What Is This Thing Called, Love? Sorry - can't stand the song!

I've Got You Under My Skin. Hmmn, it's never been one of my
favourites, but I must give it another listen.

lamuriella

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Oct 18, 2007, 11:50:49 PM10/18/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Aaaah, yes...Begin the Beguine.. This is the song that made me
christen Mario "King of the Crooners"! No matter who else has sung it,
no one has ever matched Mario's smoothness. He had a way of making
certain songs his very own - "Mario-tized"?? The rhythm slows down and
speeds up in an easy manner while you feel yourself swaying without
realizing it. Yes, these lines are notable: "Till the stars that were
there before (slight pause) return above you...Till you whisper to me
once more, (pause) Darling, I love you and we suddenly know what
heaven we're in...when they begin the beguine". Surely Cole Porter
heard Mario's recording? He certainly should have been honored to
have Mario grace his song so eloquently. It truly is a gem from the CC
Shows.

I also love If I Loved You, Some Day, Love Is The Sweetest Thing, The
Moon Was Yellow, Without A Song, Romance, My Romance, to name a few.
I'll think more about this topic and come back when I collect my
thoughts.....

I love Mario's love songs - Why? Because they're about Love!!!!

On Oct 17, 4:39 pm, "Derek McGovern" <derek.mcgov...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Great topic for a new thread, Vince!
>
> You're certainly right about the Coke performances dividing Lanza fans
> like no other part of Mario's legacy. While I strongly feel that too
> many substandard Coke recordings have dominated CD releases in recent
> years - O Sole Mio, One Alone & Torna a Surriento come immediately to

> mind! - there are an astonishing number of great performances. For me,


> Begin the Beguine is definitely one of them (and it's interesting to
> hear from Stefan above that Tauber sings it in a similar arrangement);
> Some Day is another. In fact, Some Day gets my vote for Most
> Outstanding Coke Recording :-) But there are many others: e.g.,
> Without a Song, A Kiss, My Romance (LP version), Testa Adorata,
> Yesterdays, The Moon Was Yellow...
>
> Come to think of it, the original B side of The Student Prince - with
> the exception of the poorly arranged Yours Is My Heart Alone (much
> inferior to Lanza's 1956 version) - featured some of the very best
> Coke numbers: If I Loved You, Romance, I'll Be Seeing You, etc. In
> fact, you could argue that this was the one occasion on which RCA
> exercised genuine care in their choice of Coke selections (and quite
> rightly too for such an important album as The Student Prince); in
> contrast, The Touch of Your Hand LP, which came out around the same
> time (1954?), was a terrible compilation of some of the roughest
> English-language Coke numbers. Thank goodness the worst number from
> that LP - the ghastly & aptly named Strange Music - has yet to see the
> light of day on a BMG CD!
>
> It'll certainly be interesting to read other members' views on the
> Coke Shows. Thanks again for starting this thread, Vince.
>

> > > off here as guests have just called, I'll continue later...- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

am...@ruc.dk

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Oct 19, 2007, 8:50:16 AM10/19/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Derek: Thank you for a very good explanation of the line from 'Begin
the beguine'. Now I understand the point of this line much better. I
didn't quite catch the irony in it before - but now that you mention
it, I can hear it clearly and it does make perfect sense for him to
sing it that way. Thanks. :-)

Absolutely; 'Someday' and 'Without a song' are truly great songs too.

Regarding the Coke-show songs in total, I have a difficult time
keeping track of all of them. I also haven't got all of them yet, but
looking at the list of coke-songs on the CD "When day is done", I like
the songs 'Tell me tonight', 'If you are but a dream', and 'When day
is done' the most.
Already in the first line of 'Tell me tonight' I am captured: 'Love, I
give you my heart, if you will take this gift I bring you, tell me
tonight". The first part 'Love, I GIVE you my heart' is very intense,
and I also think Mario does the most thrilling thing to the word
'tonight'. A great song and very romantic.

'Valencia' from the same CD has a special place in my heart. It is one
of the songs I heard over and over again when I was in my teens. At
age 14 or 15 I had a major 'Lanza fever' for about 6 month. 'Be my
love', 'Valencia' and 'You do something to me' was my favourites, and
I just couldn't get enough of them.

My interest for Mario this past year is my third 'Lanza period' (as
the saying goes "The third time is the charm", right?).
I heard his voice for the first time when I was about 7-8 years old.
It was the 'Donkey serenade' - a fantastic moment - I'll never forget
it! I was completely infatuated and greatly impressed with the
vitality and beauty of his voice.

Ann-Mai

> > > off here as guests have just called, I'll continue later...- Skjul tekst i anførselstegn -
>
> - Vis tekst i anførselstegn -

Derek McGovern

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Oct 19, 2007, 11:09:23 PM10/19/07
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Hi Ann-Mai: Yes, Tell Me Tonight is an exciting and *sizzlingly*
romantic little number. I also like the first half of Valencia. I
guess the version of The Donkey Serenade that initially got you
interested in him was the longer 1956 version, not the one-verse Coke
rendition?

Getting back to Begin the Beguine, one thing I forgot to mention in my
last post was that it was actually a remake. Mario had first recorded
it a month earlier (in December, 1951), but for whatever reason it was
rejected. Assuming it *was* an inferior rendition, we're very lucky
indeed that he took the time to re-record it!

Actually, even for the seasoned Lanza aficionado, trying to work out
which take of what Coke recording was released on LP or CD can be
mind-boggling. Mario recorded numerous takes of many songs (eg,
Serenade from The Student Prince, Santa Lucia Luntana, 'Na Sera 'e
Maggio), and in quite a few instances the rendition that was broadcast
differs from the one chosen for release by RCA/BMG. It's all very
confusing! The superior *non*-broadcast take of the beautiful My
Romance, for example, was released by RCA in the 1950s. But years
later, it was the inferior broadcast version that was chosen for CD
release (whether by design or accident - who knows?!) on the CDs When
Day Is Done & My Romance. (Rense has since brought out the better
version on one of his CDs, though I understand that he hasn't used the
master tape as his source.)

To me, the Coke numbers are remarkable for several reasons. Firstly,
as many people have pointed out, the sheer quantity and variety of the
music that Mario was recording week after week over an 11-month period
must have been daunting. In many instances, he would have gone to the
Radio Recorder Studios in the evening after a long day's work
(probably rising at 5am) at the MGM studios. Imagine that! I don't
know when he found the time even to look through the music he was
scheduled to sing, let alone practise it. With an orchestra on hand
and probably paid by the hour, there would have been a lot of pressure
on him to get things right on the first take. Under those kinds of
conditions, it's extraordinary that he was able to record so many
memorable performances - especially of material that he had never sung
before, which accounted for almost *two-thirds* of the Coke
recordings.

Initially, the shows started out with familiar material that he'd
recorded before or already sung in concert - the first 15 numbers, in
fact (and bear in mind that he performed four numbers per programme).
Frankly, it was a pretty shaky start to the Shows! Mario is below par
on virtually all these numbers, and it's not until he gets to the 19th
number that he finally delivers an indisputable masterpiece: Some Day
from The Vagabond King. Muriella's already written a lovely essay on
this recording, so I won't go into detail about this gem now, except
to ask: why did this great recording appear on so few CDs?! Apart from
Rense's offerings (which the general public wouldn't be aware of in
any case, the only CDs it's been released are the fairly obscure
Camden release You Do Something To Me and its twofer companion (with
the early Christmas Carols) on a Collectables disc. Bizarre!

What is interesting, though, to me when I look through the complete
list below, which shows every number recorded (in the order that he
performed them) is that, firstly, most of my favourite Coke numbers
come from 1952, and, secondly, that Italian & Neapolitan songs and
arias dominate the 1952 recordings (especially the last few sessions).
Did this reflect an awareness on Lanza's part that he'd neglected
these genres in the earlier shows, or was he simply "stockpiling" them
so that they could be released in a staggered fashion over the months
that followed? (The last show was recorded in May 1952, but it
continued to broadcast until September of that year with lots of
repeat material under the guise of Lanza "requests".)

The other thing that would be interesting to know is the extent to
which Lanza was involved in choosing all this material. When you think
of the occasional quirky choice here (The Hills of Home, for
example!), you have to wonder about this - especially when you
consider some of the surprising omissions (eg, Smoke Gets in Your
Eyes, & several tailor-made songs from South Pacific). But to be fair,
overall, it was a pretty interesting mix, particularly for early 1950s
middle America :-)


The Coke Numbers - in the order in which they were recorded (between
June 1951 and May 1952).

1951:

1/ Granada
2/ Toselli's Serenade
3/ Because
4/ Be My Love
5/ Boom Biddy Boom Boom
6/ I Love Thee
7/ The Loveliest Night of the Year
8/ O Sole Mio
9/ My Song, My Love
10/ Drigo's Serenade
11/ I'll Never Love You
12/ Vesti la Giubba
13/ For You Alone
14/ La Danza
15/ I'm Falling in Love With Someone
16/ Torna a Surriento
17/ Funiculi' Funcula' (in English)
18/ Mamma Mia, Che Vo' Sape?
19/ Some Day
20/ Thine Alone
21/ Tina Lina
22/ Lolita
23/ La Donna e' Mobile (in English)
24/ If*
25/ The World Is Mine Tonight*
26/ Yours Is My Heart Alone
27/ Oh Nights of Splendor*
28/ Recondita Armonia
29/ All the Things You Are
30/ Long Ago and Far Away*
31/ The Touch of Your Hand*
32/ The Song Is You*
33/ Cosi' Cosa'
34/ Diane*
35/ Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise
36/ 'A Vucchella
37/ Wanting You*
38/ Ave Maria (Bach-Gounod)
39/ I've Got You Under My Skin*
40/ My Heart Stood Still*
41/ Marechiare
42/ O Paradiso
43/ Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life*
44/ If You Are But a Dream*
45/ E Lucevan le Stelle
46/ The Lord's Prayer
47/ Night and Day*
48/ They Didn't Believe Me
49/ Without a Song*
50/ The Desert Song
51/ Time On My Hands*
52/ Wonder Why*
53/ Song of Songs*
54/ The Rosary*
55/ Strange Music*
56/ Where Or When*
57/ Guardian Angels
58/ Look For the Silver Lining*
59/ Through the Years*
60/ None But the Lonely Heart*
61/ The Best Things in Life Are Free*
62/ Trees*
63/ When Day Is Done*
64/ Siboney*
65/ Valencia*
66/ Neapolitan Love Song*
67/ Roses of Picardy*
68/ The Donkey Serenade
69/ Temptation*
70/ The Thrill Is Gone*
71/ Questa o Quella
72/ Ay-Ay-Ay*
73/ My Romance
74/ Somewhere a Voice Is Calling*
75/ One Night of Love*
76/ The Hills of Home*
77/ Your Eyes Have Told Me So*
78/ Ciribiribin*
79/ Make Believe*
80/ Sylvia*
81/ You and the Night and the Music*
82/ O Come All Ye Faithful
83/ O Little Town of Bethlehem
84/ The First Noel
85/ Silent Night
86/ Lygia*

1952:

87/ Begin the Beguine*
88/ What Is This Thing Called Love?*
89/ Charmaine*
90/ Lady of Spain*
91/ I'll See You Again*
92/ Among My Souvenirs*
93/ Tell Me That You Love Me Tonight*
94/ Romance*
95/ Una Furtiva Lagrima
96/ I'll See You in My Dreams*
97/ Memories*
98/ I Never Knew*
99/ My Buddy*
100/ Someday I'll Find You*
101/ If I Loved You*
102/ Fools Rush In*
103/ Tell Me Tonight*
104/ You Are Love*
105/ Day In Day Out*
106/ The Trembling of a Leaf*
107/ Flower Song from Carmen
108/ A Kiss in the Dark*
109/ Yesterdays*
110/ Santa Lucia
111/ Danny Boy*
112/ My Wild Irish Rose*
113/ La Donna e' Mobile
114/ Che Gelida Manina
115/ Addio alla Madre
116/ A Little Love, A Little Kiss*
117/ The Moon Was Yellow*
118/ Cielo e Mar
119/ Core 'ngrato
120/ Parmi Veder le Lagrime
121/ Celeste Aida
122/ April in Paris*
123/ Marcheta*
124/ Lamento di Federico
125/ Come un Bel Di' di Maggio
126/ Dicitencello Vuie
127/ Fenesta Che Lucive
128/ Play Gypsies, Dance Gypsies*
129/ Deep in My Heart, Dear
130/ And Here You Are*
131/ Non Ti Scordar di Me*
132/ Maria Mari'
133/ Musica Proibita
134/ When You're In Love*
135/ Love is the Sweetest Thing*
136/ Alone Together*
137/ I'll Be Seeing You*
138/ You'll Never Walk Alone
139/ Besame Mucho*
140/ Santa Lucia Luntana
141/ 'Na Sera 'e Maggio
142/ Beautiful Love*
143/ One Alone
144/ A Kiss*
145/ Canta Pe' Me
146/ Improvviso from Andrea Chenier
147/ Somebody Bigger Than You and I*
148/ Serenade from The Student Prince
149/ Parlami d'Amore, Mariu'*
150/ O Tu Che in Seno agli Angeli
151/ Tu Ca Nun Chiagne
152/ Senza Nisciuno
153/ La Spagnola*
154/ Un Tal Gioco
155/ Testa Adorata*
156/ Amor Ti Vieta

* = no other complete version by Lanza exists

lamuriella

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Oct 20, 2007, 1:06:16 AM10/20/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Yes, I'm amazed by the quantity of material Mario produced in a short
priod of time. While we usually discuss the *almost* definitive songs
and arias here, Mario frankly produced some memorable ones - ones that
should be perpetually preserved for future admirers of his voice and
remembered lovingly in our own hearts. As for the prominance of
Neapolitan and Italian songs in the second year of the Coke Shows, it
might have been because Costa had been added as a conductor?

Since I had already started on a love song thread, I'll give a short
list of some that I'm particularly fond of. So - here goes:

l. If I Loved You: This is probably the one I listen to most. "Longing
to tell you, but afraid and shy...." and "Soon you'd leave me, off you
would go in the mist of day, never, never, to know.....how I loved
you.....if I loved you....."

2. Love Is The Sweetest Thing: "This is the tale that never will tire,
this is the song without end...Love is the greatest thing, the oldest,
yet the latest thing. I only hope that fate may bring...Love's story
to you."

3. Some Day: "Some day, when the winter is over, some day, in the
flush of the spring, my soul shall discover the soul born of her
lover, the man with the heart of a King." (I cannot get though this
one without becoming a gibbering wreck..)

4. Romance: (Of course, from the LP, A Kiss and other Love Songs)
"Romance....romance....be eager to heed its call, for life is a void
until you've enjoyed.....romance....sweet romance." Mario almost
sighs out the second "romance" - so lovely..

5. Without A Song: "I'll get along as long as a song is strong in my
soul" (Mario raises the roof here!) "I only know there ain't no love
at all....without a song!" (Is your heart racing now?)

6. I'll Be Seeing You: "I'll be seeing you in every lovely summer's
day, in everything that's light and gay. I'll always think of you that
way. I'll find you in the morning sun, and when the night is
new.....I'll be looking at the moon, ....but I'll be seeing you...."

7. My Romance: "My romance doesn't have to have a moon in the sky..."
and "Wide awake, I can make my most fantastic dreams come true....My
romance doesn't need a thing.....but you...."

8. I'll See You Again: "I'll see you again, whenever spring breaks
through again..." and "This sweet memory across the years will come to
me...though my world may go awry, in my heart will ever lie, just the
echo of a sigh.....goodbye....." (I love his touch on the words,
"world", "just", "echo", "sigh" and "goodbye"..)

9. One Night of Love: "One night of love, when love is all that I'll
recall...when, at the break of dawn, I find my lover gone...I'll
whisper, with a smile, 'I've lived a little while, I've known one
night of love'".
(This is one of Mario's most passionately performed songs, IMO.)

10. You And The Night And The Music: "You and the night and the music,
fill me with flaming desire..." "If we must live for the moment, love
till the moment is through, after the night and the music die, will I
have you?" (Notice how Mario changes gears all througtout this piece
- quite effective and romantic.)

11. The Night Is Young and You're So Beautiful: "The moon is high and
you're so glamorous, and if I seem over-amorous, Lady, what can I do?
The night is young.... and I'm in love with....You." (Excuse me,
while I recover....)

12. A Kiss: "A kiss means so much when April rain is in your eyes..."
"And what your heart has longed to tell, two willing lips can tell so
well. They tell how lovely love can be, not in words, but...you'll
see...it means that life has just begun, that love has won, that
kissing's fun.... we know....but time will show it's much more than
this...it all depends on whom you kiss...."

13. If: "If I ruled the night...stars and moon so bright, still I'd
turn for light to you." "If I ruled the earth, what would life be
worth....if I hadn't the right to you."

14. The Moon Was Yellow: "The moon was yellow, and a song was sung.
That vocal inspiration gave me the inclination to give my heart away.
Here we are... is our romance to continue? Will it be my luck to win
you? May I look that far? Ohhhh, my ...... love is mellow and my hopes
are strong.... around that Cupid fellow....Behold! The moon is
yellow.!...and the night is young!!"

Now... try to plant your feet back on the ground. Has Mario given you
a dazzling ride and filled *all* your amorous senses? As for me, I
hope I never recover...

Con amore, Muriella


On Oct 19, 11:09 pm, "Derek McGovern" <derek.mcgov...@gmail.com>
wrote:

Derek McGovern

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:09:42 PM10/2/13
to
Lovely post & great choices, Muriella: I love every one of them! (And,
coincidentally or not, 10 of the 14 are from 1952, I see :-)) Two of
them - If I Loved You & The Night Is Young - also feature memorable
spoken introductions by Mario that have never been released.

Which rendition of One Night of Love do you prefer? The version with
the A-flat ending (ie, the more familiar version from the B side of
the original Student Prince album) or the high C-ending rendition from
the CD When Day Is Done? I much prefer the former!

Armando

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:10:56 PM10/2/13
to
Pretty good list my dear Muriel!

I would add the following:

The world is mine tonight
The trembling of a leaf
Your eyes have told me so
Sylvia
The Thrill is gone
Beautiful love
Yesterdays

I also like Night and day for two reasons. A: it's a magnificent song,
and B: Mario is not at all bad in it. His approach is rather more
dramatic than romantic but, overall, he successfully conveys the
passion he feels for his woman.  What I do detest is the horrible
orchestration, particularly the final blast.

As for One night of Love, definitely the A flat ending.

Armando

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Oct 20, 2007, 11:35:12 PM10/20/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Forgot to mention that, like Derek, I can't stand 'What is this thing
called love'!

> ...
>
> read more »

lamuriella

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Oct 22, 2007, 12:13:44 PM10/22/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Dear Armando....the songs you've added are well deserved too. I just
could go on and on.... I wrote about The Trembling of a Leaf some time
ago - perhaps I'll get some of my ramblings polished up for public
view. I love Yesterdays - around New Years, I always get nostalgic and
it runs through my mind. Did you know he introduced this song in two
different ways? I'd written some notes on Your Eyes Have Told Me So
and Beautiful Love, but I can't seem to find them at the moment.

I like all of the Cole Porter songs - Mario glides ever so sweetly
through them. Just listened to What Is This Thing Called Love - no,
no, no...
First of all I hate the lyrics - maybe Porter was going through a down
period in his life or something. The whole thing is off rhythmically
and the tone is depressing. As for that ending - sounds like they
couldn't decide on what note to use, so Mario sang anything to, " Get
me outta here!"

On Oct 20, 9:09 pm, Armando <cesar...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Pretty good list my dear Muriel!
> I would add the following:
>
> The world is mine tonight
> The trembling of a leaf
> Your eyes have told me so
> Sylvia
> The Thrill is gone
> Beautiful love
> Yesterdays
>
> I also like Night and day for two reasons. A: it's a magnificent song,
> and B: Mario is not at all bad in it. His approach is rather more
> dramatic than romantic but, overall, he successfully conveys the
> passion he feels for his woman. What I do detest is the horrible
> orchestration, particularly the final blast.
>
> As for One night of Love, definitely the A flat ending.
>
> On Oct 20, 3:06 pm, lamuriella <mawscompu...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>

> ...
>
> read more »- Hide quoted text -

Vince Di Placido

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Oct 22, 2007, 3:03:36 PM10/22/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
I may be banned for this, but I have always liked What is this thing
called love? (Mind you now that I think of it Papa has let out a groan
when I've played this song in the past.)
I think Mario does great things with Cole's hammy song & his delivery
of "You took my heart & THREW it away" & his melodramatic "THAT'S WHY
I ASK the lord in heaven above" are right on the money, Mario plays
this song perfectly it's already there in the writing & Mario goes
along with the melodrama & his ending is one of my favourite Lanza
notes lovely & generous & at least on this occassion he doesn't go to
the moon!!
Maybe this is one of my guilty pleasures that we talked about on
Yahoo!

Message has been deleted

Vince Di Placido

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:12:40 PM10/2/13
to
One of favourite guilty pleasures is "Somebody bigger than you & I"
This is as corny as they come BUT Mario is the greatest salesman of
all time & I am buying bigtime!
Muriel's piece -

- on this recording is spot on & I couldn't really add anything to it
but just to echo & say how much I love Mario's great piece of singing-
acting on the lines "When I am weary, filled with despair" & he DOES
sound weary & full of despair but then in the next moment sounds
courageous & inspired, Mario could sell me almost anything & again, as
in the last note of What is this thing called love?, he gives us a
lovely generous note that leaves you glowing.

lamuriella

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:13:31 PM10/2/13
to
Vince, you know there's not a chance that you'd ever be banned! You're
such a dear one. I must admit, I laughed out loud reading your post on
What Is This Thing Called Love? How differently we *hear* Mario's
interpretations. Goes to show, there's something in every piece of
music to satisfy each one of us. Hmmm, I wonder? Do you think someone
will come forth and defend "Falling In Love With Love"?


Guilty pleasures? Did I miss something here? Maybe I was climbing the
Acropolis that day? No matter - here's mine: Fools Rush In. You must
give yourself totally to this one. The more I hear it, the more I love
it. Follow me: "....Though I see the *danger* there, if there's a
chance for me, then I don't caaaare". Without taking a breath he
throws himself into "Fools rush in....... where wisemen never go, but
wisemen never fall in love, so how are they to know?" He soft-pedals
downward - ever so smoothly. "Danger sounds, well... *dangerous*! I
love the hint of a knowing chuckle on the words "so how....". Okay,
heading off to the ending..."When we met, I felt my LIFE begin, so
open up your heart and let this fool rush in". Who cares that he may
have gone sharp on that "life"? This song is a tricky one, indeed, but
what a treat from the master....

Then,  there's I Never Knew.....Just when you want to spank Mario for
his extreme waywardness on the last "I never knew that dreams come
true and took your cares away"....He atones for it all with the
honeyed, "I never knew what love could do, until I met you today."
From devil to angel in a few short breaths....What a tease, eh?

Armando

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May 31, 2014, 12:34:30 AM5/31/14
to
Ciao Derek, I've always maintained that Wanting You, although not
perfect, is an exciting piece of singing as well as a beautiful song.
Ditto for Sweet Mystery of Life, a song I often sang, (in a lower
key!) and which Lanza delivers in a decidedly operatic fashion. Both
are sung passionately but without going over the top.

I'm also very fond of Long Ago and Far Away, The descriptive way in
which Lanza sings the lyrics "chills from up and down my spine," for
example, where  one  can almost feel the chills, and the romantic
touch on the line "that all I longed for long ago was you" is only
matched by Di Stefano in the Italian repertoire.

As Muriel rightly points out, there are great touches in just about
everything he sang including Fools Rush In. What inevitably emerges,
even in flawed performances, is the interpreter.  A man who felt the
music and lyrics with every fibre of his body.

And Vince is right. Even the dreadful What is This Thing Called Love
has its moments.

Derek McGovern

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Oct 23, 2007, 1:15:47 AM10/23/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Please note: This post is not by me (Derek); it's from Jan Hodges.
I've simply moved it here to keep the "Coke" thread tidy.


Aaaah, yes...Begin the Beguine.. This is the song that made me

Christen Mario "King of the Crooners"! No matter who else has sung
it,
No one has ever matched Mario's smoothness.


You are spot on there Muriella. I personally prefer the classical
music
Mario sings,,but Begin the Beguine and the others you mentioned are in
a
class of there own. The silkiness of the vocal quality and delivery
gets to
me every time.
Jan

mort...@gmail.com

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Oct 25, 2007, 8:18:56 AM10/25/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Hello everybody

My name is Bruno, a frenchman of 49 years old; and I litteraly love
Mario Lanza' golden voice.
I have got many records of him and seen four of his movies.
However, I don't have any of the ' Coke Numbers' of Mario...
I know he recorded a lot of them between 1951 and 1952.
So, where can I get these records?


Bruno:

lamuriella

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Oct 25, 2007, 12:36:23 PM10/25/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Hello, Bruno - and welcome!

Yes, the Coca Cola Shows were Mario's radio broadcasts in 1951 and
1952. There are several CDs that have only CC (Coca Cola) songs/arias
on them - My Romance, When Day Is Done and I'll See You In My Dreams.
The latter is not a BMG release, but you may purchase all three CDs
from the Lanza Museum in Philadelphia. If you are interested in the
complete set of 15 CDs, it is also available from the museum. You can
look on their website: www.mario-lanza-institute.org for merchandise
pricing and availability. Their address is: Mario Lanza Institute -
P.O. Box 54624, Philadelphia, PA, 19148-0624 (USA). Telephone number
is: 215-238-9691. You can e-mail them at mariolan...@aol.com.

When you purchase items from the Institute, a portion of the cost goes
to providing scholarships to young singers in Mario's name. These
scholarships are awarded in November of each year at the Annual Mario
Lanza Ball in Philadelphia. (I will be attending it this year.) Some
of the the winners have gone on to sing opera professionally.

Another place to check is Derek's list of reviews on Amazon.com. There
he lists which CDs have Coca Cola music on them. You can order CDs
from Amazon.com, Amazon.uk or Amazon.de. Perhaps he can help you more,
but this is a start. Hope this helps!

Ciao and welcome again! Muriel

> > Jan- Hide quoted text -

Derek McGovern

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Oct 25, 2007, 1:50:58 PM10/25/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Hello, Bruno, and welcome aboard!

I would just add to Muriel's informative answer that Mario's Coke
recordings are scattered throughout many of BMG's Lanza CDs, so you
probably already have quite a few of them! In fact, if you scroll back
to near the beginning of this thread, you'll find a list that I posted
of every Coke number that Mario recorded. There are 156 songs and
arias.

If I had to recommend one all-Coke BMG CD, it would be When Day Is
Done. The *worst* one, in my opinion, is Don't Forget Me.

I hope you enjoy being a member of this forum!

All the best
Derek McGovern

jora...@comcast.net

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Oct 28, 2007, 3:01:33 PM10/28/07
to Mario Lanza, tenor
Derek, Thank you for all the work posting this complete list!!!

I do have to take exception of your choise of "quirky" to describe
Mario's choice n of" Hills Of Home ", however. To me ( and I guess I
am in a small minority on this) this is one of Mario's gems~~~~ where
he so beautifully descibes his feeling ( in this case,
"homesickness"). I think he would get that "transmission of feeling"
to a listener even *if* they didnt understand the language! Nicely
done, indeed methinks!

In two other songs on the list ( which Armando also names), I think he
* again* transmits the emotionto the listener's heart:

"The Trembling of a leaf" ( you can almost feeeelllllll the tremble)
as well as the "Thrill is gone", which is equally filled with
transparent feeling and emotions >

on a separate note all together, you mentioned that only 2 or 3 tracks
on the dismal LOB had *some* merit......which left me wondering, which
of those songs did u have in mind? I do agree that this album
represents some of Lanza,s poorest work ( in addition to his Christmas
album!). The latter boo-boo I always blamed on arrangement, not his
voice.

Joe

On Oct 19, 11:09 pm, "Derek McGovern" <derek.mcgov...@gmail.com>
wrote:

Derek McGovern

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:19:00 PM10/2/13
to
Hi Joe: I don't actually dislike Mario's rendition of The Hills of
Home, though I do prefer the unreleased broadcast version to the LP
and CD take. (For one thing, the ending is better on the broadcast
version.) I certainly agree that he captures the feeling of
homesickness here.  But when I wrote that it was a "quirky" choice, I
meant that I find the song itself somewhat unusual. It never really
"peaks." Also, the melodic line is quite awkward - not an easy song to
sing at all!

I'm very fond of The Trembling of a Leaf. Again, I'm not crazy about
the song itself, but what Mario achieves with his phrasing here is
something rather special. I love the emphasis he gives to such words
as "blooming" and "lips". He's in terrific vocal shape here too.

I'll answer your other question about the LOB tracks on your Lanza"boo-boo" thread!

Message has been deleted

Muriel

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:17:50 PM10/2/13
to
Hi Michael: Your song list is verrrr-y interesting! Now I'll have to
call you a *wayward imp* (that used to be my name long ago) for a
couple of your selections. I'm sure Bob will be happy to see you share
an affection for With A Song In My Heart with him. I'm going to start
a new thread on Mario's CC Intros. Look for the intro to this song,
okay? I like it better than the song!!! Yipes!

Talking about Mario's pronunciations, I am always amused to hear what
I think is a hint of his Philadelphia accent in On The Street Where
You Live - not a CC song, though. I'm not sure where to put my
thought. Anyway, I notice sometimes when Mario sings a word that ends
with a *T* and the next word begins with the same letter, he tends to
run them together. Example: (The Street Where You Live) ".....let the
time go by, I don't care if I...." sounds like, "....let-ta time go
by, etc..". Silly, but I  smile....


Muriel - now - go to my new thread

Mike McAdam

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:15:20 PM10/2/13
to
Not sure if I'm inserting this right after Derek's song listing or
not? I'll find out in a minute)

Being a tardy poster so far I figured I'd better jump in here and
offer my favourites among the English language Coca-Cola songs. They
have been a large part of my musical life as I've played them since
my late teens on my early Lanza LP's which never used to denote their
origin (i.e: I never knew back then that they were anything but RCA
Victor studio recordings).

My top 20 would have to be:

1.      Some Day
2.      Without A Song
3.      A Kiss
....and the rest, in no particular order:

4.      I'll See You Again
5.      Long Ago (And Far Away)
6.      If You Are But a Dream
7.      With a Song In My Heart  (I'm with Mr. Davies on this one)
8.      My Romance
9.      The Trembling Of a Leaf
10.     I'll Be Seeing You
11.     Begin the Beguine
12.     If
13.     You & the Night & the Music
14.     Roses Of Picardy
15.     Trees
16.     Sylvia
17.     The Thrill Is Gone
18.     Night & Day
19.     Somebody Bigger Than You & I
20.     Yesterdays (not 'Diane' :-)

A handful of others might have made my list but good old Mario either
yelped, shouted, was blown away by Sinatra at the close or insisted
on
being a Yank and singing "doo" instead of "dew" (yeah, some of us
Canucks do it also!).
Some in that category, just to name two or three, would be:
1.      Wanting You
2.      Through the Years
3.      When Day Is Done....etc.

Cheers, Mike

Derek McGovern

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Oct 2, 2013, 11:02:21 PM10/2/13
to mario...@googlegroups.com, jora...@comcast.net
Since we've been talking so much about the lesser Coke material on The Toast of Hollywood CD set, I thought I'd reopen this old discussion with the aim of highlighting the best of the Coke recordings---especially those from the Great American Songbook. What classic American songs do you feel that Lanza made his own (or at least did justice to)? And while I think of it: since the Coke arrangements of these numbers are so often criticized (rightly, in my opinion!), what are the songs that you feel are well arranged?           

norma

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Oct 3, 2013, 10:39:40 AM10/3/13
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Hi Derek I am so pleased that the forum is up and running.Here are some of my favourite Mario American songs ;Wonder Why,The night is young,Sylvia ,You do Something to me and Someday.I especially like the arrangement for Wonder Why.

Norma

Vincent Di Placido

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Oct 5, 2013, 3:24:24 PM10/5/13
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Great to read these again, Muriel writes such lovely posts.
The Coke recordings are such a curosity really, I can't think of any other artsist who's discography relies on so many radio transcriptions... What I will say is when Mario was in the zone & the material was right the results were as good as, and sometimes better than his official RCA ressions...
BUT those sessions shouldn't define Mario as an artist, actally the only other project that comes close to the popular material that makes up so much of the Coke material is "Lanza on Broadway" other than that Mario never indulged in so much American Songbook material on any other project, as great as these songs can be they weren't what Mario was about as an artist if you look at his entire career...

lamuriella

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Feb 3, 2019, 4:51:00 AM2/3/19
to mario...@googlegroups.com
Oh, I prefer the version with the A-flat ending - perfect. The high C
ending is much too startling and scary for me....it leaves me
wondering what possessed Mario to go off like that! I should make a
list of all the over-the-top endings from the CC Shows. Sometimes that
is what spoils the whole song for me. I have another idea as
well....be back later..lM


Derek McGovern

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Feb 8, 2019, 12:29:59 AM2/8/19
to Mario Lanza, Tenor
Here's an old discussion that's well worth visiting/revisiting/contributing to. Be sure to start with the first post!
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