Friday, June 20, 2008

jimmy roselli

from Wiki:

"In 1991, The Wall Street Journal wrote a front page story about Jimmy and his career headlined "Fans of the other Hoboken singer say Sinatra is just Roselli's Salieri." Comparisons to Frank Sinatra are inevitable due to their similar backgrounds, Italian-Americans from Hoboken, NJ. Roselli is the crooner who was loved and loathed by the mob. They loved his songs, but were furious that they couldn't control him. Unlike Sinatra who embraced the mob, Jimmy Roselli refused their assistance (like fellow Italian American Jake La Motta, whose life story was captured on film by Martin Scorcese in "Raging Bull"). Indeed, Roselli was relegated to selling his music out of the trunk of his car parked in Little Italy in Manhattan."

The story goes that mob henchmen were dispatched on "Search & Destroy" missions throughout New Jersey and the boroughs of New York in order to prevent Neopolitan Jimmy Roselli's 45 releases from being aired on bar and club jukeboxes.

The offending vinyl was routinely removed and eliminated on the premises. Repeat malefactors had their jukebox summarily trashed with the aid of a baseball bat. Misspent quarters, I assume, were forfeit. The message was clear: only Sinatra could claim de facto profit from his Italian connections.

Apologies, siblings, for the atrocious quality of the sound. Either it was taken from a VHS copy of Mean Streets or an original from the trashcans round the back of a bar in down town Hoboken.

JIMMY ROSELLI: MALAFEMMENA from "Malafemmena" 45 (M&R) 1965 (US)



Your driver said...

I'm working up a long post on growing up in New Jersey and the music of Jersey. I might have to steal, er borrow, this from you for that post. Maybe this weekend. I have a life away from my computer, although I sometimes resent it.

ib said...

I'm looking forward to reading that one. By all means purloin it, even.

I hear you on the "life away from the computer" angle. The whole blogging thang has an ability to really suck you in...