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Carle circa 1943
|Birth name||Francesco Nunzio Carlone|
|Also known as||Frankie Carle,
The Wizard of the Keyboard
March 25, 1903|
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
|Died||March 7, 2001
Mesa, Arizona, United States
|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, such as 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 Horace Heidt and His Musical Knights in 1939. He later became 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, The Frankie Carle Orchestra. When his daughter, Marjorie Hughes, sang with his band, he did not reveal their relationship until Walter Winchell published it. 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.
During World War II, he participated in the V-Disc program, making recordings which were released by the U.S. War Department. He introduced V-Disc No. 210A which featured his new composition "Moonlight Whispers". "Sunrise Serenade" was released as a V-Disc by the U.S. War Department in July, 1944 as No. 230A in a new recording by Frankie Carle and his Orchestra.
- 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)
- Ridin' High, Vocalion (VL 3622, 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)
- The Fabulous Frankie Carle (HL 7140, 1961)
- Honky-Tonk Hits by the Dozen, RCA Victor (LSP-2491, 1962)
- 30 Hits of the Flaming '40s, RCA Victor (LPM-2594, LSP-2594, c1963)
- 30 Hits of the Tuneful '20s, RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-2592, 1963)
- 30 Hits of the Thundering '30s, RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-2593, 1963)
30 Hits of the Fantastic '50s, RCA Victor (LPM/LSP-2881, c1964)
- 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)
- The Tropical Style of Frankie Carle, RCA Victor (LPM 3609, 1966)
- The Best of Frankie Carle, RCA Victor (LSP 3469, 1966)
- Frankie Carle, Dot (DLP 25789, 1967)
- Somewhere My Love, Dot (DLP 25802/25804, 1967)
- Sunrise Serenade, Harmony (HS 11217, 1967)
- Era: The 30's, Dot (DLP 25847, 1968)
- Era: The 40's, Dot (DLP 25877, 1968)
- Era: The 50's, Dot (DLP 25928, 1969)
- The Best Of, RCA Victor (LSP-3469, 1975)
The Golden Touch Of Frankie Carle, Good Music Records (GMR80032, p1984)
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", "A Lover's Lullaby", "Swing and a Miss", "Syncopated Doll", "This Day", "Travelin' Mood", "When Your Lips Met Mine", "Oh! What It Seemed To Be", "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", "The Apple Valley Waltz", and "Moonlight Whispers" released as V Disc 210A in 1944 by the U.S. War Department.
In 1989, Carle was Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame alongside such other greats as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. In 1968, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. On February 8, 1960, he received a star (at 1751 Hollywood Boulevard) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The legendary pianist and educator Joanne Brackeen has credited him with inspiring her early self-studies on the instrument.
Later years and death
Carle died of natural causes in Mesa, Arizona, in 2001, a few weeks shy of his 98th birthday. A Roman Catholic, Carle had a Mass of Christian burial at Holy Cross Church in Mesa, Arizona. He is survived by his daughter, Marjorie Hughes Wahl, granddaughter Susan Zimmerman, grandson Richard 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.
- "Frankie Carle". Spaceagepop.com. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- Gilliland 1994, tape 2, side B.
- Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 3, side B.
- Patterson, Pat (April 12, 1944). "On The Beam". The Mason City Globe-Gazette. p. 2. Retrieved July 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Frankie Carle Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- "Frankie Carle". Rhode Island Hall of Fame Historical Archive. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Frankie Carle". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Frankie Carle". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "A Woman of Many Hats". The Pace Report by Brian Pace at Vimeo. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
- 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