Vincent Lopez

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Vincent López
Lopez in a 1942 advertisement
Lopez in a 1942 advertisement
Background information
Born(1895-12-30)December 30, 1895
Brooklyn, New York City
DiedSeptember 20, 1975(1975-09-20) (aged 79)
North Miami, Florida, US
Vincent Lopez and his band in the early 1920s

Vincent Lopez (December 30, 1895 – September 20, 1975)[1] was an American bandleader, actor, and pianist.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Vincent Lopez was born of Portuguese immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York City, United States,[3] and was leading his own dance band in New York City by 1916.[1] On November 27, 1921, his band began broadcasting on the new medium of entertainment radio; the band's weekly 90-minute show on the Newark, New Jersey, station WJZ boosted the popularity of both himself and of radio.[4][5][6] He became one of America's most popular bandleaders, and would retain that status through the 1940s.[1]

He began his radio programs by announcing "Hello everybody, Lopez speaking!"[1] His theme song was "Nola", Felix Arndt's novelty ragtime piece of 1915, and Lopez became so identified with it that he occasionally satirized it. (His 1939 movie short for Vitaphone, Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra, features the entire band singing "Down with Nola".)

Lopez worked occasionally in feature films, notably The Big Broadcast (1932) and as a live-action feature in the Max Fleischer cartoon I Don't Want to Make History (1936). In 1940, he was one of the first bandleaders to work in Soundies movie musicals. He made additional Soundies in 1944.

Noted musicians who played in his band included Artie Shaw, Xavier Cugat, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Mike Mosiello, Fred Lowery, and Glenn Miller.[1] He also featured singers Keller Sisters and Lynch, Betty Hutton, and Marion Hutton. Lopez's longtime drummer was the irreverent Mike Riley, who popularized the novelty hit "The Music Goes Round and Round".

Lopez's flamboyant style of piano playing influenced such later musicians as Eddy Duchin and Liberace.

In 1941, Lopez's Orchestra began a residency at the Taft Hotel in Manhattan that would last 25 years.[1]

In the early 1950s, Lopez along with Gloria Parker hosted a radio program broadcast from the Taft Hotel called Shake the Maracas in which audience members competed for small prizes by playing maracas with the orchestra.

Vincent Lopez died at the Villa Maria nursing home in North Miami, Florida, on September 20, 1975.[2]

Big band / swing-era music[edit]

  • Early In The Morning, recorded by Vincent Lopez on Columbia Records, lyrics and music by Gloria Parker
  • Here Comes That Mood, recorded by Vincent Lopez, music and lyrics by Gloria Parker
  • In Santiago by the Sea, recorded by Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra, music and lyrics by Gloria Parker
  • I Learned To Rumba', recorded by Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra, music and lyrics by Gloria Parker
  • My Dream Christmas, recorded by Vincent Lopez, lyrics and music by Gloria Parker
  • Shake The Maracas, name of a radio program on WABC hosted by Vincent Lopez and Gloria Parker, lyrics and music by Gloria Parker
  • When Our Country Was Born, recorded by Vincent Lopez, lyrics and music by Gloria Parker

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1515. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b Alden Whitman (September 21, 1975). "Vincent Lopez, Bandleader, Dies at 80. Durable Maestro and Pianist Made 'Nola' His Trademark". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2014. Vincent Lopez, the orchestra leader whose popularity in person, on the radio and on television lasted more than half a century, died yesterday in the Villa Maria, a nursing home in North Miami, Fla. He was 80 years old. ...
  3. ^ "P.A.H.R. Foundation -- Distinguished Portuguese-Americans". Archived from the original on April 1, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2008. Distinguished Americans & Canadians of Portuguese Descent
  4. ^ Pat Browne, The guide to United States Popular Culture. Popular Press, 2001, p. 611. ISBN 0-87972-821-3
  5. ^ Craig's Big Bands and Big Names, Lopez,
  6. ^ Brother Vincent Lopez: Anatomy of a Band Leader,

External links[edit]