Sunday, May 15, 2016

Julius La Rosa, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Julius La Rosa, the celebrated 1950s singer who reinvented himself as a television, stage and nightclub performer after his young career was thrown into turmoil by a bizarre and humiliating on-the-air firing by Arthur Godfrey before a national audience, died on Thursday at his home in Crivitz, Wis. He was 86.


Deb said...

I'm glad he had a productive post-firing career. That was NOT Arthur Godfrey's finest moment.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Just to show you how old I am, my first favorite song as a kid was Eh Cumpari by Julis LaRosa. I'd make my mother play it over and over and over.

I never, ever like Arthur Godfrey.

Unknown said...

I like that one, too, Jeff. My family was watching the show the night La Rosa was fired. We couldn't quite figure out if it had really happened. It was a pretty big deal at the time. I don't think we ever watched Godfrey again.

Ed Gorman said...

Godfrey was a terrible terrible guy.

Don Coffin said...

I knew nothing at the time--I was 5--but my parents never watched Godfrey after that happened. My mom thought he was a wonderful singer (my dad referred Patti Page). (At the time, I was a Jerry Colonna...we had a comedy album of his that I played every chance I got.)

The NYTimes:

"Mr. Godfrey — a folksy, sentimental ukulele strummer to his audiences but an imperious, tyrannical boss behind the sets — ordered all his entertainers to take dancing lessons....He also insisted that his performers not work for outside interests and not be represented by personal agents...Feeling exploited, Mr. La Rosa did both."

Petty tyrant sounds about right.