Joe Mooney (musician)
Joe Mooney (right) and Andy Fitzgerald, New York, ca. October 1946.
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb
|Born||March 14, 1911|
Paterson, New Jersey, United States
|Died||May 12, 1975 (aged 64)|
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Mooney's first job, at age 12, was playing the piano for requests called in to a local radio station. He and his brother, Dan, played together on radio broadcasts in the late 1920s, and recorded between 1929 and 1931 as the Sunshine Boys and the Melotone Boys; both sang while Joe accompanied on piano. They continued performing together on WLW in Cincinnati until 1936, after which time Dan Mooney left the music industry.
In 1937, Mooney began working as a pianist and arranger for Frank Dailey,:505 a role he reprised with Buddy Rogers in 1938. Through the early 1940s he arranged for Paul Whiteman,:453 Vincent Lopez, Larry Clinton, Les Brown, and The Modernaires.
He put together his own quartet in 1943; he sang and played accordion with accompaniment on guitar, bass, and clarinet. This group experienced considerable success in the United States in the last half of the 1940s. In 1946, a newspaper columnist wrote that Mooney's music "has the most cynical hot jazz critics describing it in joyous terms such as 'exciting,' 'new,' 'the best thing since Ellington,' [and] 'as new to jazz as the first Dixieland jazz band was when it first arrived.'" As for Mooney himself, the columnist wrote that he "played in virtuoso fashion ... a fellow who knows not only his instrument, but jazz music, both to just about the ultimate degree."
In the 1950s, Mooney sang with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra,:463 and he played with Johnny Smith in 1953. After moving to Florida in 1954 he concentrated more on organ. He recorded again in 1956.
In 1963, a group of friends formed a company to produce a record, "Joe Mooney and His Friends." He recorded again in the middle of the 1960s.
- You Go to My Head (Decca Records, 1955) (Recorded 1946-47)
- Joe Mooney's Song (Atlantic Records, 1956)
- Lush Life (Atlantic Records, 1956)
- The Greatness of Joe Mooney (Columbia Records, May 1964)
- The Happiness of Joe Mooney (Columbia Records, 1965)
- Rock, Doc. "The Dead Rock Stars Club - The 1970s". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- Campbell, Mary (August 31, 1963). "Records In Review". Pennsylvania, Oil City. The Oil City Derrick. p. 5. Retrieved April 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Simon, George T. (1981).Simon Says, 4th Edition. Schirmer Books. ISBN 0-02-872430-5 p. 129
- O'Brian, Jack (November 27, 1946). "Along Broadway". Maryland, Cumberland. Cumberland Evening Times. p. 3. Retrieved April 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.