Larry Ferrari

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Larry Ferrari (1932 – November 20, 1997), born Lazarus Louis Ferrari, was an American organist who hosted The Larry Ferrari Show from 1954 to 1997 on WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, a weekly Sunday morning half hour program of organ music.

Biography[edit]

Ferrari was born in Boston. He changed his name to "Larry" when a nun suggested he Americanize it. Ferrari's career in music started as a young child of 11 years old, performing at his local church. Not long after he was playing at a local skating rink.

His career in broadcasting got its start shortly after he joined the United States Army in 1952. It was there, while idly passing the time during leave by playing the organ, that he came to the notice of his Commanding Officer as a likely person to put on the "Soldier Parade" with Arlene Francis (later of What's My Line? fame). Shortly afterward, Ferrari performed on a number of public service recordings that were distributed coast to coast. An avid amateur radio operator, he held the call of WA2MKI and was heard nearly daily on the air talking to his friends as he drove to and from his home in New Jersey to the television studio.[citation needed]

The Larry Ferrari Show was seen in the Delaware Valley for 43 years on Sunday mornings. (Its theme music was his instrumental version of "Once In A While.")[citation needed] Ferrari's show lasted longer than any other show on Channel 6, with the exception of Chief Halftown.[1] He was also the Lowrey Organ company's National Concert Artist. He also made cameo appearances as the house "band" on the syndicated Wheel of Fortune during their visit to the former Philadelphia Civic Center in Fall 1992.

The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia [2] posthumously inducted Ferrari into their Hall of Fame in 2000.

Death[edit]

Ferrari's last broadcast aired on Sunday, November 30, 1997 at 6:30 am. A resident of Cinnaminson Township, New Jersey, Ferrari died of leukemia at age 65 on November 20, 1997.[2]

Legacy[edit]

On November 16, 2000, Ferrari was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. The award was accepted on his behalf by longtime colleague W. Carter Merbreier (Captain Noah and His Magical Ark). Ferrari provided the music for Captain Noah, Chief Halftown, and Dialing for Dollars. Teaching many classes at Fox Chase elementary school in Philadelphia, Ferrari also helped teach school children music.

Recordings[edit]

1. Relax, RCA Victor LPM-1496 (mono)
2. Reminiscwe, RCA Victor Living Stereo LSP-1850 (Schwann catalog 1-59)

3. At the Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ-Detroit Senate Theatre

4. Encore-Detroit Senate Wurlitzer

5. Hawaiian Favorites

6. My Favorite Hymns

7. I Wish You The Merriest(Christmas)

8. Memories

9. Merry Christmas Carols

10.Most Requested T.V. Favorites


Source: Schwann Catalog, April 1960 p. 203

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Staff. "Larry Ferrari", The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 21, 1997. Accessed June 18, 2012. "Larry Ferrari, 65, a Philadelphia institution who played the organ on his own show on Channel 6 for 40 years, died yesterday of cancer at his home in Cinnaminson."