1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Mario Lanza (born January 31, 1921)
Famous EASY-POP hit single during the 50s: Be My Love 1950
Mario Lanza also had hits with The Loveliest Night of the Year in 1951 and Because You’re Mine in 1952.
Recording career with hits on the charts: 1950-1954 Record Label: RCA Victor
Born Alfredo Arnold Cocozza in Philadelphia, Mario Lanza was the most spectacularly popular operatic tenor since Enrico Caruso, who died the same year Mario was born. As a teenager he studied to be a concert singer and gained fame while performing in the US Army for fellow infantrymen. MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer signed him to a seven-year contract and cast him in ‘The Toast of New Orleans’ opposite Kathryn Grayson, introducing his first million-selling hit Be My Love in 1950. The next year he starred as his idol, Enrico Caruso, in ‘The Great Caruso,’ featuring another million seller, The Loveliest Night of the Year. The Academy Award nominated title song from 1952’s ‘Because You’re Mine’ became his third and final million-seller. Beset with weight problems, alcohol, and tranquilizers, he became a recluse for several years. After moving to Italy, he made one more film ‘Seven Hills of Rome’ which included the song Arrivederci Roma. Mario Lanza died of a heart attack in 1959.