NEWS RELEASE ISSUED SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 BY MISSOURI SOUTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY
Mario Lanza CD Release, Marathon
JOPLIN, MO (SNS) - MSSU is celebrating the "Italy Semester" and MSSU's long-running radio show "Southern Serenade" is featuring Italian–American tenor Mario Lanza from a new Sony 2-disc CD release on the evening of a Mario Lanza movie marathon on TV's Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel.
Born in Philadelphia in 1921, Alfredo Arnold Cocozza became Mario Lanza, destined for a career as an engaging operatic tenor, not on the traditional opera stage, but on the Hollywood sound stages of the late 1940s and 1950s. Although never becoming a great actor, Lanza's good looks, magnetic personality and great musical talent propelled him into a successful movie career shortened only by an early death at the age of 38.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM), in conjunction with Sony Masterworks has released a new 2-disc CD album called "Mario Lanza: The Toast of Hollywood." While the second disc in the set features Lanza from his radio show of the 1950s, the first disc, entitled "A Tenor at the Movies," features music from Lanza's MGM film years. It is from this disc that radio host Jeff Skibbe will present Lanza singing an excerpt from Sigmund Romberg's "The Student Prince."
Audience members may recall "Drink, Drink, Drink" from a recent Aquafina commercial. Lanza recorded the song on August 5, 1952, and it was lip-synched by actor Edmund Purdom in MGM's 1954 musical film release. TCM will air "The Student Prince" Thursday, September 19th at 1 a.m. Joplin time.
At the close of Wednesday's "Southern Serenade," Mario Lanza sings "The Loveliest Night of the Year," Irving Aaronson's pop remake of Juventino Rosas' "Sobre las Olas" (Over the Waves), long recognized as iconic circus music. Lanza recorded the song on February 23, 1951. It is featured in the 1951 MGM biopic "The Great Caruso," the life story of the great Italian tenor whose own operatic career, like Lanza's, also was cut short. TCM will broadcast "The Great Caruso" Wednesday night at 11 p.m. Joplin time.
The Mario Lanza musical selections will be featured on "Southern Serenade" Wednesday night, September 18, at 5 p.m. on 88.7KXMS/Fine Arts Radio International. The Lanza TCM movie marathon begins Wednesday night at 7 p.m. (CT) with "The Seven Hills of Rome" (1957) and ends five films later, Thursday morning at 5 a.m.
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