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Fina in 1948.
August 13, 1913|
Passaic, New Jersey
|Died||May 14, 1970
Sherman Oaks, California
|Associated acts||Clyde McCoy
Known as "The Ten Most Talented Fingers On Radio", Fina was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and educated at the New York College of Music and was a student of August Fraemcke and Elsa Nicilini. He started out playing piano in Clyde McCoy's band sometime in the 1930s, but it wasn't until he joined Freddy Martin’s band in 1936 that he gained real fame, when he was featured on Martin’s famous recording of "Tonight We Love".
After leaving Martin in 1946, Fina formed his own 16-piece band. His first appearance was at the Claremont Hotel. The vocals were handled by Harry Prime and Gil Lewis. With good air time and good recordings, Fina became a national figure. Because of this, Fina appeared at some of the top venues in the country, including the Waldorf-Astoria the Aragon Ballroom and the famous illegal gambling casino/night club in Galveston, the Balinese Room. He also appeared in several films, including Melody Time (sequence Bumble Boogie, 1948) and Disc Jockey (1951). A noted songwriter, his credits included Dream Sonata (his theme song), Chango and Piano Portraits.
In the 1950s, he reduced the size of his band and settled in San Francisco. He also operated a talent agency called the Concerto Music & Entertainment Agency with his manager Al King. In the early 1960s, Fina led a small band at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he remained for a successful eight years. It was also around the same time that he appeared, as a single, on Dick Sinclair’s television show.
- Disney A to Z : The updated official Encyclopedia, Dave Smith p 81