|Birth name||Francesco Nunzio Carlone|
|Also known as||Frankie Carle,
The Wizard of the Keyboard
March 25, 1903|
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Died||March 7, 2001
Mesa, Arizona, U.S.
|Genres||Big band, easy listening, pop standard, piano|
Frankie Carle (March 25, 1903 - March 7, 2001), born Francis Nunzio Carlone, was an American pianist and bandleader. As a very popular bandleader in the 1940s and 1950s, Carle was nicknamed "The Wizard of the Keyboard". "Sunrise Serenade" was Carle's best-known composition, rising to No. 1 in the US in 1938 and selling more than one million copies.
Carle was born in Providence, Rhode Island on March 25, 1903. Born the son of a factory worker who could not afford a piano, he practiced on a dummy keyboard devised by his uncle, pianist Nicholas Colangelo, until he found a broken-down instrument in a dance hall. In 1916, a teenage Carle began working with his uncle's band as well as a number of local bands in the Rhode Island area. To gain further popularity in an America which still held prejudices against many Italian Americans, Carle did what many singers, like Dean Martin and Jerry Vale did during this time period; he changed his name from Carlone to Carle.
Carle started out working with a number of mainstream dance bands. He received attention when he joined the band: Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights in 1939. He later becoming co-leader of the band. The popularity he attained while with Heidt’s band allowed him to leave the band in 1944 and form his own band, named, The Frankie Carle Orchestra. His band disbanded after 1955 and he performed mainly as a soloist thereafter. From the 1950s until the 1980s, Carle performed as a single artist and maintained a close following of loyal fans.
- Frankie Carle Encores, Columbia (C-70 78 RPM Set, 1943)
- Carle Comes Calling, Columbia (CL-6002 10" Lp, 1948)
- Roses In Rhythm, Columbia (CL-6032 10" Lp/C-174 78 RPM Set, 1949)
- Frankie Carle and his Girl Friends, Columbia (CL-6018 10" Lp, 1948)
- Frankie Carle Dance Parade, Columbia (CL-6047 10" Lp, 1949)
- At The Piano, Columbia (CL-6075 10" Lp, 1949)
- Carle Meets The Masters, Columbia (CL-6085 10" Lp, 1950)
- Frankie Carle Plays Honky Tonk, RCA Victor (LPM-26, 1951)
- Top Pops, RCA Victor (LPM-3024, 1952)
- For Me And My Gal, RCA Victor (LPM-3059, 1952)
- Frankie Carle's Piano Party, Columbia (CL-531, 1953)
- Honky Tonk Piano, RCA Victor (LPM-1188, 1956)
- Cocktail Time with Frankie Carle, RCA Victor (LPM-1221, 1956)
- Frankie Carle's Sweethearts, RCA Victor (LPM 1222, 1956)
- Mediterranean Cruise, RCA Victor (LPM-1275, 1956)
- Frankie Carle's Finest, RCA Victor (LPM-1153, 1957)
- Around The World, RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-1499, 1958)
- 37 Favorites For Dancing, RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-1868, 1958)
- The Piano Style of Frankie Carle, RCA Camden (CAL 478, 1959)
- Show Stoppers for Dance Time, RCA Victor (LPM-1963, 1959)
- The Golden Touch, RCA Victor (LPM-2139, 1959)
- Take Me Along, RCA Victor (LSP-2142, 1959)
- A Carle-Load of Hits, RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-2148, 1959)
- Top Of The Mark (Featuring Darryl Stevens), RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-2233, 1960)
- Honky-Tonk Hits by the Dozen, RCA Victor (LSP-2491, 1962)
- 30 Hits of the Flaming 40s, RCA Victor (LPM-2881, LSP-2504, 1962)
- 30 Hits of the Tuneful '20s RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-2592, 1963)
- 30 Hits of the Thundering 30s, RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-2593, 1963)
- Roses in Rhythm, Columbia (CL 913, 1963)
- Plays Cocktail Piano, RCA Custom (CPM/CSP-112, 1964)
- Frankie Carle Plays the Big Imported Hits, RCA Victor (LSP-2920, 1964)
- Frankie Carle Plays the Great Piano Hits, RCA Victor (LSP-3425, 1965)
- Era The 50's Dot (DLP 25928, 1966)
- Frankie Carle, Dot (DLP 25789, 1967)
- Somewhere My Love, Dot (DLP 25802/25804, 1967)
- Era: The 40's, Dot (DLP 25877, 1968)
- Ridin' High, Vocalion (VL 3622, )
- Sunrise Serenade, Harmony (HS 11217, )
Carle's music was known for being light because of his buoyant touch; this resulted in romantic, danceable melodies which were very popular. His major compositions included "Sunrise Serenade", "Falling Leaves", "Roses in the Rain", "Lover's Lullaby", "Swing and a Miss", "Syncopated Doll", "This Day", "Travelin' Mood", "When Your Lips Met Mine", "Why Oh Why", "You Are There", "You and the Stars and Me", "Carle Boogie", "Sunrise Boogie", "Sunrise in Napoli", "Georgianna", "Blue Fantasy", "I Didn't Know", "The Golden Touch" and "The Apple Valley Waltz".
Later years and death
In 1989, Carle was Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame alongside such other greats as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. Carle died of natural causes in Mesa, Arizona in 2001, a few weeks shy of his 98th birthday. Catholic, Carle had a mass of Christian burial at the Holy Cross Church in Mesa, Arizona. He is survived by his daughter, Marjorie Hughes, granddaughter, Susan Douce, and great-granddaughter, Veronica.
- Ralph Patt, jazz guitarist who toured with Carle
- Lagumina, Salvatore, et al. (2000). The Italian American Experience. Westport: Greenwood Press.
- Walker, Leo (1989). The Big Band Alamanac. Hollywood: Da Capo Press.
- New York Times obituary: "Frankie Carle, 97, Band Leader Who Wrote 'Sunrise Serenade'", by William H. Honan, March 10, 2001
- Frankie Carle at Solid!
- Frankie Carle at Space Age Pop Music
- Frankie Carle at Musicmatch Guide