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Unconfirmed: singer Julius La Rosa
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That Derek
2016-05-13 14:34:54 UTC
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Some woman claiming she was a close friend of Julius La Rosa's just called up the Mark Simone Show here on NYC's WOR-AM to report that he had just died.

More to follow.
Bryan Styble
2016-05-13 15:25:41 UTC
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Monday, October 19, 1953...a date which will live in radio infamy.

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
Larc
2016-05-13 20:47:20 UTC
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On Fri, 13 May 2016 08:25:41 -0700 (PDT), Bryan Styble <***@gmail.com>
wrote:

| Monday, October 19, 1953...a date which will live in radio infamy.

It was a total a**hole reveal that Arthur Godfrey was never able to recover from.

Larc
MJ Emigh
2016-05-13 22:15:57 UTC
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Post by Larc
It was a total a**hole reveal that Arthur Godfrey was never able to recover from.
That it is remembered today is evidence of that. It's not something I should remember, since it happened a year before I was born. But, people still talked about it through the next couple of decades. It feels like I witnessed it happening live.

If anyone knows who Godfrey was is asked to list three things about him, I'm sure that LaRosa would be one of the three. I guess that's still better than OJ, though.
Bryan Styble
2016-05-13 22:27:49 UTC
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Three Godfrey facts:

1) Long identified with ukulele playing.

2) Had red hair.

3) Was the most successful man in American show business for a few years prior to Monday, October 19, 1953, or more precisely, before his forced press conference on Tuesday, October 20, 1953.

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
MJ Emigh
2016-05-13 22:41:35 UTC
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So, this made me think about something. I never knew the origin of the term "swan song." I really love knowing useless stuff like that. It's amazingly easy to get information these days, isn't it? Well, here's what I found out (it's from Wikipedia, so take it for what it's worth):

"The phrase refers to an ancient belief that swans sing a beautiful song in the moment just before death, having been silent during most of their lifetime."
c***@aol.com
2016-05-14 05:15:21 UTC
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Post by That Derek
Some woman claiming she was a close friend of Julius La Rosa's just called up the Mark Simone Show here on NYC's WOR-AM to report that he had just died.
More to follow.
As of 1 AM EDT, I have found no verification anywhere of the death of Mr. La Rosa.
Please provide a reliable news source for this information. Thank you.
That Derek
2016-05-14 05:24:01 UTC
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That's why I headlined the posting with the word "Unconfirmed."
chaptal
2016-05-15 14:59:44 UTC
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Post by That Derek
Some woman claiming she was a close friend of Julius La Rosa's just called up the Mark Simone Show here on NYC's WOR-AM to report that he had just died.
More to follow.
Confirmed.

http://pix11.com/2016/05/15/julius-la-rosa-dead-at-86-singer-was-fired-live-on-arthur-godfrey-show/
marcus
2016-05-15 15:34:02 UTC
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Post by chaptal
Post by That Derek
Some woman claiming she was a close friend of Julius La Rosa's just called up the Mark Simone Show here on NYC's WOR-AM to report that he had just died.
More to follow.
Confirmed.
http://pix11.com/2016/05/15/julius-la-rosa-dead-at-86-singer-was-fired-live-on-arthur-godfrey-show/
This is what Wikipedia says about the "LaRosa incident"


"Like many men of his generation, Julius LaRosa as well as other male Godfrey cast members thought dance lessons to be somewhat effeminate and chafed when Godfrey ordered them for his entire performing crew. Metz suggested that Godfrey instituted the practice because his own physical limitations made him sensitive to the need for coordination on camera. "Godfrey," Metz wrote, "was concerned about his cast in his paternalistic way."

Godfrey and LaRosa had a dispute when LaRosa missed a dance lesson due to a family emergency. He claimed he'd advised Godfrey, but was nonetheless barred from the show for a day in retaliation, via a notice placed on a cast bulletin board. LaRosa attempted to discuss the incident with Godfrey at the hotel where the host resided during the week, but Godfrey walked by him and refused to discuss anything with him. At that point, LaRosa retained topnotch manager Tommy Rockwell to renegotiate his contract with Godfrey or, failing that, to receive an outright release. However, such talks had yet to occur.

LaRosa was also signed to Cadence Records, founded by Godfrey's musical director Archie Bleyer, who produced "Eh, Cumpari!", the best-selling hit of LaRosa's musical career. LaRosa admitted the record's success had made him a little cocky. Godfrey discovered that LaRosa hired Rockwell in the wake of the dance lesson reprimand when he received a letter from Rockwell dictating that all dealings with LaRosa would go through General Artists Corporation, Rockwell's agency. At that point Godfrey immediately consulted with CBS President Dr. Frank Stanton, who noted that Godfrey had hired LaRosa on-air (after his initial appearance on Talent Scouts) and suggested firing him the same way. Whether Stanton intended this to occur after Godfrey spoke with LaRosa and his managers about the singer's future on the show, or whether Stanton suggested Godfrey actually fire LaRosa on air with no warning, is unknown. Soon after the firings, Stanton conceded "maybe this was a mistake."

On October 19, 1953, near the end of his morning radio show — deliberately waiting until after the television portion had ended — after lavishing praise on LaRosa in introducing the singer's performance of "Manhattan," Godfrey thanked him and then announced that this was LaRosa's "swan song" with the show, adding, "He goes now, out on his own — as his own star — soon to be seen on his own programs, and I know you'll wish him godspeed as much as I do". Godfrey then signed off for the day saying, "This is the CBS Radio Network". LaRosa, who had to be told what the phrase "swan song" meant, was dumbfounded, since he had not been informed beforehand of his departure and contract renegotiations had yet to happen. In perhaps a further illumination of the ego that Godfrey had formerly kept hidden, radio historian Gerald Nachman, in Raised on Radio, claims that what really miffed Godfrey about his now-former protege was that LaRosa's fan mail had come to outnumber Godfrey's.[10] It is likely that a combination of these factors led to Godfrey's decision to discharge LaRosa. It is not likely Godfrey expected the public outcry that ensued, a result of the incident running directly counter to Godfrey's avuncular image.

The LaRosa incident opened an era of controversy that swirled around Godfrey and gradually destroyed his folksy image. LaRosa was beloved enough by Godfrey's fans that they saved their harshest criticism for Godfrey himself. After the firing, a press conference was held by LaRosa and his agent. Shortly afterward, Godfrey further complicated the matter at a press conference of his own where he responded that LaRosa had lost his "humility". The charge, given Godfrey's sudden baring of his own ego beneath the facade of warmth, brought mockery from the public and press.[10] Almost instantly, Godfrey and the phrase "no humility" became the butt of many comedians' jokes. He later claimed he had given LaRosa a release from his contract that the singer requested. Godfrey, however, provided no evidence to support that contention."
Larc
2016-05-15 17:49:45 UTC
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On Sun, 15 May 2016 07:59:44 -0700 (PDT), chaptal <***@gmail.com> wrote:

| On Friday, May 13, 2016 at 10:34:56 AM UTC-4, That Derek wrote:
| > Some woman claiming she was a close friend of Julius La Rosa's just called up the Mark Simone Show here on NYC's WOR-AM to report that he had just died.
| >
| > More to follow.
|
| Confirmed.

Julius La Rosa, pop singer known for his hit song “Eh, Cumpari,” has died at the age
of 86, according to the Associated Press.

His death was confirmed Saturday by his daughter, Maria La Rosa Smith, and Joe
Charapata of the Rhodes-Charapata Funeral Home. Smith said her father died in his
sleep of natural causes Thursday at his home in Crivitz, Wisconsin.

La Rosa was born in Brooklyn, New York. He joined the Navy and sang in the Navy
choir.

He auditioned for Arthur Godfrey while in the Navy and was hired by Godfrey to be a
performer on his variety show “Arthur Godfrey and His Friends” as soon as he was
discharged.

La Rosa was very popular on the show and eventually was receiving thousands of fan
letters each week. Godfrey and La Rosa had a falling out and La Rosa was infamously
fired by Godfrey on air during a live broadcast.

La Rosa was then hired by Ed Sullivan to appear on his show “The Toast the Town” and
later he hosted his own show, “The Julius La Rosa Show.”

He had his biggest hit record in 1953 with the song “Eh, Cumpari,” which made it to
Number 2 on the Billboard charts.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/greenbaypressgazette/obituary.aspx?n=julius-la-rosa&pid=179998882

Larc
Bryan Styble
2016-05-16 06:29:17 UTC
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The most famous firing in broadcasting history is fascinating for any number of reasons, perhaps none more so than this: that while Godfrey of course thought he was dismissing La Rosa, he was ironically in effect firing HIMSELF--from his solid position as America's most popular entertainer--although that wouldn't become apparent until several days after Godfrey's hastily-arranged presser on the day after, Tuesday, October 20, 1953. Godfrey nowadays is sometimes called a forgotten man, but you have to have heard something before you can forget it, and it is disturbing how many under-40 types have never heard Godfrey's name.

But what is downright AMAZING is how many aging folk, even to this day, are absolutely CONVINCED they watched Godfrey cashier La Rosa with the words "swan song" on television. But in fact, history shows that the TV portion of the daily simulcast had already ended by the time La Rosa sang "Manhattan" about 11:40 am--with Godfrey's young writer Andy Rooney in the CBS Radio control booth, incidentally--so that ONLY the national radio audience was able to experience La Rosa's humiliating moment live.

Yet another reason radio is a superior medium to television.

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
marcus
2016-05-16 14:56:32 UTC
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Post by Bryan Styble
The most famous firing in broadcasting history is fascinating for any number of reasons, perhaps none more so than this: that while Godfrey of course thought he was dismissing La Rosa, he was ironically in effect firing HIMSELF--from his solid position as America's most popular entertainer--although that wouldn't become apparent until several days after Godfrey's hastily-arranged presser on the day after, Tuesday, October 20, 1953. Godfrey nowadays is sometimes called a forgotten man, but you have to have heard something before you can forget it, and it is disturbing how many under-40 types have never heard Godfrey's name.
But what is downright AMAZING is how many aging folk, even to this day, are absolutely CONVINCED they watched Godfrey cashier La Rosa with the words "swan song" on television. But in fact, history shows that the TV portion of the daily simulcast had already ended by the time La Rosa sang "Manhattan" about 11:40 am--with Godfrey's young writer Andy Rooney in the CBS Radio control booth, incidentally--so that ONLY the national radio audience was able to experience La Rosa's humiliating moment live.
Yet another reason radio is a superior medium to television.
BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
I was only three years old when the famous firing occurred, but I heard about it all the time when I was a few years older. My parents watched Godfrey all the time (and before I was born listened to him on the radio). They loved the guy. I don't recall them ever judging him harshly, even for the LaRosa firing. He was still considered a person one could rely upon for his honesty in endorsing products via commercials.

One thing that people forget (or never knew) is that he was one of the first celebrities to speak out about the dangers facing the environment. I recall him being very pissed off when he discovered that the ingredients in a laundry detergent he advertised contained harmful chemicals. He publicly disavowed the product (this was circa 1969/1970).

In his much later years, when I lived in AZ, he did commercials for a retirement community called "Leisure World" in that slow deep voice, drawing out the words almost into a sentence.

A guy, who I became friends with back in those days, and I still make each other laugh imitating that commercial along with the "how are ya, how are ya, how are ya" trademark saying of Godfrey's. I doubt anyone under 55 remembers that.

Marc
Bryan Styble
2016-05-16 15:13:51 UTC
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"Marcus" remembered:

...that commercial along with the "How are ya, how are ya, how are ya?" trademark saying of Godfrey's. I doubt anyone under 55 remembers that.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

I'm lucky enough to have thus far survived six years longer than 55, yet I don't remember that; indeed, I've always thought "How are ya?!?" was funnyman Bobby Bittman's [ne' Herchel Slansky*] catchphrase.

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
__________________________________________________________________________________________

* Bittman's real name, as revealed in Eugene Levy's brilliant cable TV mockumentary, "The Enigma of Bobby Bittman", which, alas, did NOT include Bittman's kid brother, showbiz-inept comic Skip**.

** Whose own catchphrase, of course, was "How's it hangin'?"
MJ Emigh
2016-05-16 18:10:29 UTC
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Post by Bryan Styble
...that commercial along with the "How are ya, how are ya, how are ya?" trademark saying of Godfrey's. I doubt anyone under 55 remembers that.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
I'm lucky enough to have thus far survived six years longer than 55, yet I don't remember that; indeed, I've always thought "How are ya?!?" was funnyman Bobby Bittman's [ne' Herchel Slansky*] catchphrase.
Yeah, I remember it, so if two of us heard it, it's GOT to be true, right? It was, I think, supposed to sound like he was saying Hawaii three times. Maybe because Hawaii was in the news, having been considered for and later attaining statehood. It was said by Godfrey like, "huh-wy-uh, huh-wy-uh, huh-wy-uh." Sort of.

I also recall the laundry detergent thing, or at least part of it. There was a brand that he endorsed later on that people trusted because of his earlier distancing from the chemically-enhanced product. I think it was Arm & Hammer. "Ecology" was a major buzzword at the time, and he really played it up in the endorsement.
Bryan Styble
2016-05-16 19:33:53 UTC
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If memory serves, Lipton Tea was the product with which Godfrey was most identified for endorsing.

And I sure HOPE memory serves on this, for I used that (supposed?) fact as part of a lengthy essay I published a few years ago, comparing the two most famous broadcast firings: La Rosa's of course, and Rush Limbaugh's dismissal by ESPN--technically a forced resignation--almost exactly a half-century later.

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
RH Draney
2016-05-16 20:50:12 UTC
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Post by MJ Emigh
Yeah, I remember it, so if two of us heard it, it's GOT to be true, right? It was, I think, supposed to sound like he was saying Hawaii three times. Maybe because Hawaii was in the news, having been considered for and later attaining statehood. It was said by Godfrey like, "huh-wy-uh, huh-wy-uh, huh-wy-uh." Sort of.
And because he was a ukulele player....r
Diner
2016-05-16 15:21:15 UTC
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Post by marcus
A guy, who I became friends with back in those days, and I still make each other laugh imitating that commercial along with the "how are ya, how are ya, how are ya" trademark saying of Godfrey's. I doubt anyone under 55 remembers that.
I remember it, though mostly from Ralph Malph doing an impression of Godfrey on at least one episode of "Happy Days."

Dick Clark often said that Godfrey's style of delivery - speaking directly to the viewer as an individual (for instance, saying "Thank you for watching" rather than "Thank you all for watching") - was a huge influence on him.

-Tim
marcus
2016-05-16 17:13:59 UTC
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Post by Diner
Post by marcus
A guy, who I became friends with back in those days, and I still make each other laugh imitating that commercial along with the "how are ya, how are ya, how are ya" trademark saying of Godfrey's. I doubt anyone under 55 remembers that.
I remember it, though mostly from Ralph Malph doing an impression of Godfrey on at least one episode of "Happy Days."
Dick Clark often said that Godfrey's style of delivery - speaking directly to the viewer as an individual (for instance, saying "Thank you for watching" rather than "Thank you all for watching") - was a huge influence on him.
-Tim
Yes, he was one of the first that gave listeners the imprssion that he was talking directly to them, unlike the "theatrical" types who were all over the radio at the type.
Larc
2016-05-16 19:44:51 UTC
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On Mon, 16 May 2016 07:56:32 -0700 (PDT), marcus <***@yahoo.com> wrote:

| I was only three years old when the famous firing occurred, but I heard about it all the time when I was a few years older. My parents watched Godfrey all the time (and before I was born listened to him on the radio). They loved the guy. I don't recall them ever judging him harshly, even for the LaRosa firing. He was still considered a person one could rely upon for his honesty in endorsing products via commercials.

I was in high school when it happened, but heard about it later that day. There was
some talk about it at school the next day and wondering if La Rosa had known this was
coming. When it was later revealed he had no prior warning, the reputation of The
Old Redhead, as Godfrey was known, went into free fall.

Godfrey's first national notice didn't come as a result of his radio or TV show, but
as a CBS Radio announcer describing the funeral procession of President Franklin
Roosevelt in Washington on April 14, 1945.

http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/additions-to-national-recording-registry-2015/6/

Larc
Bryan Styble
2016-05-16 20:06:29 UTC
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Thanks for the Saturday, April 14, 1945 Godfrey clip, 'Larc". It's fascinating to hear for more than one reason, and I'd never have stumbled onto this (as radio folk term them) actuality while internet surfing on my own.

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
marcus
2016-05-17 00:48:01 UTC
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Post by Larc
| I was only three years old when the famous firing occurred, but I heard about it all the time when I was a few years older. My parents watched Godfrey all the time (and before I was born listened to him on the radio). They loved the guy. I don't recall them ever judging him harshly, even for the LaRosa firing. He was still considered a person one could rely upon for his honesty in endorsing products via commercials.
I was in high school when it happened, but heard about it later that day. There was
some talk about it at school the next day and wondering if La Rosa had known this was
coming. When it was later revealed he had no prior warning, the reputation of The
Old Redhead, as Godfrey was known, went into free fall.
Godfrey's first national notice didn't come as a result of his radio or TV show, but
as a CBS Radio announcer describing the funeral procession of President Franklin
Roosevelt in Washington on April 14, 1945.
http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/additions-to-national-recording-registry-2015/6/
Larc
I used to hear that on an old album my parents had called "I Can Hear It Now" with Edward R Murrow as narrator. Godfrey broke down when he saw Truman at the end of the procession, and said, "God Bless President Truman."

btw, I remembered that the laundry product that Godfrey endorsed and then did a 180 on had cyclamates in it. I think it was called Axion.
Scott Brady
2016-05-20 02:49:28 UTC
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Post by marcus
btw, I remembered that the laundry product that Godfrey endorsed and then did a 180 on had cyclamates in it.
Have you ever tasted unsweetened laundry detergent?
MJ Emigh
2016-05-20 12:44:08 UTC
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Post by Scott Brady
Have you ever tasted unsweetened laundry detergent?
The Fresh Lemon Crystals are certainly missed.
That Derek
2016-05-15 16:58:20 UTC
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OK, this time for real. Here's a link to the 1979 film "Mr. Mike's Mondo Video," which features Julius La Rosa warbling the its opening theme sung to the tune of "Telstar" (approximately 0:03:00 in) as well as it's closing (in Italian).


r***@gmail.com
2020-05-17 20:27:24 UTC
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Post by That Derek
Some woman claiming she was a close friend of Julius La Rosa's just called up the Mark Simone Show here on NYC's WOR-AM to report that he had just died.
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